Last week, The Monitor published “The Inherent Immorality of the Republican Party.” I urge my readers−Democratic, Republican, and otherwise−to look over that article, if they have not already. In it, Evan Weinstein argues that Republicans or at least conservatives “have always been morally deficient.” Unable to comprehend how Republicans can hold views that he feels are morally debased while being seemingly kind and caring, Mr. Weinstein is left puzzled.
Mr. Weinstein and I, and likely many others, agree that President Trump is amoral. The president’s infamously repugnant attitude toward women alone is enough to corrode his moral credibility. It is, however, an unsubstantiated overgeneralization to claim that “Republicans tend to be less friendly and empathetic to those with racial or economic or gender differences.” Such a logical leap seems based more on feeling than serious consideration of Republican or conservative principles.
Brett Kavanaugh’s recent appointment to the Supreme Court makes him the fifth justice who generally believes in Constitutional Originalism. Like its chief theoretical rival, Living Constitutionalism, Originalism has many nuances. Justice Kavanaugh’s understanding of it will by no means always result in the same rulings as Justice Thomas’s. All Originalists, however, consider themselves bound by the meaning of the text.
We usually remember Richard Nixon as the flawed 37th president, responsible for the notorious Watergate scandal. As a result, we often overlook his political successes. Despite his moral opaqueness, Nixon proved to be a shrewd and effective politician, adept in foreign policy, and able to captivate the American people. Going toe to toe with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev on the merits of capitalism might not have been the hallmark of his political life, but it helped gain him notoriety. Nixon’s “Kitchen Debate” with Khrushchev on July 24, 1959 introduced the nation to his talent in foreign affairs and served as a stepping stone in his career.
Flannery O’Connor was a remarkable 20th-century American writer of startling, strange, and sometimes violent short stories and novels set in the rural South. In the last year of her too-short life, she worked between medical treatments and hospitalization, writing and correcting the last draft of “Revelation,” one of her final short stories. It remains a well-crafted masterpiece, the culmination of all she intended to say about the fallen human condition and the power of grace to pierce through the veil and open your eyes to yourself and those around you.
On October 1 of last year, as most Hamilton students were preparing for midterms, civil unrest and violence broke out in Catalonia, the northeastern region of Spain, as a constitutionally illegal referendum shocked one of Europe’s largest countries. The news did not have a big impact in the United States, and understandably so. The Catalan independence referendum occurred on the same day as the worst mass shooting in American history, when Stephen Paddock killed 58 people in Las Vegas. On October 2, many news outlets reported the vote and unrest in Spain, but it took a necessary back seat to a story which news outlets had to cover for the American public. And with that, the Catalonian events soon faded away from America’s attention. I must admit that I too brushed aside the referendum in light of the massacre in Las Vegas.
Hamilton deserves praise for Common Ground, the new series aimed at bringing together distinguished individuals from across the political divide to engage, with the help of a moderator, in civil discussion about some of today’s most controversial topics. Last year, Common Ground focused more on the speakers than on subjects for debate. Hamilton could expand this platform by making ideas, not just the guests, central to it.
As a woman, I am always heartened at the sight of seemingly heroic advocacy groups battling on behalf of women against injustice at the hands of unscrupulous men, whether in the world of business, Hollywood, or politics. Sadly, however, the reality that such valor has nothing to do with truth or standing up for women checks my initial optimism. Too often it is a cynical charade employed as a political tactic to promote one party and damage the other.
Before you dismiss me as a republican and a Trump supporter: I am neither. I am a registered Independent who did not vote for Trump. My views vary issue-to-issue -- some are more conservative and some are liberal. But hypocrisy and exploitation are intolerable, regardless of the perpetrator.
It is all too easy to propagate a one-dimensional view of the South, a mistake made by New York Times contributing opinion writer Wajahat Ali in his recent piece “This Ramadan, I’ll Try Praying For Enemies, Friends, Frenemies, and Kanye West.”
Nikita Khrushchev, the peasant-born Soviet leader who rose to succeed Stalin, is well known for instigating the Cuban Missile Crisis. People might not know, however, that he loved corn. His infatuation with corn forced the Soviet Union on an agricultural crusade that would disappoint him almost as much as the missile crisis humiliated him. Khrushchev, desperately needing to increase the Soviet food supply and facing competition with the United States, implemented reforms to elevate corn as the new crown jewel of the masses that would fulfill their demand for meat and dairy products. At the end of the day, his efforts showcased political ineptitude and short-sightedness more than they fostered progressive, beneficial change.
Venmo is every college student’s best friend. The mobile payment application offers users a convenient and safe method of exchanging money -- especially helpful for young adults who are constantly on the go. The influence of technology has undeniably changed overall perceptions of mobile payments. A decade ago, there is no doubt, people would have scratched their heads at the idea of paying someone back with their phones. The ease and consistency of Venmo makes it appealing to the younger generation, ensuring the continued dominance of mobile payment systems.
It has been an exciting month in the world of exobiology, the scientific study of possible life on other planets. A few weeks ago, scientists at Harvard University presented findings indicating that as much as 35 percent of all known planets larger than Earth may be water-rich. Following closely in their wake, researchers at the University of Chicago came out with a study last week in The Astrophysical Journal showing that the amount of water needed for life to develop comes in a much broader range than previously thought. The news has stirred up a lot of hype lately, and many are wondering if we have now reached a point at which it is no longer scientifically acceptable to think that humans are alone in the cosmos.
In 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan started using the Flint River as its main source of water. The pipes, however, contaminated the water with lead. This caused a national outcry. The governor declared a state of emergency and health officials told residents to stop drinking, bathing in, or in any way using the contaminated water. Instead, Water Resource Centers distributed bottled water to the residents until they received individual water filters. As of today, the pipes are still not fixed. On the other hand, lead levels in the water are below the Environmental Protection Agency’s “action level” of 15 parts per billion and the pipes are in the process of being repaired. According to several studies, the water is now safe.