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POLITICS

Opinion Editorial: Trump and Feminism

By: Mimi L. ('19)

Walking onto the steps of Lincoln Memorial on a bright Saturday afternoon, I took in the scene before me. Thousands of women and men present were decked out in pink hats, bearing critical and comedic signs in their clammy palms. Upon entering, I was filled with a sort of excitement that comes with civil disobedience. Throughout the day, perhaps the most interesting part of the protest to me was the number of Anti-Trump signs, speeches, and chants. Going into the march, I knew that people involved would be more liberal than not. (Liberalism is, historically, more supportive of civil liberties than another political party).  In addition, I can see the correlation between anti-Trump sentiments and the empowerment of women’s rights. Trump, at this State of the Union address, neglected to mention one of the largest women’s rights movements of recent years: The #MeToo Movement. Not to mention that he has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women, and, earlier this year, was caught on tape saying things that condoned and encouraged sexual assault. It makes me just as mad as the next feminist. Seeing that much disdain at the March geared towards one man made me wonder, though, will the spark of change still remain ablaze in the Post-Trump Era?  

 

To many, Trump has more than a few undesirable policies. What I worry, though, is that we’ve let him become the antagonist to the feminist movement, and have forgotten who the protagonists are. We spent more time hating Trump at that rally than we did actually discussing where the movement is headed in the future. Feminism is far more complex and important than just one man— it’s a movement that has sparked inspiration in the hearts of millions. It’s spanned continents and generations and it’s changed lives. In first wave feminism, feminists fought for suffrage rights. In second, the spectrum was broadened into a range of issues. In the third, the movement has taken more of a move towards embracing diversity and individualism. Where the movement goes, I believe, is up to each and every feminist of our generation.

 

In Biology, we learned there are two “loops” in order to maintain homeostasis in the human body – negative feedback loops and positive feedback loops. Negative feedback loops only react when something has gone wrong in the body. Positive feedback loops are proponents of themselves; they work towards a goal before anything has gone awry. Now, in order for feminism to have begun, there obviously had to have been something go wrong to begin with. Namely, the oppression of women for centuries, including during each of our own lifetimes. That being said, I think the movement itself needs to become a positive feedback loop. No matter the circumstance, or the president, there needs to be positive momentum towards progress—not negative energy towards one man. 

Media’s Affect On Political Instability

By: Brenden S ('19)

The state of modern media is one in which everything has become politicized, and I would argue this is for the worse. From Donald Trump to pro athletes and everyone in between, the idea of “fake news” has become an excuse for the constant scapegoating of journalists everywhere.  This politicization has grown in recent years as the differences between rival news organizations has grown. Subsequently, each organizations has leaned more extremely to the left or the right sides of the political spectrums.  My goal in this editorial is to promote the idea of listening to all news to gain an understanding of all sides of the political spectrum, and to explain the inherent controversy that comes in the journalism business.

 

Many express hope that the disparity in the current US political spectrum will narrow and empower moderates to help create a more productive congress; however, those who try to open their minds to both sides of this spectrum are subject to beratement.  I want to establish a difference between agreeing with a view, and following a view such as to learn about the beliefs of said group.  The hardest part of this process will most definitely be trying to justify the opinions of those you disagree with, but in accomplishing this objective one will gain a degree of respect for others necessary for making progress.  Progress has become increasingly difficult because people no longer understand that political views are only one aspect of an individual.  Oftentimes, we forgot that people have way more in common than we might realize.  These establishments are the crux of society’s issues, and changing the approach towards respect will help change the disparity between the political spectrum. 

 

The difficulty comes in the fact that, in the age of media, nothing is private. An example of this is the recent beratement of American tennis player, Tennys Sandgren, at the Australian Open.  He became a controversial figure just because he followed an Alt-Right twitter account; yet, the beauty of our country is the ability to practice your own beliefs under the law.  Such is the risk with trying to go against the grain of our current culture.  Similarly, the media has become increasingly blamed for the growing animosity between the right and left, and while this may seem like the truth on the surface, one can attribute this belief to the lack of diversity in news as the catalyst for these accusations.

 

Journalism can be one of the most immoral occupations, and many times these journalists, especially broadcasters, have essentially become actors.  Samuel Johnson best described the dilemma of the press by stating, “The liberty of the press is a blessing when we are inclined to write against others, and a calamity when we find ourselves overborne by the multitude of our assailants.”  Part of humanity is the ability to have different opinions, but in journalism it is possible to be biased. Today’s world has blended the difference between bias and fact; all reporting whether from CNN or Fox is true, making the idea of “fake news” a misnomer.  This misnomer has divided our society, and comes as a reality of journalism, as no matter how good you may be, someone will always disagree with you. Without media their would be less divisiveness; yet without media their also would be no progress because the hard conversations brought about by media allows for a global consciousness.

Politics at Country Day

By: AJ C ('21)

The last year in American and global politics has been a tumultuous one. With a president who has disapproval ratings like none other seen before and a government split in two, it is just to be confused about which political route to go. In these developing years filled with high school drama, it can be difficult to pin point your views on certain topics, especially those that have been of immediate attention. For example, the current debate on gun laws recently took a sudden turn after students at Stoneman Douglas High School decided to make their voices heard on the topic. This is a news story that has been of pressing regard as of recent and most likely has come up -if not at school than at home or in some other setting. However, this is assuming that most students at Charlotte Country Day School have not developed their political views and opinions, which is simply not the case. Go to any one DAF forum and you can clearly observe a piece of the Country Day political spectrum that may grab your attention. In this day and age it is of upmost importance that everyone, no matter what their political view or opinion is, express it in some way as to conduct in intelligible and constructive debate or conversation. This could mean going to a DAF forum to learn about another political or even social view that may contradict the one already engrained in your head. This could mean going to a MUN club meeting to hear members speak and express their multitude of opinions that would most certainly spark a conversation that may change your mind about a topic, no matter what it may be. Democrat, Republican, liberal, or conservative, it does not matter what you believe in, I urge you to extend your hand to the other side. There is no one right view on politics at Country Day, and only once you are willing to accept other opinions will change will truly occur. 

Parkland

By: S Kruupa ('19-'20)

It snowed the morning we stood for Parkland. By the time we were huddled, close enough to lock arms, the sun shone bright, and the sky, a soft blue, matched the apparent orange in the crowd. Yet, I couldn't help but to notice the persisting drone of construction, the unflinching airplanes, zooming through the sky, scorching it with their jet streaks.

 It’s been exactly a month since 17 people, students and teachers alike, were killed in a school shooting in Parkland Florida. And on Wednesday morning, students and teachers at Charlotte Country Day school, chose not to forget them, standing for seventeen minutes as the names of the victims were announced over the hum of machines.

Alyssa Alhadeff was a soccer stud. At 14 years old, her competitive aggression on the field matched that of even the oldest players on the field. She had a bright future in the sport. At 17 years old, Joaquin Oliver received his official citizenship last year. His favorite artist was Frank Ocean. He hung a picture of the artist on his bedroom wall, and flowers from the singer lay next to his grave. Aaron Feis, was the assistant football coach at Parkland high school. He was known for sending funny memes to help his players get through their day. Feis was last observed running towards the sound of gunshots, throwing himself in front of bullets to protect his students. There are more stories. More individuals. Each heartbreakingly relatable in their humanity.

I can’t help but think these names will be forgotten, that the country will move on, just as the construction and airplanes did. But then again, why would everything stop? Is this any different from the death occurring every day?

It is different. It’s different not just because it's gruesome and malevolent. It’s different because most of all, it’s avoidable.

So, who’s to blame? It is the arbitrary and unsympathetic weapons? Is it the people who endorse and supply these weapons to the public, often without reputable discrimination? Is it the mentally ill? Or our founding fathers, for their vague descriptions and inability to foresee the far impacts of the future? And even once the culprits are revealed, what’s to be done? Will voting the idle out of office ever become a priority? Will funding to gun corporations be withdrawn? Will the constitution be rewritten?

 I’m afraid I don’t have all the answers, nor would I want to write about them if I thought I did, because I realize my power isn't choosing change, it’s causing it. I’m writing this because I remember what happened to my peers thousands of miles away. The psychic numbing of the reality that we live in a country where school shootings occur has not dawned on me. And for those who have let this reality set, I plead to you: realize that this tragedy happened to individuals, not to distant statistics, but to actual living people, each with their own story filled with human life, with experiences just like mine and just like yours, your classmate’s, your friend’s, your family member’s. Do not numb yourself to this reality. Do not turn the television station when the next headline appears. Do not be a passing plane, or the distancing hum of machinery. Once people realize they can cause change instead of waiting for the next victims to be described to them, there will be only action. But until then, demand it; talk, stand, march. We owe it to those people whose stories were ended prematurely. We owe it to each other.

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