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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unlike Iran policy, central bank reform or wildlife conservation, health care is a quotidian issue. The cost of premiums and copays are a consistent burden for the 28 percent of working-age adults who are underinsured. The price of prescriptions and hospital visits can’t be ignored without serious effects on economic stability. The future of health care is a hot topic, and it would behoove candidates (presidential, congressional and otherwise) and voters to pay attention. The debate over the state of our health care system has consumed classrooms (shoutout to PAM 2350: the U.S. Healthcare System), dining rooms, the pages of health care and medical journals and the Congressional floor.
Most trade decisions have hidden or understated effects, especially in the short-term. The litany of free trade agreements signed beginning in the 1970s meant very little to voters until recently, when the failure of free trade deals to re-distribute the wealth from international trade flows came to a tipping point. The dual economic threats of offshoring manufacturing jobs to countries with cheaper labor and lack of trade adjustment policies that compensate the losers of free trade resulted in voters’ willingness to support economic nationalism and protectionism. All of this, combined with high executive power over import restrictions and international trade, more generally have allowed President Trump to do what he does best: upset the international order while vaguely fulfilling promises to his base. Tariffs can essentially be viewed as an import tax.
Political journalists aren’t acting responsibly. I think it’s gotten worse since the beginning of President Trump’s term in 2016. The roughly partisan split of journalistic outlets, at least partially hewn by the election of a black president and thrown into sharp relief by backlash to said black president, isn’t backing down. As a result, this sentiment bears repeating: political journalists must adhere to standards that eschew the scoop-based big headline reporting in favor of responsible journalistic practice. On Oct.
2018 was a uniquely momentous year in Asian-American politics. For the first time in a long time, it felt like Asian-Americans were being elected outside of California. In New Jersey’s third congressional district, for example, Democrat and former Obama staffer Andy Kim won over long-time incumbent Tom MacArthur, who engineered the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and is closely aligned with President Trump. Republican Young Kim was poised to be the first Korean-American women in Congress, although the race was just called on Saturday for Democrat Gil Cisneros. Certainly, neither of these examples speak to a paradigmatic shift in the representation or enthusiasm of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in politics.