The DUP And Why You Should Care

The DUP And Why You Should Care

UK politics just got a whole lot messier.
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If you’re anything like most Americans you’re likely aware that our international ally the United Kingdom runs their country a bit differently from our own. They are a parliamentary democracy, a form of Western liberal democracy where the party that has gained an absolute majority of seats in parliament (legislature) forms the standing government and appoints its party leader as Prime minister. Once the Prime Minister is appointed he or she creates their cabinet by selecting active Members of Parliament, usually from their own party.

You are likely also aware (at least vaguely) of the fact that the United Kingdom just recently held a general election, the results of which have been both messy and impressive. Jeremy Corbyn’s leftist Labour Party made serious gains while the conservative Tories under Prime Minister Theresa May’s leadership lost quite a few seats in parliament. This shake up has not only caused the Tories to lose their standing majority, the entire basis of May’s ability to operate as the Prime Minister, but has caused what is known as a hung parliament. In a parliamentary democracy when the parliament is referred to as “hung” it lacks any one party with an absolute majority of the seats meaning that there is no party with the position and representation to form a government. Theresa May, unfortunately, has decided on a method to counteract this problem.

In order to create enough of a majority to form a fully functional governing body Theresa May and the Tories have made the decision to form a coalition with a right wing party out of Northern Ireland called the DUP. The DUP, or Democratic Unionist Party, holds just enough seats in parliament to help push the Tories back into a governing majority. So, the question must be asked, who are the DUP, and what do they stand for?


First and foremost the Democratic Unionist Party, currently headed by Arlene Foster, is a right wing group based in Northern Ireland and founded in 1971 on Protestant fundamentalist principles. Already this should be ringing alarm bells in the minds of those who recognize that, like in the United States, the governed citizens of the United Kingdom are a plurality of religious beliefs. Any government by one particular religious group is bound to discriminate against or at least ignore those that do not fall into their rigid system of ideals. Although they have loosened this influence slightly to try and bring socially conservative Catholics into the fold, this is still rather worrying. Thankfully the DUP are not the ones forming a government, they are simply a supplement to the waning Tories, but they get much worse than just playing religious favoritism.


These heavily conservative roots have led to a variety of problematic beliefs, actions, and statements over the years by the DUP and its members. One of the most commonly cited issues with the DUP is their historically bad record on women's reproductive rights. For example on the abortion issue they are so firmly against extending abortion rights to the women of Northern Ireland that even victims of sexual assault are not allowed an exemption. What makes this worse, however, is that they only begrudgingly allow abortion in cases where the woman's life is endangered and, when a UK High Court ruled that banning abortion for rape victims went against human rights the DUP elected to mostly ignore it.

Next come their unsurprisingly archaic views on the LGBT community. A quick Google search will present you with a variety of astoundingly absurd and offensive quotes ranging from calling gays "offensive and obnoxious" to saying "you certainly don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That child is far more likely to be abused or neglected." These statements are as bigoted as they are completely ignorant of fact, though the DUP's relationship to facts seems to be a bit rocky.

Their touch and go relationship with facts and information is on full display in the party's views on scientific matters. Although these things are not officially party policy climate change denial and Creationism have found a home amongst several of the party's governing members and, possibly, amongst their voting base. Just like with their rather nasty quotes on LGBT issues a Google search is well worth it for more in depth examples and breakdowns of these problematic views.

Now why exactly should you, as an American, care? It isn't our country's election, we have enough craziness going on in our own government right now as is, and the DUP are not the powerful party in this new coalition. So what exactly about this coalition is so wrong? Well, firstly by allowing the DUP representation in an empowered government coalition they are being given a stage to attempt to validate their views and policies. They are also working alongside the Tories, a party of dangerous conservatism that has allowed privateering in the National Health Service and that has worked to consistently undermine the middle and working classes. This is an unstable match, one of dangerous, mismatched ideals, and if it continues it will be the government moving to negotiate Brexit with the European Union. Without a strong, intelligent governing body that is sure of its demands and working for the benefit of the middle and working classes first and foremost the negotiations could become historically disastrous.

Cover Image Credit: getty images

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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2019 Just Means That The 2020 Election Is Coming

I don't want things to be that way, people running for President make it that way.

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The 2020 election has begun with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing that she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president.

Other likely candidates include Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. And those are only the people eating at the adult's table, there are other Democrats that will probably throw their hats in the ring just for some publicity.

The last time a primary began to decide the opponent for an unpopular incumbent Republican president that had lost the popular vote in his first campaign was just 15 years ago, in 2004 when John Kerry became the nominee to challenge President George W. Bush.

Kerry may have lost the election, but he did have an easy primary. Kerry beat out his early challengers and went on to easily win almost all of the primary caucuses and elections.

I do not think that 2020 will be so easy and that is due in part to 2016. The 2016 primary may have eclipsed 2008 in terms of being one of the most consequential primaries in US history.

2016 showed the ideological split within the Democratic Party, with many New Democrats, socially liberal economically conservative centrists, holding most of the power within, while there's a strong grassroots force urging the party leftwards. Critics will claim Hillary Clinton lost because she was not left-wing enough. And Bernie Sanders's surprising success shows that anybody who wants to be the nominee has to appeal to the Sanders demographic.

This article is not really here to endorse any candidate, you can read my other articles to figure out who I'm voting for, it is however here to point out just how difficult it will be to win the nomination.

A candidate has to, according to the so-called experts: be left-leaning but also be a centrist, and be able to get minorities out to vote but also appeal to some Trump voters that they think they can win over by calling out the President's divisive tactics.

Trickle-down economics and massive deregulation always throws the economy into a recession, but the question now is when will that happen? If it happens during the 2020 election it's safe to say it's over for Trump, but if a Democrat has to challenge a Republican while the economy is doing great, it will be all the more difficult. The election will turn into a debate over so-called "social" issues (assuming Trump does not take us to war).

Issues that seem to be on most Americans' minds are healthcare and immigration. The healthcare debate will turn into a debate amongst Democrats over whether or not single-payer is possible and will likely be one of the most divisive issues of the primary. Immigration will be easy, every Democrat will go the safe route and boldly proclaim that putting children in cages and letting them die is not good. This will lead to Trump accusing them of being Antifa thugs.

The road to the White House is not meant to be easy. You need to fight hard to win the hearts of Americans, unless you are a Republican then you just need to win over rich Americans and let the electoral college do the rest of the work.

But seriously, we need to start the process of finding someone that will undo the years of horror unleashed by the Trump administration and also put the country in a new direction. Someone that will help the old and the young, and all workers. It's time for a leader that works for the American laborer, not the American entrepreneur, and above all, it is time for a new president.

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