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VALDETARO | The Political Stakes Are Always High

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. As the rhetoric of both parties, the power grabs of outgoing Republican administrations, and the recent response of Democratic leaders to scandals in Virginia suggest, these certainly are uncommon political times we are living through. The public is not only increasingly polarized, but also increasingly isolated, as the number of counties close to the median voter has more than halved over the past two decades. And yet, to claim that our current political environment involves abnormally high stakes is to sanitize history.

Polling location at Alice Cook House on November 6th, 2018. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

JOHNS | In House Victory, Democrats Now Owe Us Policy Details and Consensus-Building

As Democrats celebrate taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in a decade, they soon will confront a lesser understood political reality: Campaigning is much easier than governing. Having wrongly convinced some Americans that implementing a single payer healthcare system that has worked nowhere in the world and rolling back tax cuts that have sparked an economic renaissance will benefit them, they are now on the hook to work within a divided federal government to forge consensus and deliver results — or face almost certain political decimation by President Trump in 2020. There was no “blue wave” last evening. There was, instead, a message to the Trump administration that there remain many Americans still hurting in this nation even though every economic metric is pointing upward, including gross domestic product, employment, job creation and finally positive news in the third quarter this year that wages are inching upwards. The damage done to America’s poor and middle class by Obama administration policies cannot be underestimated.

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JOHNS | Promises Kept

This Tuesday, voters across the country will cast ballots for candidates running for a broad number of federal, state and local offices in the United States government, including 435 U.S. House and 35 U.S. Senate seats. This is an important opportunity for Americans to take stock and to evaluate, based on the merits, where the country stands since the last election. At a university like Cornell, most already have their minds made up. The faculty have contributed overwhelmingly to liberal Democrats, and 2018 has proven no different.  The student body, if Sun polls and surveys are any indication, largely subscribe to the same ideology.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | The Santorum Experience, From a Democrat

Re: “Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell,” News, Nov. 23

To the Editor:

Wednesday, I attended the Cornell Republican’s event that brought Rick Santorum to campus, a move criticized in a previous letter due to his “extremist” views. The night promised dialogue concerning our country’s current political climate and future under the next administration. What I experienced instead was wholly different from this mission and will be ingrained in my memory for many years. I am a registered Democrat from New York and have always been liberal, especially on social policies.

DAVIES | The Party of Strife

Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have agreed to coordinate their efforts to prevent Donald Trump from securing the Republican nomination. The Donald’s insightful eye was quick to see this “collusion” for what it was — “DESPERATION!” (his caps). Although one may lament its author’s ineloquence, the truthfulness of the claim is evident. Cruz, despised by the upper echelons of Republican command, may have the upper hand over Kasich, no establishment darling but no firebrand, but their political fortunes are entwined — both have pinned their hopes on a second ballot at the Republican convention in July, a showdown which will come to pass only if they can prevent the Trump juggernaut amassing those hallowed 1,237 pledged delegates. The pact sees Kasich agree to “give the Cruz campaign a clear path in Indiana” and Cruz ceding New Mexico and Oregon.