This past summer, I went to see Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk. Set during the 1940 evacuation of British troops on the beaches of northern France, Dunkirk is a remarkably powerful story of how a group of teenage British soldiers managed to survive the Nazi war machine. What struck me throughout the movie was not the film’s gripping plot and brilliant cinematography, but rather how relevant the film is to today’s world. With just one wrong move, the world’s youth could once again be called upon to fight wars caused by deranged madmen. The times in which we live are indeed frightening.
The right to freedom of speech is the hallmark of the American democratic experiment. The United States was the first nation to guarantee an individual’s right to speak freely and openly about one’s thoughts and ideas. It was, and remains, a radical concept. Today, speech is constantly restricted — even in the most democratic of societies. And it appears as if the restrictions that chain free speech are beginning to wash upon our shores as well.
Donald John Trump is, undoubtedly, the worst president since James Buchanan (our 15th president, whose lack of leadership launched this nation into the depths of the Civil War). His racism, misogyny and egoism define him as one of the most despicable and vile human beings on the face of the planet. But even more unsettling, his erratic and chaotic management style, combined with his complete and utter incompetence, render him as one of the greatest threats to the American democratic experiment in the modern era. This past summer unveiled to the public the true nature of our president: a white nationalist, women-hating, insecure bully with a lack of understanding of even the most basic aspects of foreign affairs, economics and the administrative state. Trump is a dangerously toxic cocktail of evil and sheer stupidity.
In the next couple of weeks, the peoples of France and the United Kingdom will make important decisions regarding the future of their respective nations and of Europe as a whole. In France, the people face a presidential choice between a centrist, relatively inexperienced moderate and a highly controversial, far-right nationalist. In Britain, the people must choose between the pragmatic, centrist incumbent Prime Minister and a far-left socialist.
From a strategic standpoint, I understand Obama’s reluctance to intervene in the conflict. There is little appetite in this nation for another Middle Eastern war, as our conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, alongside the global War on Terror, have taken their toll. Furthermore, there are many within the foreign relations establishment that are wary of the United States removing another Middle Eastern strongman.
For those who claim that Trump will protect “Christian America,” I must say that I strongly disagree with you. A Christian America is an America in which its people strive to live the commandments of Christ. We have already seen that Trump does not come close to living by Christ’s commands –– so how can one say that Trump is protecting “Christian America” when he actively opposes everything Christianity stands for?
The Trump Administration has bungled almost every major administrative task and duty since Inauguration Day. From Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts,” to Sean Spicer’s 1984-esque news conferences, to Michael Flynn’s resignation, to Jeff Sessions’ Russia connection, to the president’s many deranged and lunatic comments (see Obama wiretapping and fraudulent voter claims), the last two months seem to be straight out of an episode of “Looney Tunes.” As a Republican, I am ashamed that my party willing stands behind a man who so vehemently opposes fundamental American values such as freedom of the press, transparency and freedom of thought. As an American, I am embarrassed that Trump’s lunacy dominates the headlines of foreign newspapers and endangers the global perception of our nation. Yet despite the endless stream of scandals and dysfunction, the president has made one very good call during his brief time in the White House: nominating Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. First, and foremost, Judge Gorsuch is, without question, extremely qualified to serve on the Court.
In my last column, I discussed how the federal government should take steps on an international level to help grow the tech industry. I firmly believe that Silicon Valley represents the height of American entrepreneurship, ingenuity and creativity –– and the government must take every step possible to ensure that the tech world’s potential is fully realized. In this article, I want to look at what the government can do on a more domestic level to help expand Silicon Valley and the rest of America’s booming technology sector. Perhaps the most important step forward for Silicon Valley is a radical change in our secondary education system. For there to be a massive expansion in the tech industry, students across the nation must receive a highly robust education that fosters a love and intellectual curiosity for science, technology, engineering and math.
Silicon Valley is quickly becoming the beating heart of the American economy. The American tech industry is rapidly developing the capacity to touch the economic, social and political infrastructure of every major nation across the globe. The immense potential contained by Silicon Valley demands that government create an environment in which the tech industry can grow. This article is the first in a two-part series in which I will look at the steps the federal government should take to help foster growth in America’s rapidly expanding technology base. Before delving into the specific policy actions the government should implement, I want to emphasize one major point: Silicon Valley is good.
The American tax code is one of the most complex and byzantine bureaucratic structures in the federal government. The tax code currently stands at an eye-popping 9,000 pages and is often considered the most complex system of its kind in the world. To even remotely understand the inner workings of the nation’s tax system requires years of education and training –– making it all but impossible for the average American to comprehend how their taxes are calculated and spent. The sheer size of the nation’s tax code is a hindrance to both greater financial equality and economic prosperity. In terms of income taxes, the nation operates on a “progressive tax” system –– the more money you make, the higher the percentage of your income goes to Uncle Sam.