Modern-Day Political Misdirection

Modern-Day Political Misdirection

From poverty to the educational sytem
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To those who look at the politics of the United States with a cynical perspective, there is never any end to the criticisms that you can find. I’ve never been one for politics, and that’s more because I have problems with those who get involved, their methods of running and what they do in office, rather than because of the system itself.

Political misdirection itself can mean many things, from what a candidate is telling supporters about his or her background, to what candidates or politicians already in office are arguing/talking about so that issues that they don’t know how to solve or don’t want to talk about aren’t brought up. The latter form of misdirection is the one that I’ll mostly be talking about in this article.

For example, one such issue that I don’t see talked about often is how many people are impoverished and going hungry in the U.S. To give you an idea how much of a problem it is, Poverty and Hunger in America states that in a 2014 government study, 46.7 million people -- or 15 percent of the U.S. population -- were living in poverty. Of that 46.7 million, 15.5 million of them were children under the age of 18. Lastly, the study showed that 48.1 million Americans lived in “food-insecure” households, which included 15 million children.

Another example, which exists in almost every town in America, is in the educational system. According to dosomething.org, each year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school, which is about 7,000 students a day -- meaning that 25% of high school freshmen fail to graduate on time. I don’t see why something like this isn’t talked about. I remember watching Bill Nye in a "Big Think" video explaining how children are the future, and that in order to maintain our country, we need people to be educated and competent enough to understand the issues that plague us, come up with solutions and run for office.

I’m a bit disappointed that there is always so much coverage about issues like where certain people are able to go to the bathroom and civil rights, which I don’t think are very difficult to solve. I know that they matter, and I know that they may be controversial, but I’m a firm believer that the media has an agenda that follows those of politicians. I don’t want to sound like I don’t care about these problems, or suggest that they aren’t problems to begin with, because that’s not true -- they are. But the fact of the matter is, there are other issues in the world and in our backyards that need to be addressed by those who are supposed to be running our country and trying to fix the problems with it.

Going back to what I said at the beginning, if politicians and news companies are in cahoots, then a politician, regardless of whether or not he or she is in office or running, doesn’t need to address issues like this that are really a problem. Additionally, I don’t want to sound like no politician does anything to help with problems like this – some do – but how and why can such a large issue like poverty not be an issue in the presidential election?

Cover Image Credit: Chica Nordica

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Cornell Fraternity Reprimanded For Hosting 'Pig Roast'

"Continuing to allow such students to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites."
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After receiving numerous reports, recent investigations were launched leading to the uncovering of a rather appalling contest used to determine incoming pledges of Cornell University's chapter of Zeta Beta Tau.

The fraternity was found guilty of administering a competition in which pledges were awarded points for initiating sexual intercourse with female students. However, unlike many similar contests popularized through rushes hosted by fraternities across the nation, Zeta Beta Tau coined their particular competition the "pig roast" in honor of their unique tiebreaker ritual. Should two or more pledges find themselves at a tie, the one who sleeps with the largest woman wins.

After the university's investigations confirmed the legitimacy of their reports in January, Zeta Beta Tau has been placed on a two year probation period in which the fraternity is required to employ a live-in adviser in order to enforce the proper conduct of current members and regularly educate them on the issue of sexual assault. In addition, members will be expected to take part in a minimum of two campus events in recognition of Cornell's Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

The question remains, however, whether a slap on the wrist such as this has truly done the women involved justice. Or, perhaps, presuming the acts were consensual, these women were only victimized through the humiliation of being unknowingly chosen for such a ritual rather than the sexual act itself. Therefore, can one lawfully designate this an act of sexual assault?

If a woman consents to a sexual encounter, she has not suddenly fallen victim to her partner. Rather, in this case, she is suffering the consequences of sleeping with a perfect stranger whose motives remained unclear. A brief look at any news source today would prove that this aftereffect is seemingly minor in comparison to the many things that happen to women who make similar choices. Although, this is not to say that the women involved deserved to be used this way by any means.

While arguments from either side of the issue of victimization may very well continue to remain a matter of opinion, it can be universally agreed that the actions of the Zeta Beta Tau members were resoundingly wrong based on natural principles. Another's body is not to be disrespected and sexually exploited for one's gain. Thus, continuing to allow such students the privilege to prowl a college campus rather than face expulsion appears a rather questionable decision set forth by Cornell elites.

Cover Image Credit: Guest of a Guest

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It Is Time To Bring An End To The Hate Between Liberals And Conservatives

The most important thing regarding the human condition is to treat each other with kindness.
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I think it is time to address the lack of respect each political party holds for each other. Neither party is innocent in my eyes.

I will begin by saying this: I currently identify as liberal because that is where most of my political views lie. However, I am disgusted by the behaviors enacted by some of the liberals my age.

Being a member of the University of Washington community has placed me among many liberal individuals who share similar views as me. Unfortunately, from several of my peers I have heard comments such as "I hate conservatives," "Conservatives are so stupid," and "I do not ever want to be around conservatives." I am guilty of saying phrases like these as well. I am sure some conservatives have said similar statements about liberals.

But now, the hate needs to stop.

I was reminded of the violent hatred between liberals and conservatives when the conservative group Patriot Prayer recently came to visit the University of Washington. Naturally, their presence attracted a protest that some UW students attended.

I had no desire to attend the protest because of the possibility that it could result in violence. Additionally, I did not think a protest would be beneficial to anyone.

A couple of my friends decided to attend, however. I remember watching short videos of the protest they filmed and put on their Snapchat stories. One particular video disgusted me.

The video showed a man surrounded by a group of people. He was trying to walk through the group but was repeatedly being shoved by people from several directions, almost getting pushed to the ground. In the background people chanted, "Nazis are not welcome here."

I do not know exactly what prompted some protesters to call the people there, specifically this man, Nazis, but this behavior is unacceptable. I was appalled. Are these really some of the people I go to school with? Are these really some of the people who claim to promote and fight for equality and love for all? I just know this: that kind of behavior is not what love looks like.

It is perfectly okay to disagree with someone else's opinion - there is nothing wrong with that. Disagreements provide opportunities for debate. They challenge our ideas, causing us to consider other perspectives and to reevaluate our own, ultimately resulting in growth. Regardless of whether or not our own opinion changes, we are provided with a more in-depth look at an alternate view.

However, disagreeing with someone else's opinion does not give one the right to harass or assault a person. Nothing gives one the right to do that. Acting in this way is rude, dangerous, and hurtful to people. It also affects the way outsiders view the person committing the harassment, and the group they identify with.

How can we expect to bring an end to harassment and assault if we engage in those behaviors as well? How can we expect to drive out hate by acting this way? I fear we are forgetting how to treat each other with respect and dignity. There should not come a day where we have lost all human decency.

I believe it is occurrences like this that paint liberals in a bad light in the eyes of conservatives, even though this behavior is not representative of all liberals.

Though neither group is entirely absent of violent behaviors, it is important to remember this: the actions of one conservative do not reflect conservatives as a whole, and the actions of one liberal do not reflect liberals as a whole. Both groups have toxic members just as much as both groups have loving members. One member does not define the entire group.

We need to reevaluate our actions. We need to reevaluate the assumptions we make about other groups. We need to consider the reasons why people have the beliefs that they do.

Whether a person's beliefs were instilled in them during childhood from the way they were raised or have been shaped by their experiences, it is important to recognize that not everyone will see the world the way we do. Each person sees the world through their own lens.

That being said, the most important thing regarding the human condition is to treat each other with kindness.

Cover Image Credit: Everypixel.com

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