Democalypse 2016: Final Thoughts

Political bias is alive and well and is one of the many reasons that drove me to write in The Mac Weekly from a conservative viewpoint. A few weeks ago at the second democratic debate I heard two comments that were absolutely astounding. One was a misleading comment that received low levels of scrutiny and the other was a preposterous example of using tragedy to capitalize oneself. Let’s begin with the former. Senator Bernie “Feel the Bern” Sanders who has been experiencing a less aggressive rise in the polls the last few weeks argued that climate change was directly linked to terrorism and was responsible for the creation of organizations such as ISIS. Sanders argued that limited water and crop struggles led to regional conflicts resulting in the growth of terror cells. I will not fully discredit Sanders’ claims as climate change has been proven to instigate some regional conflict. I will scrutinize his claims that it is the “direct” cause because it seems no one else will. Federal and academic reports name climate change as a threat to national security and that’s not the same as a direct effect. The Pentagon goes as far to dispel the use of the word “direct” and prefers “threat multiplier.” Sanders was rightly corrected by fact checkers but received no media blowback for his misleading comments.

Hillary Clinton was questioned by Bernie Sanders later in the same debate about her ties to Wall Street. In defense, she pulled this line out of her hat: “I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is.” Clinton justifies her ties to Wall Street as rebuilding and the rationale for heavy corporate contributions to her campaign. Instead of just admitting that she’s cozied up to Wall Street, something Democratic primary voters do not want to hear, she invokes a national tragedy as rational basis. In a debate the week before, Marco Rubio stated his beliefs that “we need more welders and less philosophers” in defense of his vocational education program goals. The media had a field day with that, pointing out that in some cases philosophers can make more than welders. Not all, but some mind you. Hillary Clinton then tries to hide her ties to corporate greed with 9/11 and how does the media react? Silence.

In regard to terrorism, there should be no mistaking the facts anymore: ISIS is growing and poses an increased threat to the United States and the western world. In the wake of the horrific events that transpired in Paris and Beirut, it becomes ever more clear that we are vulnerable to deadly attacks that shake us at our very core. It is natural to respond with fear, anger and caution in the wake of such vicious acts which is why I believe it is understandable for 31 state governors to refuse refugees from these areas out of security concerns. With my understanding, I do have a problem with it. Those fleeing from Syria are seeking refuge for the same atrocities we witnessed in France and Lebanon, however they experience it daily. “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free… I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” These words written by Emma Lazarus and engraved on the Statue of Liberty exemplify everything “we the people” of this great nation ought to be: a beacon of freedom and a “shining city on a hill.” These words spoken time and time again are not and should not be perceived as simple rhetoric but as a mission statement for all we have to offer. In the wake of terrorism it is natural to respond with fear, but to overcome that fear and protect those who need it most is quintessential to the American spirit. In denying the Syrian refugees we are stating to the world that we will let the fear propagated by terrorism drive us. That is not the American way, that is not who we are. I believe the threat of ISIS and the atrocities in the Middle East are all the more reason to welcome these refugees into the safety and security of the United States.

It’s crunch time for the campaigns on both sides, but all the more vital to the Republican candidates on the fringes. We have witnessed the rise of Trump and Sanders as well as the fall of Bush. Perry, Walker, Jindal, Webb and Chafee have all put this election behind them but the field remains crowded. I believe that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, but I have no guarantees for the GOP. I’d love to see Rubio clinch the nomination, but he has some stiff competition from Cruz who has begun to poll exceptionally well in Iowa. Trump will falter, this I’m certain of. I’m not sure how or when but I’d like to think that voters will see the severity of the election as the primaries get closer and opt for a more reasonable candidate. Carson peaked and is currently seeing a drop in the polls that he won’t recover from. Christie has seen a small bump in support in New Hampshire but like Paul, Huckabee, Fiorina, Kasich and Santorum, now is not their time. This race will ultimately go down to Ted Cruz against Marco Rubio with support from the right-wing evangelicals and establishment GOP respectively. It’s been a pleasure writing this past semester, good luck on finals and I’ll be back in the spring “propagating my conservative beliefs on the world” as my friends so lovingly put it. Have a great break everybody!