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Language is important to communicate our thoughts, ideas, inspire actions and more. We have the responsibility to choose our words as we choose our actions, a lesson that President Donald J. Trump has yet to learn. Despite the freedoms bestowed upon us by the First Amendment, our words have consequences. The phrase "Language Matters" is something we have heard throughout our lives to remind ourselves that the words we use are important during our interactions. For this reason, it is crucial for us to learn languages other than English to communicate with different people in our globalized world. One such language is Arabic.
If the voting public learned one thing from the 2016 Democratic Primary, it was that the Democrats are rarely ever neutral when it comes to selecting who will be at the top of their ticket. The 2017 race for governor of New Jersey is turning out to be no exception. Unlike in the Democratic National Committee, the New Jersey State Democratic Party Chair John Currie — the local equivalent of former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz — is allowed to endorse a candidate, and he has. Along with all of New Jersey's chairs of 21 Democratic county parties, New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chair John Currie fell in line several months ago behind former Goldman Sachs Executive and DNC Finance Chair Philip D. Murphy: He is a multi-millionaire from Boston who has given more money to state Democrats (including Currie) than any other individual for several years running. Last summer, he declared his candidacy and loaned his campaign $10 million from his own personal fortune. This influx of easy cash has translated to a formidable campaign, and he has quickly become the establishment pick for governor.
On March 1, the front page of The Daily Targum featured an article pointing out the similarities between a Rutgers Conservative Union flyer and one circulated by the American Vanguard, a white supremacy group. Two weeks ago, American Vanguard posted a flyer that read “Imagine A Muslim Free America” on the front of the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on Busch campus. The article features a quote from Dylan Marek, a constituent of the RCU, who claims that the writing on the flyer was his own, despite the fact that American Vanguard posted an almost identical version more than two months prior to Marek’s own advocacy.
In his most recent and final State of the State Address on Jan. 10, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) focused on the opioid epidemic that plagues our state and many others. The issue is very close to Christie’s heart, as he personally has lost friends to opioid addiction and seen many others struggle through addiction and survive. He has decided as of Feb. 8 that during his last year in office, he will launch a $1 million anti-addiction public awareness campaign targeting New Jersey’s youth through the use of advertisements in television and other media. While combating opioid abuse is an issue for which Christie definitely deserves bipartisan support, it is questionable whether his prescribed course of action is enough to deal with the extremely complicated issue of opioid abuse. Public awareness by itself is not going to prevent drug addiction or to treat those who are already addicted.
This a response to Ashley Wang’s article, “ America must practice political tolerance,” which should have been titled “America must tolerate racism (or at least the threat of it).”
The infamous presidential election of 2016 is finally over but opposition, pushback and acts of civil disobedience toward President Donald J. Trump’s policies from progressives and liberals will continue to be relentless. Many of the looming implications and feelings of uncertainty have worsened in communities across America. Millions of average working-class Americans, immigrants, women, environmentalists, social justice activists and members of marginalized groups are ready and willing to stand up in opposition to Trump all while members of the corporate Democratic Party establishment have been telling everyone that it was Russian interference, fake news and lack of campaigning in certain states that caused Trump's securement of the presidency. Yes, these factors did play minor roles in assuring Trump’s victory, but they are primarily just scapegoats to avoid talking about why Democrats really were defeated in House, Senate and gubernatorial elections across the country. Corporate Democrats refuse to fight for real progressive economic change and continue to listen to their campaign donors instead of the people. Justice Democrats seek to replace them.
A recent invitation to participate in a roundtable discussion at the Fall Undergraduate Conference at my alma mater, Rutgers University, gave me an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of failure.
I have taken a lot of time to think about the results of this election and the implications that it has for me, my family, many of my friends and the members of this nation. In the wake of most elections, it has been the norm to accept the winner of the election and move on. Despite all the rallying, protests, campaigning, etc., people are typically able to accept the defeat of their candidate and put their support behind the newly elected president. Is it hard? For sure, but there is usually a mutual understanding that the newly elected president will do good (or at least no harm) for the country.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was a junior living on Morrell Street and working at The Daily Targum. I awoke to my find my roommate staring at the Twin Towers imploding on television. Outside, roars from F-15 fighter jets screamed across the perfectly blue sky. Television was my salvation. For weeks on end I obsessed over al-Qaeda, Islamic extremism and the perfect military response. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was changing. My belief system and worldview began to calcify. To disagree with me no longer meant you had an opinion that differed from mine, but simply that you were wrong and you were stupid for not knowing you were wrong. Why didn’t you know that invading Iraq made perfect sense? That no one could ever get intelligence gathering wrong? Fifteen years later, 9/11 taught me that we’re wrong about what we think we “know” and that we should operate on that assumption. The experts who could have never imagined it were wrong. The experts who said they knew how to respond were wrong. The experts who said they knew just how to fight this were wrong. All of them, including me, wrong. Which brings me to Donald Trump.
A populist fever has swept the nation — or so we’ve been told.
I am shocked, but not surprised, that Donald J. Trump is now our President-elect. It was my neighbors and friends who put him there, though I am sure many people here at Rutgers who didn’t grow up in a dying, rural, majority white town are indeed shocked to discover that a majority of their fellow citizens could possibly think he could be a good president.
My stomach was churning watching the polls with some of my friends — Christians, Jews and a Muslim. We all came in with our homework and sugary, caffeinated beverages so that we could be academically productive whilst awaiting the fate of our nation. The general consensus was that Hillary was going to win the electoral vote, but we all had that subconscious fear, that “if” factor. Votes were slowly coming in … I had this light-headedness about me as the minutes went by. It only got worse. We left the room at about 1 a.m. with our heads low and our hearts heavy.
I want you to picture a sports reporter in your head. It could be a familiar face or one that you just imagine.
As a 19-year-old first-year student, perhaps I do not have the qualifications to merit a serious argument on political ideologies. Many times I believed myself to have a flawless argument in a particular field of philosophy, only for it to be struck down simply when I presented it from a perspective I failed to consider. Thus, I became determined to consider all possible perspectives before presenting any of my future arguments, and indeed, I noticed how weak many of my arguments were. Yet, one of my arguments has repeatedly stood out, no matter how much scrutiny I subject it to: The defective nature of conservatism.
As the 2016 presidential election continues to develop, I continue to lose sight of the political system I thought I knew. As a member of the youngest generation of voters, I find myself very excited by this turbulent presidential cycle, as do many of my peers. Sadly, this excitement comes at a price. Quite honestly, one year ago, I would have laughed off the notion that Donald Trump could be the Republican nominee, but ... here we are.
Over the years, our society has turned a lack of political knowledge and understanding in our country into an acceptable norm. Policies, laws, governmental processes that people in the past fought to construct throughout their lives to make this country a symbol of freedom and power go completely unnoticed by the vast majority of Americans. We have blindly given up the power that our nation’s democracy gives us. We have lost the value of educating ourselves about the governmental processes of our country. A survey done by The Washington Post in 2014 finds that only 36 percent of Americans can name the three branches of the government, and an even smaller number of them understand the powers that each of the branches have. Citizen involvement in our government has been decreasing aggressively. In the New Jersey primary on June 8, for example, the voter turnout rate was only 8.2 percent. These statistics prove how disconnected from the political world the American public has been. However, the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on September 26, was the most watched debate in the history of the country with 84 million viewers.
With less than two weeks left until Election Day, stakes are high for both the presidential candidates and their parties. Despite an established reputation as unreliable voters, youths make up a growing and crucial bloc with the power to shape the upcoming election, as previous generations shaped theirs. The millennial generation, which consists of residents of the United States born after about 1980, now outnumbers previous generations, like the Baby Boomer generation, at a staggering population of about 76 million. But, many still feel they are too far from the center of politics to create an impact.
I want to put the apathetic non-voters under the microscope.
To the Editor:
Community is a word that gives us a sense of comfort and belonging. A community is not only a group of human beings, but also the bird that sings in our backyard, the cat that meows on the couch and the dog that waits for you to come back home.