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JOHNS | Reining In Iran’s Brutal Regime

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a new dueling columns feature. In this feature, Michael Johns ’20 and Giancarlo Valdetaro ’21 debate, “Forty years after the Iranian Revolution, what posture should the U.S. take on the Islamic Republic?” Read the counterpart column here. An unidentified man was publicly hanged in the Iranian city of Kazeroon last month, one of thousands of Iranians executed on charges of homosexuality in the country since its 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran’s despotic legal system and practice of secret executions make it easy to underestimate the magnitude of Iran’s human rights abuses, which also have targeted political opponents and religious minorities. Yet, while numbers are hard to come by, human rights experts are nearly unanimous in placing Iran among the world’s worst human rights violators.

SWAN | Dismantling the Mainstream

When I wrote that column, I seemed convinced that hypermasculinity as it pervaded the identities of men everywhere, but particularly in the United States, had eroded and almost ceased to exist.

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.

Rev. Steve Felker, of Ithaca, holds out an "I Voted" sticker at the polling place at Alice Cook House last year.

JEONG | The Symbolic Redemption of Voting

Growing up, my local library in tiny Leonia, N.J. carried this collection of biographies called “Childhood of Famous Americans.” Every weekend, I would go to the library with my mom and brother, and carefully select my famous American of choice, be it Walt Disney or Franklin Roosevelt. As an immigrant kid, reading these books gave me a sense of normalcy — knowing that if I worked hard and was kind, that I, too, could be like JFK or Joe DiMaggio. At the time, I was too young to understand the complications that came with being a minority and blissfully oblivious of the fact that I would turn out to be of underwhelming build and unathletic ability. The only thing of substance that grounded me was this idea that, in America, I would have as fair a shot as any other kid at success. America is an idea. We are taught that this idea was what won us the Revolutionary War and all the other wars for that matter.