Welcome to PoliticsToday! This is a blog with a middle schooler’s thoughts on everything politics, from the Presidency to a City Council seat. We will express our thoughts on candidacies, policies and so much more, so look out! International readers, we will also have a foreign politics section as well, with focuses on the UN and other topics. A place for all politics, and everything relating to them- from a middle schooler from New York City.
Authors Note: This was written for a school assignment.
This week, I read Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under the Clinton administration. While I have considered this to be one of my favorite books since 5th Grade, now I found it to be even more relevant because of the fact that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, announced she supported, and would soon implement, an impeachment inquiry into the president’s dealings with many people in power all over the world.
Albright states that a fascist is “someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals they have”. One of the most important parts of this definition, I believe, is the fact that they are, “willing [to do] whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals they have”. She goes on to explain that every fascist has employed these other means- from Mussolini with his want for his followers to treat him as a god, to the modern-day corrupt governments from Russia, Venezuela and other countries using social media in order to spread false information. What has never changed, though, is the fact that the United States of America have always stood up to these leaders since World War II. This week, while reading the book, I repeatedly thought, but what happens when those leaders are our leaders? What happens when the leaders of America are willing to do whatever is necessary to win, when they contact other nations, asking for false evidence of wrongdoing of an opponent? I believe that we will be able to answer these questions fully in the upcoming months, just as we did in the 1970’s with the impeachment of Richard Nixon. What we are fortunate about, though, is the fact that there has always been a strong opposition to these leaders is the US- and that, hopefully, there always will, so no president will ever be left unchecked by the true power they will always have to succumb to -the will of their people.
Bernie Sanders is too radical and anti-establishment for the higher ranks of the Democratic Party. Joe Biden is too weak and a symbol of the old, “bland” politics of yesterday to many grassroot Democrats. Kamala Harris is too wishy-washy for both. That only leaves us with one candidate in the main top tier: Elizabeth Warren. She is firmly in the progressive camp, but is seen more electable than Sanders; and, with her very extensive policy proposals, has been able to show who she really is to the hyper-interested and involved voter in this year’s complex primary. She already appeals to the white, progressive, urban voters that Sanders was unable to win in the 2016 primary. While Sanders goes heavily on his rhetoric, Warren is able to talk about virtually everything with immense precision in terms of policy. I think that the higher ranks and the “corporate” Democrats find Warren a new type of progressive, one that doesn’t scare off normal voters who don’t want Bernie’s socialism-and one that can win those voters. She is not necessarily a “unify the two wings” type candidate like Harris is (which makes her seem not progressive or centrist enough on issues like healthcare and immigration), but a progressive that can appeal to the center-left part of the party.
The first night of the second debates was intense and with a lot substance. It was exciting to see the mini-debates involving the leaders yesterday, the progressives, and the worse-polling moderates. These are my winners and losers of the first night.
Delaney, Bullock and Williamson all did a good job of showing themselves to the American people, with Bullock and Delaney actively going against Sanders and Warren. This debate was great for their name recognition, and they just need Biden to do poorly tonight for them to campaig effectively for the centrist voters. Bullock had very good substance, while Delaney fought himself into the conversation; with a lot of help from the moderators, who defaulted on him for the response to Sanders’ and Warren’s proposals. He also effectively made great points in the healthcare debate, noting that he actually had experience in that sector. Bullock, on the other hand, had a great moment against Warren when he responded that her views were just going to get Trump re-elected, and that she was “falling into Trump’s hands”. It was a great debate for both as they got their name out, though I’m not sure if the second debate with Biden and Harris going against each other will cause their gains to disappear. Watch out for Biden not doing so great, because if that happens, Delaney and Bullock will probably rise.
Williamson, on the other hand, went a more unorthodox and eccentric way. She supports the big ideas of Sanders and Warren, but expressed her concern about the small details of Medicare for All. She excelled, surprisingly, in the race part of the debate, by skillfully connecting Flint’s water crisis to racial inequality and strongly supporting reparations. She is an interesting candidate that has captivated some people.
We all expected Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to have to defend their policies, but it is clear that Warren did a better job. She tactically went against Delaney, Bullock, and Ryan, while Sanders was just loud. I felt that he didn’t contribute much to the back-and-forth. These two definitely met expectations, but they didn’t go over them that much.
While the worse-polling candidates gained last night, the second tier did a mediocre job of explaining their vision and proposals with the exception of Buttigieg when he was asked about generational change. He is a really good debater, but he has to step up and fight. Not good, but definitively not bad. Klobuchar directly explained her policies, but she missed some of the moderate versus liberal debates, in which she could have been good at. At times, though, she took a long time to explain her positions-which cost her because of the limited allotted time. O’Rourke-who we should consider a lessser candidate that Buttigieg and even Klobuchar- did a poor job of crystallizing his policy proposals and of asking direct questions from the moderators. He also didn’t get much hand to hand combat, which he likes, because of Delaney, Bullock, Ryan and sometimes Hickenlooper. Overall, Beto has had a lackluster performance throughout, especially when compared to Buttigieg, who is overtaking him with the “next generation” persona.
Let’s see if this debate impacts many of the candidates, but I am sure that it will change many voters’ minds.
Climate Change is a growing global crisis, with our cities at risk because of rising seas, and disruptions to our crop production probable because of droughts. There’s no doubt that this is a significant issue not only for the future, but for right now. It is also obvious that the previous generation had to do more on this, and that it will be thrust upon us to save our planet, home, and species.
Tens of thousands of my generation in Europe have been protesting for more action right now from our politicians. It is impressive how they have consistently walked out of school every Friday for the last few months. One might wonder Why haven’t these protests crossed the pond? Well, that is because here in the US we are still fighting for another issue that if not more important, is more urgent: gun control. It is more likely that a member of my generation in the US will die because of guns than because of climate change.
While kids in Europe were protesting for their cities not to be flooded 15 millimeters in 5 years. we were protesting not to be shot in our schools.
This situation shows that Europe has successfully created social laws that, besides terrorist attacks, prevent mass shootings in schools and other places. By effect, this shows how the US is riddled with bureaucracy and inept politicians looking to save their seats, and not to create change.
It is better, and frankly easier, to create laws that revamp the system to buy guns than to start thinking of big, bold proposals for climate change that will reshape the economy and impact everyone. It is a priority and more pressing issue for us to battle gun violence and shootings in our schools than to battle climate change, even though that is our next priority.
Last night was Night 2 of the first Democratic Debate of the 2020 primaries! We heard 10 candidates, among them 4 of the 5 top ones currently. Read the post of night 1 to know what happened and who the winners and losers were.
WINNERS: Harris totally knocked it out of the ballpark with that confrontation with Biden, and yet was still very focused on turning policy personal. Mayor Pete also excelled at doing that, and all the viewers were attentive at his speech about the recent shooting in South Bend. He was very much so not like a politician, by saying that he had done a mistake. He also spoke very eloquently and responsibly throughout the other pieces of the debate. Besides that, the other top tier candidates were all losers, and the second tier didn’t really excel.
I do think, though, that Senator Bennet did a great job presenting himself. He took the same route of Delaney on Wednesday of being, basically, the only one against Medicare for All, and making crossing the border illegaly a civil offense and not a criminal one. Bennet also did a good job of lacing policy with personality, especially with connecting the illegal immigrant’s dangers with his mother’s in the Holocaust. The other Colorado man, Governor Hickenlooper, also did a really good job in this debate. He showed what he’s done in terms of policy in Colorado, and did it way better than Inslee, who only did it for climate change. This could also be the ‘Look out for’ section, but I feel that these two men did a pretty good job yesterday.
LOSERS: Biden had a very bad night throughout. He looked extremely old compared to the fresher faces, and it looked like he was running on a platform of nostalgia. He was weak against Harris and Swalwell in their confrontations, and was not clear on his policy proposals. Of course, this was a defensive debate for him, but he should have gone on the offensive against Bernie more. Bernie also had a bad night, as he didn’t say anything substantial after the economic part of the first hour. I felt that most of his rhetoric was against Trump, and not focusing on the issues of immigration and gun control, two topics in which people were exited to hear him speak. A lackluster performance, and the fact that Warren provided many policies that he could have jumped off on Wednesday, made Bernie a loser. Another candidate that stumbled last night was Andrew Yang. He didn’t say anything beside his Universal Basic Income idea of giving every American $1,000 a month. When he did speak, he did not own his presence, and appeared quiet and timid.
Last night was the first Democratic Primary debate of the 2020 election! As a reminder, most of the heavy hitters (Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, and Sanders) are up today. But, we still had strong second tier candidates last night with Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar. We also had Elizabeth Warren, who is steadily climbing into the first tier. Here are PoliticsToday’s winners, losers, and candidates to look out for.
WINNERS- Castro got lucky that immigration was the big topic yesterday. It is where he shone above the other candidates, but, surprisingly, he did really good with the economy and gun control rights. We could see him rise in the upcoming weeks. Booker also had a strong showing, but he didn’t necessarily expand on his policies last night, except maybe on healthcare.
LOOK OUT FOR- Ryan and Delaney made really good pitches for a general election, even for centrist Republicans. Not sure if it is appropriate for primary, but both have a chance, if they swing at it, at getting tired Rust Belt, Trump voting Democrats to vote in primaries. DeBlasio needed this stage, and he will appeal to the people that got bored by Warren, but he is super-progressive[even more than Tulsi, Warren and Inslee combined]. Let’s say it’s a not brilliant, but eventful start for him. Let’s see if he rises.
LOSERS- Warren and Inslee (even though Inslee didn’t have much to say and that’s the problem]). It is clear that Warren’s main strength is the economy, which might not work out well for her considering how good that is going. She tries to say that the 1% are the ones that are taking all the wealth, but it is not sure that the message resonates with urban voters. She also didn’t say a word in immigration, and completely faded out in the second hour. Inslee, on the other hand, failed to produce the zingers that he could have had with climate change, and he didn’t differentiate himself on the other issues.