Where Do We Go From Here

Where Do We Go From Here

Reflections on the elections.

The votes are in, and my dear America we have a new president. By the time you’re reading this article one of two things has happened: we have a career politician with a far from clean record and seriously questionable motives thriving under the title of first woman president or a man with absolutely no political background and sketchy business abilities who seriously believes erecting a concrete wall will solve the world’s problems as our commander in chief.

Currently, I sit here in the living room of my college home, watching uneasy as states of our great union slowly become colored in shades corresponding to the party with which the state voters favored. I am terrified. For in less than a few hours, our nation will have elected a new leader. One of two undesirable choices. Why all of this anxiety has postponed its appearance to tonight I’m not sure, for it has been one long year of campaigning and my heart has been aware of our options for quite some time, but nevertheless tonight I am at a loss for many things. For several hours now I have been pondering what our country’s next step is. Where exactly do we go from here? The possibilities are endless and overwhelming. Do we actually have mass evacuations of residents to more desirable countries? Do we have civil unrest in even more extremes than recently reported and noted? Are we hiring architectures to build a wall? Are immigrants flooding in? Are our second amendment rights at stake?

Then I began to petition the Lord, I started reading and googling devotionals on election days and bible verses on elections. I found my peace in Psalms 22:28, “For Kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.” Our ruler has already been decided, long before this election. So do you know where we go from here? We go back to living the same life we’ve been living the past eight months. We go to work and we go to school. Parents continue to take care of their children, college students work to secure a future of their own. Children continue laughing and playing and embracing their innocence. We go to church meetings and volunteer events. We watch football games and host parties. We continue doing the same things we have been doing the entire time these two candidates have been marching around the country creating a mess. See while they’ve been arguing, enticing hate, encouraging divide, and promoting false agendas we have still been functioning as citizens, as people.

That’s what we do. We be the people, because at the end of the day we are what make this nation. Not a woman in a pantsuit, not a guy with a bad spray tan. You and me. For “love to trump hate” we have to love more than we hate;not just smack it on a t-shirt. To protect our amendment rights we have to start drawing up solutions instead of plastering bumper stickers on our trucks. We have to get off Facebook with our political opinions and complaints and we have to demand change if we truly want it. So, where do we go from here? We go in the direction that we chose to walk, the direction that we decide. A path of what I hope is love and acceptance and hard work. A path that doesn’t involve violent protests, that doesn’t involve police brutality. A path that is for change and for equality, but also for honesty and unity. A better path, a path that the presidential election does not define for us.

Cover Image Credit: yimg.com

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.


Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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