“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The Pledge of Allegiance. Thirty-one historical words we say every morning, but how often do you stop and think about what they mean? We say our nation is indivisible;
however, the year 2016 saw our country grow more divided than it’s been in a long time. Mostly due to the Presidential race and elections, we have witnessed friendships and families being torn apart by opinions. During times like this, it’s a constant battle between “I should stand up for what I believe in” and “My opinion won’t change anything,” so how do we choose?
According to Mr. Bigley, a high school English teacher here at FBCS, an argument is quote, “An intellectual conversation between two opposing points of view, in which each person is prepared with evidence to support their side of the argument.” There is no name-calling or bias here, merely an exchange of facts. This is where most people go wrong when discussing politics. They are judging or being judged based on a black and white spectrum. “Trump supporters are racist/sexist/stupid,” “People who voted for Hillary are blind feminists,” and many other insulting statements like these have been said without a second thought. However, it’s extremely unfair to group people by what they believe.
“I dreaded my social studies class, because 95% of my fellow students had the opposite opinion of mine, and I would have to sit through their hurtful, blanketed statements about people who believe what I do,” a student said last trimester, during the especially rough weeks leading up to and following the election. Now, with the impending inauguration, political tensions are rising once again. But how can we guard ourselves against the barrage of hate and anger bound to come our way? Set an example. Martin Luther King Jr. once
said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Everyone has their own beliefs and opinions, which should be respected, regardless of whether or not you agree with them.
Instead of arguing amongst ourselves, perhaps Americans should look past their differences and come together to celebrate a historic event. “I think that this is a time in which we should all stand together as one,” Geraldo Rivera said in an interview with Fox News (which I would cite, but the video is blocked). So, as we watch the much dreaded and anticipated inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America, let us not grumble about it. We are America, and only united can we stand. Divided, we most certainly will fall.
As its likely well-known by now, Hillary Clinton has previously deleted over thirty-thousand emails from her private server. Last Tuesday, the Trump campaign called out the Department of Justice discharge all of Clinton’s communications between her and her supporters to prove the investigation an overboard situation.
After this took place charge, WikiLeaks hacked and leaked out recent messages. In these hacked emails, DOJ spokesman, Brian Fallon, was found updating processes relating to the investigation relating to Hillary’s emails. “DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning, so we could have a window into the judge’s thinking about this proposed production schedule as quickly as today,” Brian Fallon sent to Hillary Clinton on May 19th of 2015. Later the same day of the release, Donald Trump’s communication advisor, Jason Miller, said, “Today’s report that Clinton’s campaign was in communication with the Obama Department of Justice on the email investigation shows a level of collusion which calls into question the entire investigation into her private server.”
For having access to Clinton’s emails, the State Department was sued and the litigation soon was in process to determine a date to release the messages. Another matter on hand was the Justice Department putting a criminal probe within Hillary Clinton’s classified materials was irrelevant to the case.
After the charges from the Trump campaign had been given, James Comey, a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Loretta Lynch on the behalf of the Department of Justice, had made it obvious that Hillary was being given a ‘special treatment’ considering the two directors of the DOJ continued to spin their story. People below these directors from the Department of Justice now know that Hillary is getting these sudden privileges. By managing to exploit this, James Comey from the FBI is said to have permanently ruined the reputation of the bureau. This has been stated by veteran agents of the FBI. They have also claimed James Comey to be ‘cowardly’ due to neglect to the investigation and mishandlings of evidence through the use private servers.
After the situation, Comey argued that at was a mass of FBI agents’ fault, those of whom were under Comey himself. He stated, “So if I blew it, they blew it too.” This showed that he took no responsibility for his actions. Though, agents claim that Comey basically ‘forced’ the agents into agreeing to basic rules and demands from lawyers that are defending Hillary Clinton as well as her aids. Dennis V. Hughes, a first chief of the computer investigations unit of the FBI, claimed, “In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews.” This event has shown how the FBI and DOJ are really corrupt and that Hillary is above the law in a sense.
So who is really right about the stop and frisk issue? Donald Trump claims that stop and frisk bought the murder rates down and that it was and is fully constitutional. Hillary Clinton claims that because the stop and frisk popularity has gone done, so has the crime rate and that stop and frisk is unconstitutional.
The argument was brought up during the first Presidential Debate after the question was asked: “The share of Americans that say race relations are bad is the highest it been in decades. Much of it amplified by shootings of African Americans by police as we’ve seen recently in Charlotte and Tulsa. Race has been a big issue in this campaign, and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide?” – Lester Holt
Trump’s response was heavily weighted with the repetition of the words “law and order”. He suggests that by actively putting stop and frisk into action, the crime rates will go down. He uses New York as an example for stop and frisk being put into action effectively.
In New York, during the time that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly were in office, the stop and frisk frequency was higher by over 600 percent. Yes, during that time there was a significant murder drop, but that change happened all around the country in cities that were not enforcing heavy stop and frisk. So the change could very well have little to nothing to do with the stop and frisk policies. An interesting fact is that according to New York Civil Liberties Union, in 2011-13 there was another major crime drop that happened at the same time that there was a major drop in the frequency of stop and frisk.
So Trump might be wrong about the effectiveness of the stop and frisk, but does that mean that Hillary was right? She was correct that the crime rate has continued to drop even though the stop and frisk has diminished. But is it unconstitutional? Stop and frisk is actually used in police departments all around the country even today. It is completely legal for a cop to stop, interrogate, and frisk someone that that believe to have either just committed a crime or is about to commit a crime. However, the use of stop and frisk that Trump refers to is where police stop any suspicious looking character. The Stop and frisk was greatly encouraged and perhaps even over used.
The main problem is that 86.1 % of the “suspicious characters” that were stopped were either African American or Hispanic even though they only made up 54% of the population. Racial profiling was so prevailing that the issue was brought to court and was found to violate the fourth amendment. However the judge was suspended so that case was never finished. So has a whole, according to the Supreme Court, stop and frisk is constitutional and totally legal.
So stop and frisk is constitutional, but it hasn’t been proven to be effective in stopping violence related crime.
The presidential election is going to be close this year, maybe too close. The selection for this year’s democratic candidates really comes down to two, Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hilary
Clinton is currently leading in the polls, but not by much, Sanders is close behind and rising. Many believe that Hillary Clinton changes her perspective to in turn be more favorable in the eyes of the voter, but Bernie Sanders has had the same political views for over 50 years and now it is finally paying off. Sanders got an immense amount of support when he explained what democratic socialism really is, many people think of labor camps when they think of socialism, but Sanders idea of socialism is quite different. Analyzing data in recent polls, the majority of Americans think that Hilary Clinton is not a trustworthy candidate for president, yet data shows that many people think that she is going to win the election. If you are interested in the two top democratic candidates and their campaigns, political past, and their stance on the issues, then I recommend that you on.
There are many fundamental differences between Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton, the first being that Hilary has plans to raise money from the big banks and Wall Street, while Bernie plans to tear them down. Bernie Sanders believes that an imbalance of wealth as severe as it is now in America is a fundamental flaw in our society. Equal rights for all is a very big issue at the moment, especially concerning gay rights for all citizens and the legalizing gay marriage. In 2002 in an MSNBC interview Hilary said that she didn’t think that New York should recognize gay marriage. Also in 2002 she went on the O’Reilly factor and said that she is against gay marriage. Ever since Bernie Sanders began his political career, he has been consistently in favor of gay rights for all and legalizing gay marriage. In Sander’s 2016 presidential race, he has refused to accept money from large corporations, big banks, wealthy individuals, and any money through super PACs, unlike Sanders, Hilary Clinton has raised a lot money through super PACs and accepted millions through donations from corporations and wealthy individuals. Bernie believes that when you have candidates that accept these enormous amount of money from extremely large companies and billionaire donors, it limits the influence that every American citizen has on choosing the next president of the United States. Clinton has raised the most so far with $76 million and has already spent $43 million. Sanders has raised the second most with $40 million and is the only candidate that has spent less than half of his campaign finances.
There are many issues where Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agree, they both support the nuclear deal with Iran and have similar
views as president Obama. Clinton and Sanders are both against the Iran war and as a senator, Bernie voted against the war. Both of these top democratic candidates also have similar views on climate change, just different ways of approaching it. Sanders wants to put a tax on carbon and methane emissions so that companies will go green, but Clinton wants to have the country producing 33% of its electricity through renewable energy by the year 2027. Both of them have very similar views on immigration reform as to lead millions of undocumented workers to a path of citizenship. Sanders has a strong stance on income inequality and he wants to tax the rich and make corporations pay their fair share of taxes and of course raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, while Hilary wants to approach it in a manner that is less intense and only raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and not tax the corporations and the wealthy as heavily. On health care both democrats believe that universal health care is the way to go, Bernie believes that a single payer health care system is the right thing for this country (every majorly developed country has single payer health care), but Hilary thinks that expanding on Obamacare and improving the Affordable Care Act is what this country needs. When it comes to social security they are both interested in protecting it from the republican attacks, but Bernie wants to take it a little farther by making it so the people who make over $250,000 a year pay the same percentage of their income to social security as everyone else. When it comes to making jobs for the country, Sanders speaks loud and clear when he says that he is serious about investing 1 trillion dollars over the course of 5 years into creating and maintaining 13 million jobs, but Hilary wants to create a national infrastructure banks so that money can be made to increase funding for scientific research and grow small businesses. Both candidates strongly support equal gender pay, Clinton embraces the fact that she will be the country’s first female president and makes women’s issues a large part of her campaign, but Sanders is also very progressive on the issue and as president guarantees affordable child care and paid family leave. Criminal justice reform is also a big priority for both candidates, and sole heartedly agree that taking down the private prison industry, ending the war on drugs, and enforcing smart decisions with our police officers. When it comes to gun violence it is Hilary who dominates by making it one of the main pillars of her campaign, Sanders struggles on this issue but plans to make some little changes, like increased background checks. Unlike gun violence, when it comes to College, Sanders rules the stage, because he plans on making all public college tuition free and paying for it through a tax on all Wall Street trades, and Hilary just wants to lower interest rates on student loans and make some community colleges tuition free. When it comes to international trade there is a difference in opinion, Clinton supported the passing of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) but just recently she reversed her position on both agreements and is now against them, but Sanders has always been against trade agreements because it hurts US workers and farmers in the US, central America, and Mexico. Finally, when it comes to campaign finance reform, Bernie and Hilary have very similar views, both of them believe that making elections publically financed will be beneficial because it would reduce the high influence the wealthy has over the political arena, and also this would make the honest and good hearted more inclined to run for office because they don’t have competition from dirty and influenced candidates that can overpower them with money.
If you enjoyed learning about the candidates, and what they stand for, then I recommend that you answer the poll at the end of the article and choose which political candidate you think should win the presidential election, if any.