The Presidential Race According to Elementary School Students


By: Online Editor Hayden Vick

Alright kids: Who’s it going to be?

A few days ago, I was babysitting when the kids struck up a conversation about the 2016 race for the White House. After experiencing a mixture of laughter, confusion, and surprise at some of their comments, I decided to take note of some of their more profound quotes. Thus, the list began, extending to comments by some of the students from the third grade class in which I volunteer. I’ve saved my commentary on their presidential declarations for the end.

“I wish Obama could have another term.”
“Because he’s like, awesome.”

“I’ve noticed that she (Hillary) has been getting a lot – A LOT – of votes, which will help her become President.”

“If I could I might vote for Hillary, since she wouldn’t really change anything.”

“Donald Trump would change everything.”

“Everyone says they like him because he speaks his mind, but some of the thoughts in his mind are just wrong.”

“John Kasich is the only good Republican candidate.”

“Ted Cruz’s daughter won’t even kiss him because she hates him.”

Probably the most substantial claim of all:

“Donald Trump has a big rump and he took a dump in a pump.”

And my personal favorite:

“Bernie needs a better hairline.”

What if eight, nine, or ten year-olds could vote? According to the list, which I attempted to keep fairly bipartisan but to no avail, Donald Trump ranks right between a freshly planted plot of soil and a dung beetle, while Hillary probably takes the cake for Little Miss Popular.

“Kids say the darnedest things,” is a line used perhaps in old movies or maybe by older adults who still employ that “old southern” way of speaking (which I love). The saying may be somewhat unused or even obsolete today, but it holds true nonetheless. All of the above quotes, with the exception of the one about Trump’s rump, were said with complete and utter sincerity; the kids were serious about their opinions, just as college students are during our own political conversations and debates. Odd, isn’t it? An overlap between the actions of third graders and “fourteenth” graders.

The world is a much brighter place when children’s comments and opinions are listened to and considered wholeheartedly by adults who kneel down to their levels to really, truly hear what they have to say. Too often I think we pretend as though we’re listening to the little ones while we’re really thinking about the items on our own agendas. Keep in mind that the little guys’ and gals’ thoughts deserve just as much consideration and respect as our own.

Methodist Church Divided


By: Associate Editor Alec Dent

Out of boredom earlier today I was looking through stories on the Buzzfeed app. I was scrolling pretty quickly, when suddenly I saw a word that caught my eye. “Methodist.” Now, I am a Methodist myself, and, unlike the Catholic Church, we don’t really get put in the crosshairs of liberal news outlets like Buzzfeed frequently. Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. So, I scrolled back up until I found the story, titled, “This Methodist Church is Marrying Two Gay Men In An Act of Civil Disobedience.”
Apparently my fellow North Carolinian Methodists Bishop Melvin Talbert and Pastor Val Rosenquist are the ministers in question, and they’ve decided to marry a homosexual couple in a church in Charlotte this year. What they are doing goes against the longtime stance of the Methodist Church in regards to marriage. The Book of Discipline (the Methodist book of rules and bylaws) presents the United Methodist Church’s view of homosexuality quite clearly, saying, “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” It goes on to say that “Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.”

Bishop Talbert and Pastor Rosenquist’s act of rebellion comes at a crossroads for the United Methodist Church, as homosexual marriage has been a hot issue as of late for the church body. In the General Conference (the quadrennial meeting of international Methodist leaders) of 2008 and 2012, the issue was brought to a vote. Both times the traditional stance was retained. This year it will undoubtedly be brought to a vote again. Bishop Talbert and Pastor Rosenquist are free to express their views on gay marriage. It’s a controversial topic and a conversation that needs to be had. However, until gay marriage is voted on and passed, their decision to marry a homosexual couple is not in accordance with the bylaws on the United Methodist Church and the two could, and should, be defrocked for their actions.

Carolina Union Board of Directors Does Not Understand Diversity


By: Associate Editor Alec Dent

This past week, the Carolina student body gave Ben Shapiro a big ol’ Chapel Hill welcome; which is to say they wrote negative letters to the editor, staged a walk out, and called him, and all other conservatives, every name in the book. On a rather amusing side note, the protestors demonstrated an incredible lack of timing, leaving only moments after Shapiro said walk outs were the weapon of the close-minded. Sadly, this sort of response was expected as college students across the nation are forgetting what it means to engage in civil debate.

This point of view was epitomized in a public letter to UNC students written by the chairwoman of the Carolina Union Board of Directors, Jaelyn Coates, and signed on behalf of all members of the board (which, by the way, includes students as well as faculty members). Coates opened the letter saying the board wrote “in the spirit of upholding our values of diversity and inclusivity,” and proceeded to explain that the best way to uphold these values was though preventing certain voices from being heard, the obvious interpretation of which was a condemnation of the Shapiro event.

The counter to this view was eloquently expressed by our own Frank Pray, in a response to the Carolina Union Board of Director’s letter. “Their call for safe spaces flies in the face of the express purpose of a liberal arts university. The purpose of such an institution, of OUR institution, is to allow all viewpoints to express their ideas, to debate those ideas, and, after having done so, to attempt to find the truth.”

BSM Walks Out, Shapiro’s Point Proven


By: Staff Writer Will Rierson

Retrieved via Will Rierson

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Dozens of left-wing students walked out of a lecture on racial politics given by noted conservative commentator Ben Shapiro to a packed house at UNC-Chapel Hill on Wednesday, an action which Shapiro said proved his point that the left is intolerant of diverse opinions.

Shapiro started his speech, titled, “The Left’s Obsession with Race,” by asking audience members with different views to stay for the duration of the speech and not walk out or shout him down.

“Walking out just demonstrates close-mindedness and shouting down just demonstrates ideological fascism,” Shapiro said.

The campus Black Student Movement had already made it known they planned to do just that. Protesters dressed in black BSM shirts walked out of the lecture hall in unison once Shapiro began his speech.

The protesters held a rally on the front steps of Carroll Hall, where Shapiro was speaking, and took turns to discuss their feelings. A university-sponsored unity event with free food and mini golf took place nearby as a counter to the perceived divisiveness of the Shapiro lecture.

Students wishing to hear Shapiro poured into the room, taking the seats emptied by the protestors. Campus security didn’t let the room fill above full legal capacity, so many students had been watching a live video stream in an overflow room while the protestors took up nearly a third of the lecture hall.

The heavily conservative crowd gave a mocking round of applause when the protestors left and clapped sincerely when students came in to fill the vacated seats. Shapiro continued after the brief interruption.

Shapiro said the politically correct terms of diversity, white privilege, trigger warnings, microagressions, and safe space were stupid ideas made up by leftist professors and even further left wing college students to excuse racism and shout down conservatism in college.

Shapiro said the benefits of growing up in a two parent home gave Americans far more privilege than unfair advantages based on race or gender.

Some left-leaning students in the audience tried to argue with Shapiro, saying that the public housing system disadvantaged blacks and was a form of institutional racism. Shapiro disagreed and said statistics from the federal government supported his view.

Shapiro was hosted by the UNC College Republicans as a part of the Fred R. Allen Lecture Series through the Young America’s Foundation.


Rumination of the 2016 Primary


By: Staff Writer Richard Wheeler


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The 2016 primary season has been quite intriguing thus far, to say the least. Donald Trump, a radical demagogue, has trounced the rest of the Republican field. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, has collected a disturbing amount of Democratic delegates. No doubt much can be learned about the attitudes the American public holds toward their government from the results thus far. While the primary season has not yet concluded, let us consider several lessons that can be garnered from the current results.

First and foremost, the real winners of the 2016 primaries has already been decided: apathy and disinterest. It is not unusual for primaries to have lower voter turnout, and this trend holds true in the 2016 cycle. 15.1 million Democrats and 20 million Republicans have cast ballots this primary season, while about 100 million voters have stayed home. Mr. Trump boasts that he is increasing voter turnout, and while this may be true compared to other election cycles, still only 9.4% of registered Republicans have turned out to vote for him. The 100 million voters who have chosen to stay home this year reveal the true winner of the 2016 will be a lack of interest among American voters. (

Next, let us examine what the rise of the inflammatory Donald Trump can tell us about the attitudes of those who did decide to vote this primary season. Above all else, Mr. Trump is anti-establishment. His self funded campaign allows him to make very controversial remarks, not only about various out groups (ex. immigrants, Muslim-Americans), but also about the Republican establishment, without fear of retribution from donors. An extraordinary example of the Donald’s controversial and somewhat confusing behavior is his repeated attacks on Fox New’s Meagan Kelly. A highly regarded and established personality in the conservative sphere, Kelly is a surprising choice to target from a Republican frontrunner; it is difficult to see what exactly could be gained from such attacks on such a prominent conservative figure. Conventional knowledge would undoubtably consider such behavior disastrous. However, Mr. Trump has continually bashed Kelly throughout the 2016 primary season (@RealDonaldTrump). Perhaps Kelly is viewed as synonymous with the Republican establishment for Trump’s base, so his remarks resonate with them.

The outcome of this election cycle will be telling, for the GOP establishment ran their candidates in 2008 and 2012 (McCain and Romney, respectively), losing both times to President Obama. Can the anti-establishment conservative wing carry Mr. Trump all the way to the White House, or will his haphazard rhetoric bring his downfall in the general election? Another question to consider: if Mr. Trump were to secure the necessary 1,257 delegates for nomination, would he be able to employ enough resources to continue his self-funded campaign through the general election? Mr. Trump prides himself on being self-funded, free from the influences of super donors. He clearly holds immense wealth, but how much of it is liquid? Donald Trump claims a net worth upwards of $10 billion, but Forbes places his net worth at 4.5 ( Whatever his actual net worth, one fact is undoubtably true: much of his assets are invested in his global real estate empire. Would Mr. Trump be willing to liquidate properties in order to continue funding his own campaign? Even if he were to be willing, could he? How long would it take to liquidate hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate? Secretary Clinton has already built up an impressive war chest for the general election. If Mr. Trump is to secure the Republican nomination, it will be interesting to see how the general election plays out in regards to these questions.

Looking across the aisle, what does the amount of support for Secretary Clinton’s challenger, Senator Sanders, say about the Democratic base? Do they share the same anti-establishment sentiments evident by Mr. Trump’s success? A self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Senator Sanders exudes some of the same anti-establishment attitudes as Donald Trump, albeit on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Sanders has promised to end “an economy and a political system that has been rigged by Wall Street” ( This is quite contrary to Secretary Clinton, who has received large donations to her campaign from Wall Street ( The Clintons have been long-time friends with big business, even receiving a $100,000 donation to their charitable foundation from Mr. Trump in the past ( On the subject of super-PACs, Bernie Sanders claims he has none ( This speaks directly to the corruption he believes money brings into politics. Sanders has seen exceptional support among the younger population of voters, especially college students. This could be telling for the future of the Democratic party. On the contrary, it could simply be due to the Senator’s policy positions; no doubt free college and decriminalized marijuana appeal to the 18-24 demographic. While Bernie Sanders’ actual chances of securing the Democratic nomination were always slim, the support for the Senator in the primary season raises several questions about the attitudes of the Democratic base and the direction of the party.

Attending AIPAC’s Policy Conference


By: Staff Writer Danielle Adler

aipac policy conference

Retrieved via Danielle Adler

Last week, I was accompanied by 18,000 other pro-Israel advocates in Washington, DC for AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference. AIPAC is the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee whose main mission is to uphold the US-Israel relationship. AIPAC seeks to educate the public through grassroot advocacy efforts, various learning seminars, and sponsored trips to Israel. I attended the conference with a delegation of UNC students who were eager to learn more about how they can make a difference in the political process and voicing their support for Israel.

This was my third time attending the conference, and you would think that by now I would have mastered the logistics of it. But no—it was just as overwhelming and exciting as the two years prior. Every year, this conference gains traction not only for its sheer number of members that attend but also for the policy makers who come. Aside from the State of the Union, the AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest annual gathering of members of Congress.

In a divided and polarized Congress, it’s truly remarkable that members from both sides of the aisle can agree on this one issue: unwavering support for the state of Israel. If you think about it, there aren’t many other issues on which most members can universally agree. That is why AIPAC is the necessary group we need in Washington. It brings advocates young and old, Democrat and Republican, Jewish and Christian, together on one issue.

Israel is by no means a perfect country, but neither is the United States or any country today. Here is what Israel is: the only democracy in the Middle East, a sanctuary for Muslims, Jews, and Christians, a thriving home for the LGBTQ community, and an innovator of incredible medical and modern technology. Each year, the United States budgets around $3.1 billion of aid for Israel. This money helps support vital military and research projects that are later used for intelligence sharing between Israel and the US. Without the continued support of the United States to Israel, projects like the Iron Dome and David’s Sling –  military technologies that sense terrorist rockets in the air and counter them before hitting Israeli civilian neighborhoods – would not be possible.

“Come Together” was the theme of this year’s Policy Conference—a message highlighting the importance of unconditional bipartisan backing of the US-Israel relationship. While I think that this is an incredible message, this isn’t the entire reason I support Israel. Israel is in an extremely volatile neighborhood: Syria is falling apart at its seams, Hezbollah is tracking more and more influence in Lebanon, and radicalization is sweeping through the Middle East.

Just last week, Iran violated international code by illegally testing missiles without UN approval. Let’s just say Iran doesn’t have the best track record of compliance… What truly surprised and sickened me was what was written in Hebrew on the side of the rocket: “Israel must be wiped off the face of the Earth.” Threatening the existence of one country by another should not be condoned by any state and because of this, Israel has the right to protect herself. As the beacon of democracy, it is America’s responsibility to ensure Israel’s right to exist and protect herself from rising terrorist threats.