Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a new dueling columns feature. In our very first feature, Michael Johns ’20 and Giancarlo Valdetaro ’21 debate, “How have the stakes of American politics risen so high?” Read the counterpart column here. In his State of the Union address last week, President Trump extended an invitation to members of Congress to set aside their differences and begin to work collaboratively — not on their respective Republican or Democratic agendas, but on “the agenda of the American people.”
“Many of us,” he argued, “campaigned on the same core promises: to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers; to rebuild and revitalize our Nation’s infrastructure; to reduce the price of healthcare and prescription drugs; to create an immigration system that is safe, lawful, modern and secure; and to pursue a foreign policy that puts America’s interests first.”
It is an important message, and yet one that sadly is poised to be ignored. Congress, for at least a decade now, has been entrenched in bitter, dysfunctional partisanship where success or failure is measured solely by political victory. In pursuit of this end, the well-being of the nation has too often become little more than a tertiary concern.
Jeff Sachs, current senior United Nations advisor to the Secretary-General, told The Sun that he will focus his talk on “the threats posed to American democracy by Donald Trump, big money in politics and America’s unending foreign wars.”
Prof. Paul Pierson, political science professor from University of California at Berkeley, rapped a modern day “Hamilton” verse in the first of the six lecture long “Difficulty of Democracy” series on Friday.
Even if Catalonia achieved independence after its referendum, experts on the issue said at a lecture Wednesday that corruption would be difficult to stamp out, making a stable democracy unlikely in the autonomous region.
Soon, I will leave Ithaca. Accordingly, this column is the end of my time at The Sun. So I ask you to forgive me as this graduating Democrat takes a moment to reflect upon his values and his four years on Cornell’s campus. When I started my freshman year, I was already a progressive who kept a close eye on politics. I didn’t quite need the stereotypical college experience of “awakening” to the world around me.
Look how the Democrats handled the past election. Ever since Obama was elected president, they have been pushing the same Hillary 2016 agenda. There was never any choice in the matter, after Obama we were to have Clinton. End of discussion. The DNC actively worked against the Sanders campaign when he threatened to take away the nomination from Clinton and promote actual progressivism to the party.
Alas, the Big Apple is finally a political epicenter in national politics. Given a prolonged Democratic race that few foresaw mere months ago, along with the potential for a contested convention on the Republican side, New York finds itself playing host to scrambling candidates grasping to secure delegates. Though Manhattan typically provides substance for a national media, it is the surrounding countryside that the candidates have crisscrossed the state to reach. If you’ve happened upon Republican front-runner Donald Trump (R?) or insurgent Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Upstate area over the past weeks, chances are you’ve heard about how the elites and/or wealthy have corrupted and perverted our supposed democratic nominating system. Take Trump in reference to a would-be contested contention, “But I will say this: It’s a rigged system.