LORENZEN | Political Debate Fatigue

There was a time when I loved to debate about politics. Whether it was making idealistic points like a low-budget Aaron Sorkin wannabe while dressed to the nines as a high school debater, casually arguing with friends while eating Louie’s well past midnight or participating in the web of countless cordial and sometimes less than cordial debates which make up Cornell’s political discourse — I loved it all. But these days, I’m not sure that I still do. And I don’t think I’m alone in that feeling. I am still fervently dedicated to politics.

LORENZEN | The Biden Era Calls for Us to Act in Good Faith, Not Blind Faith

In the aftermath of President-Elect Biden fulfilling his oft cited campaign promise to beat Trump “like a drum” in the 2020 election, there has been an outpouring of rhetoric from the political middle for unity — a term which has grown increasingly difficult to be uttered unsarcastically in recent years of American political life. Biden himself has thus far stayed true to his desire to “lower the temperature” amidst appointments of qualified, long time civil servants to cabinet positions (doesn’t that just give you goosebumps?) and his recent Thanksgiving address in which he called for Americans “to put away the harsh rhetoric” and “give each other a chance.” 

These calls to action are responsible, prudent action in this brutally polarized time. To call it responsible and prudent sounds like rather bland praise, but in juxtaposition to our current president’s brand of reckless authoritarianism, it’s actually the most deeply adoring praise I can write. Yet as the glow gradually fades from the realization we have finally restored a person who actually takes the custodianship of our democracy seriously, we are left with a profoundly difficult question posed to each of us as individuals: How do we “give each other a chance”? 

Centrists in both parties have made their strategy clear through a steady deluge of op-eds calling for Biden to act during these crisis stricken times with restraint and bipartisanship — a strategy which may sound familiar to anyone who has ever attempted to put out a raging fire with an empty fire extinguisher. Progressives receive this refrain with a groan, describing the notion that a potential McConnell led Senate will be even mildly cooperative as laughable and casting an eye back to what they deem as the failures of the Obama administration in its various legislative compromises: failures which eventually led to the efficacy of Trump’s nativist, populist message in 2016.

A Divided House Debates BDS at Student Assembly Meeting

The Student Assembly convened Thursday for a public forum on a resolution for the boycott, divest and sanction movement on campus. Community members voiced often emotional opinions on the pro-divestment Resolution 36 and delivered pointed appeals toward S.A. members in a packed room. Several supporters of the resolution wielded large signs with slogans such as “Cornell has blood on its hands” and “Our tuition is funding oppression.”

The resolution, which calls upon Cornell to “divest from companies participating in the human rights violations in the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” was introduced by co-sponsors Max Greenberg ’22 and Mahfuza Shovik ’19 — S.A. representative for the College of Engineering —  as well as leaders from Students for Justice in Palestine Adam Khatib ’20 and Omar Din ’19, who is also S.A. representative for the College of Human Ecology. BDS has commanded the spotlight in the Student Assembly this semester, emerging as a major focus of S.A. presidential debates and assembly meetings, The Sun previously reported. At last week’s S.A. meeting, controversy erupted over allegations that supporters of the resolution had tried to force an early private vote, culminating in what observers called “Islamaphobic” comments.