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CHANG | The Liberal Microcosm Won’t Solve Itself

Former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton directed an unsavory comment at Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-H.I.) last Thursday, saying that the Russians were “grooming” a Democratic candidate for president. This baseless name-calling is not only divisive but also unnecessary. As Cornellians gearing up for campus debates on the 2019 election and the 2020 presidential election, we should take note. The evidence Clinton used to support her already hard-to-believe claim about Gabbard on a segment of the podcast “Campaign HQ” was porous. Apparently, “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far,” she said.

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CHANG | Authoritarianism Close to Home

The violence and protests in Hong Kong to free the city from China’s grasp escalated to a new point this weekend. Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam invoked a British colonial-era emergency law that banned masks at public gatherings with a maximum penalty of one year in prison for wearing one. Masks have been frequently worn by protestors to hide their identities, and banning them is the first step in an increasingly heavy-handed government response. The situation has become unavoidable for citizens of Hong Kong, and many Cornellians have families involved or affected by the protests. The efficient subway shut down as an emergency measure to disrupt protests over the mask ban.

darren

CHANG | After Protests, Policy

The political climate in Ithaca this past week has been characterized by protests. On Friday, about 50 Ithacans gathered in front of Tompkins County Courthouse to support Rose de Groat and Cadji Ferguson over a controversial arrest in April. On campus, hundreds of Cornellians marched for action on climate change, calling for reforms such as the Green New Deal and divestment from fossil fuels. These protests are important to change the political lens on our campus. They can inform students and Ithacans about the problems in our community and lead to sustained conversations about the response.

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CHANG | Sunny Memes

Seeing Sun memes and Facebook comment threads about the work I and other columnists have produced is my guilty pleasure. I love setting the sort method to “All Comments” and methodically plugging through all the replies: Good discourse, illogical arguments and trolls’ messages all the same. The comments typically come from all sides of the political spectrum, alumni, current students and even members of the public who find it a good use of their time to crawl the Facebook page of a college newspaper. But what are our responsibilities as Cornellians and Sun readers to promote dialogue on this campus? And, how can Sunnies improve our work by responding to these comments — vitriolic or otherwise?

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CHANG | Capitalism Is Worth It

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of The Sun’s dueling columns feature. In this feature, Darren Chang ’21 and Jade Pinero ’19 debate, “Is capitalism good?” Read the counterpart column here. Today, fewer than half of young Americans support capitalism. It’s a sympathetic statistic, since young adults’ conception of the economy has been irrevocably shaped by the Great Recession, unequal wealth distribution and poor wage growth. Yet, while capitalism may not be perfect, it’s worth keeping and fixing because of the prosperity it has wrought.

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CHANG | Don’t Ever Forget the Mueller Report

For decades to come, we’ll remember April 18 as a day of infamy: the day that the Mueller report dropped. The Mueller report will be memorialized for being as important to American political history as Watergate and as shocking as the Lewinsky-Clinton scandal. Just kidding. In a few months — and definitely by the 2020 election — I doubt anyone is going to care. But it shouldn’t be that way.

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CHANG | I’m Exhausted by Politics

Maybe Jean Baudrillard was right, and the system is accelerating toward implosion. Information in the 21st century is easily dispersed and produced, but at what cost? I’m a long-time politics junkie, binging political information like new episodes of a TV show. But I kept this spring break relatively information-free, and it has done wonders for my stress levels and mental health. Instead of keeping up with hour-by-hour updates, I limited myself to skimming the occasional article and glancing at news notifications.

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CHANG | Identity Politics Is an Absolute Necessity

A friend recently told me that they didn’t think white supremacy was a large or hegemonic problem anymore. While I don’t deny that there have been material changes, like repealing the Chinese Exclusion Act with the Magnuson Act in 1943 or passing the Civil Rights Act in 1964, white supremacy undoubtedly exists both in our international and interpersonal communities. We can’t allow it to fester. On March 15, a 28-year-old man opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 and injuring at least 48 others. The shooter’s 74-page explanation of his motivation and 17-minute video of the shooting clue us into the horror of such violence and the justification for it.

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CHANG | A Permanent Emergency

The non-emergency national emergency that President Trump declared on Feb. 15 was a thinly veiled ploy to get funding for his border wall, despite lacking congressional approval. But to hold Trump’s expansive use of emergency powers as exceptional would be ahistorical. Presidents from Nixon to Truman have utilized emergency powers for their own agendas, and a litany of political theorists like Giorgio Agamben think these states of exception are inherent and inevitable to democratic societies. But we must resist this move towards unchecked executive authority.

darren

CHANG | The Slippery Slope to Anti-Semitism

Last Sunday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in her flippant criticism of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s control over U.S. foreign policy on Israel. She has since been in hot water for her anti-Israel stance and anti-Semitic tweets, which buy into the long-standing trope of Jewish corruption and Jewish money in politics. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the entire Democratic House leadership condemned her comments and President Trump called for Omar’s resignation. Omar apologized on the same day, again via Twitter. But the hullabaloo over her stance on Israel is just beginning.