Mueller's Early Christmas Gift

Mueller's Early Christmas Gift

Also, what is John Kelly talking about?
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Robert Mueller's indictments were huge news.

Not only did we have Paul Manafort and his assistant indicted on twelve counts, but we also found out there has been a guilty plea. George Papadopoulos, a junior level foreign adviser to then candidate Trump, has pled guilty to lying to the FBI and has been working as a "proactive cooperator". Of course, the Trump administration is trying desperately to distance themselves, calling him a "low, level volunteer." Papadopoulos was in contact with a London-based professor with extensive ties to Russia, who said he had "dirt" on Clinton. Papadopoulos was then encouraged by another Trump staffer, Sam Clovis, to "make the trip" to Russia, "if it is feasible." This story is very exciting and fascinating, and It has the Trump White House scrambling and frustrated. There is another story, however that I think is being buried, and it is an important one. One that involves Chief of Staff John Kelly.

John Kelly was on Fox News the other night giving an interview to Laura Ingraham. When asked about a church in Virginia that had recently taken down a statue of Robert E. Lee, John Kelly praised Lee as "an honorable man who gave up his country to fight for his state." Kelly, who is a retired Marine Corps. General, also stated in the interview that the Civil War was caused by "the lack of ability to compromise." So, let's dissect the statement about Robert E. Lee first. Lee, along with the confederate army, decided to rebel against the United States. How is this honorable?

The second statement is what infuriates me the most. If we look back through history, the issue with slavery began with the founding of our country. While writing the constitution, our Founding fathers were split on the issue of slavery, as a compromise they came up with the infamous " slaves would count as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation and taxation." It also, in not so many words, allowed Congress to ban the international slave trade, but not for 20 years. Most Northern states had already passed abolition laws by 1800, but the national debate intensified as groups debated over the expansion of the U.S. and if slavery would be allowed in new states. In 1820, we got the Missouri Compromise, which allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state but forbade slavery above the 36th parallel line, which set up the battle lines for the war to come. The Kansas-Nebraska act of 1854 mandated that any state, no matter geography, was permitted to decide the question of slavery by "popular sovereignty." Lincoln tried to compromise with the Southern states by a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow slave states to continue slavery but prohibit slavery in new states. “It reflects a very old set of ideas about the meaning of the Civil War,” David Blight, a historian at Yale University said. “Everybody was right, and nobody was wrong. Everybody was noble, everyone fought for their conscience, you don’t have to worry anymore about what they fought for.”

What infuriates me the most is that everyone thought John Kelly was going to be the “normal” one in the Trump administration. It turns out he is just as crazy as the rest of them. This is what they do. They take history and they distort it into a narrative that suits their agenda. Keep your eyes up and your ears open. Don’t get distracted from what they are doing. Resist.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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'As A Woman,' I Don't Need To Fit Your Preconceived Political Assumptions About Women

I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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It is quite possible to say that the United States has never seen such a time of divisiveness, partisanship, and extreme animosity of those on different sides of the political spectrum. Social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are saturated with posts of political opinions and are matched with comments that express not only disagreement but too often, words of hatred. Many who cannot understand others' political beliefs rarely even respect them.

As a female, Republican, college student, I feel I receive the most confusion from others regarding my political opinions. Whenever I post or write something supporting a conservative or expressing my right-leaning beliefs and I see a comment has been left, I almost always know what words their comment will begin with. Or in conversation, if I make my beliefs known and someone begins to respond, I can practically hear the words before they leave their mouth.

"As a woman…"

This initial phrase is often followed by a question, generally surrounding how I could publicly support a Republican candidate or maintain conservative beliefs. "As a woman, how can you support Donald Trump?" or "As a woman, how can you support pro-life policies?" and, my personal favorite, "As a woman, how did you not want Hillary for president?"

Although I understand their sentiment, I cannot respect it. Yes, being a woman is a part of who I am, but it in no way determines who I am. My sex has not and will not adjudicate my goals, my passions, or my work. It will not influence the way in which I think or the way in which I express those thoughts. Further, your mention of my sex as the primary logic for condemning such expressions will not change my adherence to defending what I share. Nor should it.

To conduct your questioning of my politics by inferring that my sex should influence my ideology is not only offensive, it's sexist.

It disregards my other qualifications and renders them worthless. It disregards my work as a student of political science. It disregards my hours of research dedicated to writing about politics. It disregards my creativity as an author and my knowledge of the subjects I choose to discuss. It disregards the fundamental human right I possess to form my own opinion and my Constitutional right to express that opinion freely with others. And most notably, it disregards that I am an individual. An individual capable of forming my own opinions and being brave enough to share those with the world at the risk of receiving backlash and criticism. All I ask is for respect of that bravery and respect for my qualifications.

Words are powerful. They can be used to inspire, unite, and revolutionize. Yet, they can be abused, and too comfortably are. Opening a dialogue of political debate by confining me to my gender restricts the productivity of that debate from the start. Those simple but potent words overlook my identity and label me as a stereotype destined to fit into a mold. They indicate that in our debate, you cannot look past my sex. That you will not be receptive to what I have to say if it doesn't fit into what I should be saying, "as a woman."

That is the issue with politics today. The media and our politicians, those who are meant to encourage and protect democracy, divide us into these stereotypes. We are too often told that because we are female, because we are young adults, because we are a minority, because we are middle-aged males without college degrees, that we are meant to vote and to feel one way, and any other way is misguided. Before a conversation has begun, we are divided against our will. Too many of us fail to inform ourselves of the issues and construct opinions that are entirely our own, unencumbered by what the mainstream tells us we are meant to believe.

We, as a people, have become limited to these classifications. Are we not more than a demographic?

As a student of political science, seeking to enter a workforce dominated by men, yes, I am a woman, but foremost I am a scholar, I am a leader, and I am autonomous. I refuse to be categorized and I refuse to be defined by others. Yes, I am a woman, but I am so much more.

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How Starting Your Journey Is Half Of The Battle

"You can start your journey any day at anytime."

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Not that long ago, I wrote an article about a little phrase I heard on my friend's snapchat story. It got a tone of views and a lot of great feedback. And just in time for the beginning of the new school semester, he said something else that just kind of stuck with me.

He said that you can start your journey any day, at any time.

Okay so we've all heard this before but have any of us actually taken the time to put that saying into action? Well, quite recently I have. I used to be the type of person who waited until last minute to do everything, whether it was homework, a workout plan or whatever I wanted to accomplish. I used to be the type of person who said that at whatever time I'll start my homework and if it was a minute past that time I would have to wait to the start of the new hour....yes like the meme.

But now, ever since I heard that quote, it's been replaying in my head on a loop. Which is why I now just do things at the moment they're thought of and not a certain time. I decided that this is the semester, I don't wait until the last minute to do all of my work, and so far it's going well. I decided that this is the perfect time to get in shape, and not wait until the New Year, because I'm the skinniest most out of shape person that I know. I decided that instead of waiting until the new year to eat healthier that I'm going to do it now.

For a while I have wanted to get back into dance. I kept saying that I'll sign up for classes again when I finish school. But instead I decided to do it now, registered for a ballet class at school and signed up for ballroom dance, and it hands down has been one of the best decisions I have made.

Honestly it's been weird not having a set start date and time for certain things, but why would I put off doing something that I want to do? What I will say though, is that not procrastinating on homework has made these first couple of weeks of the semester fly by and seem like a breeze.

Just by letting go of the idea that every thing needs to have a set start date and time and a set date and time to end has made the pressure of things go away. By just starting my journey for whatever I'm doing right now, has increased my happiness and my overall productivity of what I'm doing.

So a little word of advice just go for and just do whatever you want to do right now.

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