On October 30, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner, Robert Gates, were indicted on 12 counts, including money laundering, conspiracy against the United States, false and misleading statements, and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The issue becomes more complex when considering the direct relation that the Manafort and Gates indictments have to the Trump campaign, which have not pointed to any verifiable collusion.
Right-wing media instantly took up arms to help the Trump campaign defer and deflect the allegations. These efforts include redirecting blame to the Clinton campaign’s “Steele Dossier” and the wholly unsubstantiated “Uranium One” claims. Attempts at deflecting Russian collusion from the Trump campaign to the Clinton campaign has involved a strategic attempt made by right-wing media sources to sidetrack the Mueller indictments of Manafort, Gates, and George Papadopoulos.
Continue reading “In the Manafort Indictment, An Ethical Test for the Trump Administration”
Since the general election, the popular comedy show, Saturday Night Live, has had a Trump-themed segment every week. These segments are not just about Trump himself, but also poke fun at many of his family members, including his wife and children. Though Alec Baldwin has played a recurring Donald Trump and Cecily Strong often plays Melania Trump, Scarlett Johansson impersonated Ivanka Trump during the March 12 show. The skit, which took the form of a fragrance ad, portrayed Ivanka as complicit in her father’s wrongdoings. Though many found the skit to be hilarious and accurate, and even feminists applauded the portrayal of Ivanka, is it fair to assert that Ivanka is in part responsible for the actions of her father? Does Ivanka have a greater responsibility for the actions of her father because they negatively affect women?
Continue reading “Is Ivanka Trump Really “Complicit?””
Americans on both side of the aisle were inflamed after Richard Spencer’s racist, nationalist speech to his think tank, the National Policy Institute, seemed to mirror the rhetoric of fascism that shrouded Donald Trump’s campaign. Following the November 19th speech at NPI’s conference, Spencer’s supporters responded with Nazi salutes, and President-elect Trump disavowed this endorsement, but most notably, media coverage of the event gave undivided attention to Trump’s supporters on the “alt-right.”
Continue reading “The Alt-Right and the Dangers of Political Self-Identification”
The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States has further divided an already deeply divided country. Specifically, the question of how, precisely, to respond to the election result has fractured a large group of deeply despondent progressives. One segment of this population maintains that the behavior of Donald Trump, not only during the election, but also throughout his entire lifetime, demonstrates a profound lack of respect and regard for the well-being of women, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, Muslims, impoverished individuals, and members of the LGBTQ community. They argue that, because Trump supporters don’t seem bothered by this behavior, and because some of them even engage in it themselves, Trump supporters should be called out for what they are: racists and bigots.
Continue reading “How Should Progressives Talk Trump?”
In the wake of the recent, controversial presidential election, many Americans are sporting safety pins as a form of silent protest. Inspired by a similar safety pin (#SafetyPin) movement in the post-Brexit United Kingdom, the safety pins are meant to symbolize their solidarity with American immigrants (and anyone else) who may be fearful of their future during Donald Trump’s time in office. While there is no dispute that the safety pin wearers usually mean well, many critics say that one small display of support is not enough.
Continue reading “Wearing a Safety Pin: Activism or Slacktivism?”
This past election cycle has been particularly divisive. In the last week, the response to a Trump victory has sparked protests across the country. Students have walked out of classes at UC Berkeley, and as protests in major cities have been more or less continuous since election day, violence broke out in Portland, OR in the hours between Friday and Saturday morning. Chants outside Trump Tower in New York City have included “Not My President” and “Love Trumps Hate.” In Los Angeles, protestors chant in Spanish and hold signs defending the rights of immigrants and undocumented Americans, a group that has been a focal point of a great deal of divisive rhetoric of the president-elect’s campaign. Opponents of the Trump candidacy have used personal messages throughout protest, rejecting the underlying meaning of a Trump presidency more than any particular policy he might adopt.
Continue reading “Voting in the 2016 Election: Impact Versus Intent”
The election of Donald Trump is in many ways unprecedented, and among the most puzzling effects might be how the president-elect will have to deal with his financial and legal obligations. The New York Times predicts that “a theme of Mr. Trump’s presidency is likely to be the clash of his duties running the country with the remnants of his decades as a hard-charging businessman.” Though relatively little legal precedent exists for the scale of Trump’s financial dealings, some things are established: the Trump family can continue to run their businesses, but Trump will not be immune to any court proceedings against him.
Continue reading “A Nation-Sized Conflict of Interest”
The Bellagio fountains go off four times an hour once sunset comes to the Las Vegas Strip. Each show is no doubt impressive, sending plumes of water spiraling into the air as echoes of pressurized cannons thunder through the plaza. Yet, by the third or fourth performance, the fountains begin to lose their luster. And after a few days of walking past them, they ultimately fade into the mundane, one of many once-in-a-lifetime spectacles vying for oxygen on the Strip.
Continue reading “Standing Still in Las Vegas”
Throughout his campaign to become President, Donald Trump has thrived on unpredictability. He has turned press conferences into makeshift advertisements for his hotels. He has invited Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers to a Presidential debate, in an effort to force the former President to shake their hands as they filed past him. And in Wednesday’s Las Vegas debate, he refused to recognize the fairness of the U.S. electoral system, promising that he would keep the American public “in suspense” until after the ballots are counted.
Continue reading “In Las Vegas, Trump’s Policies Worry a Former Nuclear Test Site Employee”
On Saturday, The New York Times released part of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns that revealed over $900 million in business losses and concluded that Trump could have avoided paying any federal income taxes for 18 years, deducting up to $50 million a year from his taxable income each year.
If true, Trump may have avoided paying up to $360 million in taxes over 18 years.
Continue reading “The Moral Hazard Hidden in Trump’s Tax Returns”
Back in July, during the Republican National Convention, some strange images circulated on the internet. Some tough-looking, blue eyed, blond cowboys, held signs with the curious phrase, “Latinos para Trump.” Obviously, something was not right about these pictures. Although Latinos are an ethnicity and not a race, and there are plenty of blue-eyed, blond Latinos, those holding the signs just didn’t look like the conventional Latino one would expect to find in the United States.
Continue reading “Trump and the Latin American Left: Strange Bedfellows”
Mexico’s Finance Minister, Luis Videgaray, recently resigned. The reason seems to be the events of last Wednesday, September 31st, when Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump visited Mexico. The visit was not well received by the Mexican population. Due to their discontent, Videgaray seems to have been forced to resign; he is attributed to have been one of the main supporters and architects of Trump’s visit. Shortly after Videgaray’s resignation, Trump deemed his visit a success since he was able to influence the composition of the Mexican president’s cabinet. Success or failure, these are the events as they unfolded:
Continue reading “What Did Mexico’s Politicians Gain from Trump’s Visit?”
I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. As a young, liberal, white male, that may come as a surprise. Bernie Sanders has captured the heart and soul of my generation through a combination of emphasis on environmental protection, social justice, and student debt. His campaign has churned out t-shirts bearing his face among the cast of Seinfeld and depicting, in bold black and white, his arrest as a student demonstrator during the civil rights movement. He has successfully portrayed himself, despite being a 74-year-old white male and career politician, as an outsider on a crusade to reform government and return the reins of power to the people, rather than big-moneyed interests and corrupt politicians.
Continue reading “Why I’m Voting for Hillary”
Bernie Sanders’ campaign has brought free higher education for all Americans back into the political debate mix, voicing concerns of overwhelming student debt, decreasing government contribution to state education, and growing rates of poverty and unemployment.
Continue reading “The Hidden Cost of Free Education”