To My Fellow Republicans: Beware The Siren Calls of Cruz and Trump

To My Fellow Republicans: Beware The Siren Calls of Cruz and Trump

Their charming songs will leave us shipwrecked

Hi fellow Republican. I know you are upset. You have been upset for a while now and it’s understandable. I have been too. It's concerning when the economy is not where we hoped it would be, when our national security is threatened and when many of us do not know how we will to pay for our college tuition. It's even worse when it feels like our government is not doing enough to address our problems or is making them worse. I feel the same way you do. Something needs to change.

I can understand where your support for the anti-establishment presidential candidates — Ted Cruz and Donald Trump — comes from. They are opponents of the “Washington cartel” who promise to send political earthquakes through the city if given the proper chance. On the surface this sounds enticing. If the establishment is not working for us maybe it's time to replace them with leaders who are going to drastically shake things up. But, I warn you to beware the sirens' call: listening to the songs of these outsiders will sink our party and our country.

There probably isn’t anything I can take tell you about Donald’s personality, positions or beliefs that you have not already heard. The media does a very good job of covering his consistently confounding rhetoric (one of the few things the media does well) so I am not going to discuss it. Instead, I would like to talk about Donald’s polling.

Trump has been way ahead of every other Republican in field in every national poll, and was expected to take Iowa for most of the time leading up to the caucus. He ended up coming in the second to Ted Cruz, but that does not mean Trump is down for the count. He has a very legitimate chance of winning New Hampshire and contending for the Republican nomination, which is great ... if you are a Democrat.

Donald Trump’s offensive remarks, absurd policy proposals, conspiracy theories and suffocating narcissism have turned off many voters across this country (including this one). He may poll well amongst many Republican primary voters, but he undeniably does not among the general population. According to Gallup, Trump has the highest nation-wide unfavorability rating of any candidate from the two major parties since Gallup began conducting favorability polls in 1992. 33 percent of Americans see Trump favorably and 60 percent see him unfavorably. That leaves him with a net favorability rating of -27.

The next highest unfavorability ratings belong to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who are at 52 percent and 45 percent respectively, and who both have a -10 net favorability rating. Needless to say, these statistics do not bode well for Republican Trump supporters who genuinely care about winning the White House. Trump has managed to piss off Hispanics, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, women and sensible folks of all stripes throughout his campaign, and I assure you that he will not be able to undo that damage enough to win a general election. In fact, unfavorability ratings tend to increase during a general election as insults and attack ads become even more prevalent. You can’t always be a winner, Donald.

Cruz's favorability rating is not as bad as Trump’s. 37 percent of Americans view Cruz negatively, but I bet that number would be much higher if you polled just the people who actually know him. Cruz is notoriously detested by, well, almost everyone he has ever worked with. Trevor Noah did a segment about how the only thing that brings Democrats and Republicans together in this age of hyper-partisanship is their mutual hatred of Cruz.

Some claim that the reason Cruz is loathed is because he is a principled conservative who challenges malleable Political elites. However, a conversation with Ted Cruz’s college roommate dispels that myth. Craig Mazin, who lived with Cruz at Princeton, had to say about his former roommate: “And, you know, I want to be clear, because Ted Cruz is a nightmare of a human being. I have plenty of problems with his politics, but truthfully his personality is so awful that 99 percent of why I hate him is just his personality. If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only one percent less.”

One might say okay, Ted Cruz is not the most likable guy, but that does not mean he would not be an effective president. Well, that depends on why he is so unlikable. In 2013 at Cruz’s urging, Tea Party Republicans in the House put a provision repealing the Affordable Care Act into the following year’s spending bill. Everyone knew the bill did not stand a chance of becoming law with the repeal provision in it, but Cruz insisted that it should be put in there anyway. The result was a 16 day government shutdown which took a $24 million bite out of the economy, and caused federal employees to be furloughed for a combined total of 6.6 million days, more than in any previous government shutdown. At its peak, about 850,000 individuals per day were furloughed. The GOP was dealt a huge PR blow blow because of the shutdown; Cruz, however, emerged from it more popular among his base of Tea Party voters.

Cruz put himself not only above the party, but above the country. He may say that he is dedicated to conservatism, but the “ism” that Cruz is most committed to is opportunism. That is why people hate him. There are many more examples of Cruz's blatant, self-centered ambitiousness just a Google search away if you want to look them. I do not have time to link them all (I would like to to be done with this article before the primaries end) but, believe me, they are out there.

So, I understand why you are angry at the establishment. You are right to be. We need change in our government, but we should not fall for the charms of outsiders just because they are outsiders. We need to support leaders who (not only can win but) are going to do what many of today's establishment politicians do not: unite the American people and work with those they disagree with for the sake of the country. Trump and Cruz will not do anything to these problems; they will probably make them worse. If you care about fixing the establishment and charting a better course for our country, I ask you not to give Donald Trump or Ted Cruz the Republican nomination.

Cover Image Credit: WB Daily

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Don't Let Your Politics Identify You

As identity politics draws lines in the sand is there a chance that soon we will have more than two main political parties?


The term identity politics refers to a common group, such as racial, religious, social, cultural, economic, and especially political alliances. This term has been used to identify the injustices of our society and in most cases characterizing their political beliefs. It gained power during the women's movement, the civil rights movement, the LGBTQ movement, and most recently the nationalist movement. As the Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election grow, the term identity politics has been a factor in our elections since the 1970s and will cloud our upcoming election even more than in 2016.

Identity politics has become the mainstream of our political discussion, it has caused each voter to decide which group to be part of. It is no longer Democrat, Republican, or Independent, now there is an added description to the party affiliation. The class or social distinction varies, whether it is White American, African American, Hispanic, Asian, male, female, gay, lesbian, wealthy, middle class, poor, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, as the list grows.

In the book, "Identity" by Frances Fukyama, he explains, "In the United States, identity politics has fractured the left into a series of identity groups that are home to its most energetic political activists. It has in many respects lost touch with the one identity group that used to be its largest constituency, the white working class. This has spawned the rise of a populist right that feels its own identity to be under threat, abetted by a president whose personal vanity is tied to the degree of anger and polarization he can stroke." The once silent groups now have a voice in our society and they have become louder and stronger and caused the white working class to feel they are no longer recognized as the primary group.

For example, the citizens in middle American, commonly known as the rust belt, became more and more disenfranchised from the government in Washington DC. These middle to upper class, blue-collar workers have struggled for the past several decades to keep their jobs, their homes, their health insurance, and keep their loved ones from becoming victims of the ever-growing opioid crisis.

They were firmly rooted and stubborn. Not willing to go back to school or change their career paths. The blue-collar man was left behind and becoming angrier as the banks foreclosed and their towns emptied of all other enterprises. They did not want to hear that it was time to move on, leave the confines of your family heritage or adapt to the ever-changing society and economic environment.

Along comes a "millionaire" candidate that puts on a circus atmosphere with his catchy phrases and promises that have no clear plan. He pointed his finger at minorities and blamed them for all White American's problems. He gave them an excuse. He convinced them he was the only one who was going to give them their piece of the American pie.

They took him at his word because he wasn't from the nation's capital, a politician that told them to move on. His macho image and never apologize swagger convinced most of the men and women in middle America that he was going to "drain the swamp" in Washington DC as the new sheriff akin to "Wyatt Earp." He would bring back their jobs and prosperity would once again be in their view. His ability to use fear and hate as a platform took the nationalist party into the mainstream of politics.

As the nationalist party takes on a life of its own, it becomes clear that a candidate that focuses entirely on the cultural left issues will be challenged to prove their worth. After the 2016 election, the candidates accepted the fact that they overreached when it came to their focus on identity politics and renouncing a more universal appeal.

In an article from The Nation, Walter Benn Michaels writes, "It's not racism that creates the difference between classes; it's capitalism. And it's not anti-racism that can combat the difference; it's socialism. We're frequently told that black poverty is worse than white poverty—more isolating, more concentrated—and maybe that's true. But why, politically, should it matter? You don't build the left by figuring out which victim has been most victimized; you build it by organizing all the victims. When it comes to the value of universal health care, for example, we don't need to worry for a second about whether the black descendants of slaves are worse off than the white descendants of coal miners. The goal is not to make sure that black people are no sicker than white people; it's to make everybody healthy. That's why they call it universal."

Everyone wants to be defined, but there is an overreach when it comes to the labels. As a teenager having a label put on us was degrading and at times emotional, yet as adults, it seems we can't help but put a label on ourselves and others especially when it comes to our politics. As identity politics draws lines in the sand is there a chance that soon we will have more than two main political parties? Will this be a change that is needed to become a more cohesive America?

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