A Tough Summer in Washington

A Tough Summer in Washington

The last few months have not been the best for any politician in Washington DC, but what will it lead to?
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I am not a future-teller, so by the time you read this, we could be in the middle of the political event of the century. However, at current moment, Washington D.C is looking more like Westros during the reign of King Joffrey. With a flurry of scandal and news and leaks since June, the Trump administration is really starting to come apart, even if from the inside out. Beginning with the constantly failing healthcare bills, going straight through until the breaking news that Robert Mueller has formed a grand jury and is following the money trails from Trump himself. I've tried to avoid political news for a while, just because it's just everywhere and hard to discuss in a civil manner these days – especially in comment sections on Facebook.

Distrust of the president in Congress has been slowly rising, from many Senators and Representatives voting for Trump just because they're in the same party, to voting across party lines, to now where Republicans in Congress are splitting away from him. Some left during a tweetstorm, others left as he started insulting and threatening cabinet members because they didn't bow to him. Even Paul Ryan has expressed support for Robert Muller, the special council in charge of the Trump-Russia investigation, contrary to what Trump is saying. One could argue the first to leave was Richard Burr, who upon being named head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, began to look at more bipartisan views than other Republicans and Democrats, both of whom are constantly attacking each other. Since then, little by little, senators are turning, as evidenced by voting against the McConnell healthcare bill. And if things go even further south, it will take Republicans to help bring us back up, without letting their party get in the way of what is morally right

Much like a dictatorship, Trump has constantly put down and even rejected the press, so he started his own web-television program to tell people the real news – direct from the White House. Of course, “real news” to them includes the Seth Rich case that was proven false when the Rich family came out and said the “investigator” was never hired and they had no idea who he was – in reality, the story was made up by Fox News, and according to recent rumors circulating the press, possibly with aide from Donald Trump himself. Seriously, there is no way to justify this. Dictators control the press and make up stories so that they can further control the people. A president-approved news source that seeks to undermine the free press? Yeah, no. Fox News is bad enough when Sean Hannity continues to run the Seth Rice story despite being told it was a false narrative. But this is something else entirely. Not much has been said about this, mostly because nobody is taking it seriously – and we should. All it takes is one tweet or one order from the president to his official news and he could tell supporters to take up arms against the ones trying to stop them. I doubt he would, but as per Trump's Razor (the stupidest scenario is the likely one), it is entirely possible.

The new immigration reform is nothing but the administration justifying racism. Demanding that immigrants must be able to speak English contradicts the simple fact that America has no official language – go to New York City, and you'll see signs in Arabic, Italian, Chinese, Yiddish, Hindu, and any other language you can think of. In addition, it will require them to have money and ability to essentially conform. Again, America has been known as a melting pot because of the variety of culture and ethnic groups. This policy is being put in place for legal immigration, and considering not everybody has the ability to go to school and learn English, it will only bring in the rich and well-off people who by every means should immigrate if they choose to, but prevent those who need to have a better life. Naturalization classes include English classes, among other things that the right claims they don't – most natural-born citizens cannot complete the citizenship test, anyway.

Lastly, we come to the nonstop attempts to stop the ongoing Russian collusion investigation. Donald Trump, Jr. released an email chain between himself, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Russian lawyers/government officials concerning “compromising information” on Hillary Clinton. Despite this being explicitly stated in the emails, Trump Jr. went on Fox News (because where else would he go) to say that it was actually about adoption of Russian children – and now, we've found that the President helped to create this alternate narrative. Later on, Trump became open with his disdain for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as Sessions recused himself from being involved in the investigation – which Trump wanted shut down, hence firing James Comey and threatening other intelligence heads. During this time, he said that Mueller “better not look at the finances,” because at that time, Mueller and his team were, in fact, looking through the tax returns and financial statements from both the Trump Organization and the Trump family.

Despite this, and while I am definitely not a fan of Trump, I'd say there is a slight chance America might just be on the right track under him. Not due to any policy, or any statement, or tweet, or anything like that. But you consider that America is one of the youngest countries in the world, yet with the oldest Constitution. And that's not a bad thing – but if you really think about it, the United States hasn't really seen what abuses of power really can be. Watergate was one thing, but this is just helping us see how we can come back from a turbulent presidency. Respecting the office is not the same as respecting the person, and yeah, we all should hope Trump doesn't crash the entire nation because then we have nothing to build back up. In a weird, reverse psychology-esque way, making America great again will happen because Congress, the Supreme Court, the people, and politicians in general, will see what can happen when they let the wrong people into the highest office in the land. Kind of a backdoor, not-how-he-intended way, but hey, “great” is subjective. The results of the Russia investigation will cement the American political system for decades if not centuries. Donald Trump will be known as the one who showed what can happen if power is left unchecked, and we'll just have to see the lasting effects. Including the HBO miniseries – I'm calling it now.

Cover Image Credit: Martin Falbisoner

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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