Politics Simplified

Politics Simplified

The end to political confusion begins here.

Studying the institutions of the American government is minimal in high school generally focusing on American History and constitutionalism rather than the system at large. Because of this, few high school graduates retain what little information is taught to them. Even fewer individuals over the age of 25 (33.4%) seek higher education and choose to enroll in introductory political science courses that primarily focus on the basics of our nation's political system. Often, those who do enroll in such courses are taught by professors who negligently assume their students possess a fundamental knowledge of the system rather than a mere interest in the subject with the intentions of fulfilling a general education requirement. With this, it comes as no surprise that nearly 46.9% of citizens over the age of eighteen failed to participate in the 2016 election. That is a total of approximately 116,994,132 people out of a population of 249,454,440 adults. This is not to assume that 2016's voter turnout was solely dependent on political understanding. However, this is one of the most influential factors contributing to a significant lack of eligible voters. To those wishing to end their political confusion or quench their thirst for additional basic political knowledge, you may begin here.

Electoral College

Many tend to view the Electoral College with unease as they question it's central purpose. It was originally ordained in 1787 to act as a bridge between a congressional vote and the national popular vote for presidential elections. A committee of 583 electors foregather every four years in anticipation of an upcoming election in order to nominate favorable candidates who are fit to serve in office. Each state is granted electors equal to the sum of its Congressional delegation. In other words, for every Senator a state has, two electors are issued while only one elector is given for each member of their House of Representatives.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

A total of 270 electoral votes are needed to elect a presidential candidate. Citizens aid in validating their state's electors by voting in an election. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, all states act to grant their electoral votes in its entirety to the candidate who won the popular vote of the people. In contrast, Maine and Nebraska have adopted a system of proportional representation. In utilizing the Electoral College, states with lower populations are better balanced amongst those with the highest number of eligible voters. However, it's greatest shortcoming is represented in times when the electoral vote outweighs the popular vote.

Democratic Party

The Democratic Party, commonly referred to as the left wing or liberal party, makes up approximately 31% of the national population.

Republican Party

The Republican Party, widely known as the right wring or conservative party, consists of roughly 24% of the national population.

Independent & Other Parties

Independents and those identifying with other parties including: Libertarian, Green, Constitution, and Communist are comprised of relatively 42% of the national population. Those in these parties may agree on issues supported by either the Democrat Party of the Republican Party while some identify themselves with the right left or right. The majority of members within these parties aim to prevent political polarization through limited political ideology thus exclusively voting for candidates based on where they stand on national issues.

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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."

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.

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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.

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.

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