Calling All Campus Coddlers

crybaby

By Associate Editor Ana Delgado

In August I received the syllabus for our class: two papers, a midterm, a final, and some pop quizzes. The class is on how politics affect public policy, so our first paper was due pre-election and the second due after. The first was to be written directed at any of the candidates on a policy proposition, the only requirement was that said proposal was in the realm of their platform. The second paper was to be written post-election. The same guidelines in place, but directed at the new President Elect. Until class the Thursday after the election, it was understood (or at least I believed) that the assignment would resume regardless of who won the election.

Some of my peers seemed to desire a “Trump won” exception to the assignment. We spent time in class discussing the possibility of an alternate assignment (at one point, a paper on the “need” to end the electoral college was suggested) or no assignment at all. Students argued that they could not write a proposal directed at Donald Trump, that they would write “in language for a two year old” so he’d understand, and that the assignment would cause too much emotional distress.

Really…?

The assignment would not have even been contested had Hillary Clinton won the election.

Our campus is very liberal, so for a second I expected our professor to give in. Thank God, she didn’t. She said this was a good exercise, a point with which I agree. This idea that assignments will be cancelled because it is uncomfortable to write them seems dangerously close to throwing a temper tantrum.

When another student perked up saying, “Go through his 100 day plan and find something you agree with him on… There has to be something,” everyone kind of quieted down. Our professor nodded and we moved on. I walked away a little less cynical than usual.

Let’s Talk About Single-Issue Voting

The 2016 Presidential Election seems to be a breeding ground for single-issue voters. The two candidates vying for the Presidency are disliked by many within their own parties, never mind the American public, at large. Many people have chosen to pick candidates based on the one issue that they most care about, regardless of the candidate’s general platform. There are many Republicans who hate Donald Trump that are voting for him based solely on his pro-life stance. Conversely, there are many Democrats who dislike Hillary Clinton, but are willing to vote for her purely because of her immigration policy. What do single-issue voters really say about the political system and the election?

There are a plethora of stances on this. Many religious groups believe that single-issue voting for pro-life issues is morally correct, while feminist groups might believe the same for pro-choice issues. Yet, shouldn’t a voter base their decision on more than a single issue? Is it really acceptable to thrust the fate of the most powerful nation on earth, of democracy itself, onto a few opinions, rather than a candidate’s total record? Are we alright with allowing this to elect a candidate who will be one of the most unpopular presidents in history the moment they are sworn in? I don’t really have a definitive answer, but I think we should seriously consider the potentially negative effects of single-issue voting. When either Trump or Clinton are elected, they will use their newfound influence to promote their entire platform. They will have the force of the majority of Americans’ votes behind them to enforce that platform. It’s likely that many Americans won’t agree with many of the things he or she will do–maybe even most of those who elected him or her won’t agree with something they do–but the numbers will lie. It will appear to the world that a majority of Americans back up that candidate’s proposals at every step. Even if polls come out showing they don’t, the President can still fall back on the undeniable fact that he or she garnered a majority of the people, with those people knowing his or her platform quite well.

What is the solution here? It seems like it would be beneficial to talk more about the issues and less about the scandals and gossip relating to either candidate. When issues are the center of a campaign, and policies are actually proposed, general opinion about things will become apparent. While this is a job for the candidates and the media, the public has a role here, too. We must demand less scandalization of politics and require real solutions to the issues we find most important. It’s time to take democracy back into our own hands and have the politicians work for us, not vice versa. Only then will America be truly great again.

The Argument for Voting Your Conscience

thedonald

By Associate Editor Ana Delgado

If you’ve considered voting for a third party candidate during this divisive election cycle, you’re not alone. Those who voice their desire to vote third party are usually met with an eyeroll and a “then you’re just wasting your vote” or a “well then you’re really giving your vote to XYZ candidate.” Wrong. Don’t listen to these people. The whole point of voting is so that each and every voice is heard, so when people vote for the lesser of two evils, they’re doing themselves and democracy a disservice. Voting for the Democrat who you don’t like or the Republican you don’t like instead of the third party candidate that you do like is voting defensively. Since when is striving for the less crappy option the American way of doing things? I’m not sure when this happened, but it needs to be reversed. The American people need to return to voting offensively-really standing behind a candidate who they’re proud of. Instead of selling out or compromising your beliefs, it’s crucial for people to vote their conscience. Imagine if a third party candidate got the votes and coverage: Even if they didn’t actually win the presidency, their electoral success could not be ignored. It would give the next President and Congress an idea of what the people actually want.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent extreme beliefs that don’t really represent the majority of America. Yet, most Americans feel forced to pick between the two out of fear that the “worse of two evils” will win. Do we really want the polls showing a 51/49 divide either way? Do we really want statistics proving that Americans stand on these two opposite spectrums? I’d like to think that we want to strive for a little more integrity than that. Voting third party isn’t a waste. Voting third party isn’t handing Clinton or Trump the presidency. Voting third party is standing up to the horrific divide that fear has created within American politics and saying, “THESE are my actual, personal beliefs. I didn’t want either of you. Now, you can hear my voice. Now, you need to pay attention to me and make America the country I deserve.”

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

By: Associate Editor Ana Delgado

Not only is this the last set of blogs from the 2015-16 school year, it’s my last post from Berlin! Currently, I’m surrounded by open suitcases, a messy room, and the people I’ve spent the last four months with. Leaving is completely bittersweet. I have made this huge, intimidating, and cold city my home. I have made these strangers my best friends. And when the sun is finally coming out and the language is starting to make sense, I have to leave. However, I look forward to going back to the southern part of heaven with my family. I miss ranch, hushpuppies, Merritt’s, my dogs… I have honestly, above all, learned how many beautiful and different fragments people are made up of. There is no use in discrediting peoples’ likes, political views, or wants- somewhere there’s probably a huge similarity. People are allowed to like ripped black jeans AND pearls. They’re allowed to like  kale AND all-beef burgers. And that’s really cool. Experiences change people… it doesn’t make them hypocrites! Let’s start embracing what someone learned in a class, in study abroad, or from a peer, not shunning it. As for me, I cannot wait to come back to this incredible city some day (and with some new knowledge in my brain)!

Nancy Reagan Passes Away at Age 94

By: Associate Editor Ana Delgado

Former first lady Nancy Reagan has passed, according to a close family member. As we know, Nancy was married to Ronald Reagan and together, they were an incredible political duo that served their nation wholeheartedly.

Yes, Mrs. Reagan was married to one of the best modern politicians… but she was also an incredible conservative activist herself. During Ronald Reagan’s governorship in California, Nancy worked with the Foster Grandparents Program and was described by the L.A. times as a “model first lady.”

During her time as U.S. first lady, Nancy fought back against drug abuse and aimed to improve education nationally. She traveled to many rehabilitation clinics and prevention centers before hosting conferences and starting the “Just Say No” campaign against youth drug abuse. Her efforts turned into legislation, as the “National Crusade for a Drug Free America Act” was signed by President Reagan in 1986.

Nancy Reagan was a great conservative, mother, woman, and wife. She protected the President ruthlessly, especially after the attempt on his life in 1981. The couple was known for their incredible marriage both before, during, and after Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

After the duo left the White House, Nancy continued to be an activist. She established the Nancy Reagan Foundation to support after-school drug prevention efforts. After her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the couple lent their support to the Ronald & Nancy Reagan Research Institute. After Ronald Reagan’s death in 2004, Nancy continued to support efforts to find a cure to the terrible disease. She became a huge advocate for stem cell research while continuously honouring her husband and his incredible political legacy.

It is surely a time to mourn the loss of such an incredible woman… A woman who lived and loved alongside one of the greatest leaders in history, a woman who aimed to better the lives of all Americans, and a woman who always fought for liberty. On behalf of all of us at the Carolina Review, we would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the Reagan family and all of Nancy’s dearest friends.

5 Reasons to Hate Dook (As If We Needed Them)

Last night’s game probably left us all with heartbreaks stronger than those we felt the first time our crush stopped liking us. Here, in Berlin, the game came on at 3 AM and we (the UNC crew abroad!) watched and cheered along a laptop computer- despite having midterms at 9 in the morning. We left feeling sad and almost empty… We weren’t even able to console ourselves with Bski’s or Sup Dogs. The hatred we feel for Dook just kept escalating and the only consolation to our loss was that we get to Carolina and they have to go… there.

As if we all don’t hate that horrible school enough, here’s some extra reasons to be thankful you don’t go there:

  1. Roy > Coach K. SERIOUSLY. No contest at all. Roy is perfect in every way and Coach K constantly looks like your bitter uncle that’s still taking women to dates at mini golf courses at 47.
  2. Dook students do too much body and face paint. Chill. We know Tar Heels are more attractive without you needing to camouflage yourselves.
  3. Brag. Brag brag. Brag brag brag brag. Brag brag. My summer house in the Hamptons. Brag.
  4. Southern accents > Northern accents: “Welcome to Duke, the University of New Jersey at Durham.”
  5. Michal Jordan didn’t pick them 🙂

Ah… That felt good. Procrastinating looking over notes for my second midterm of the day to write that was completely worth it. Remember readers, Dook is puke and win or lose, it’s ALWAYS a GREAT day to be a TAR HEEL!

An Unexpected Lesson

Greetings from Berlin!

I have been having an incredible experience studying abroad thus far. So many things are different from home- one being my access to internet. I honestly never realized how privileged I was back in the states. At home, I go through about 14 GB of data a month. Here, I pay a crazy amount of euros for 1 GB. The first couple of weeks were super hard. I couldn’t communicate with my parents or friends except for when I had wifi, I couldn’t pull out Google Maps, and I couldn’t snapchat all my adventures!

All of us in the program struggled together. Our apartments do not have wifi. They don’t even have channels in English. We rushed to the nearest Starbucks or McDonald’s every chance we got and stared at our phones the whole time. However, we slowly got used to the inability to access the internet and (hush!) kind of liked it.

When we were in the apartments, we were always together! Socializing became completely normal and late nights talking about anything and everything because part of our daily routine. I have been sharing with my friends here in a way that I do not necessarily do at home. We don’t text about nonsense things, we actually sit and talk about our days and experiences! IT IS SO REFRESHING!

I have also not been engrossed in social media. It takes up a lot of data to get on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram… So those were the first things I stopped using. I only get on them about once a day, IF I have Wi-fi. It’s actually strangely liberating to not rely on social media for “fun.”

Yesterday, I realized I had learned this valuable lesson of adulthood. I went to the McDonald’s by my house and sat and ate with a friend and didn’t connect to the Wi-fi there at all. I actually didn’t even realize I did so until after we left. It felt incredible to not “need” that access, or even long for it. Our generation is so intertwined with the need to constantly communicate, that sometimes we forget the little things.