A self-proclaimed Democratic socialist is an odd choice for the convocation speaker at the world’s largest evangelical Christian college. Nonetheless, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University in Virginia Monday morning.
“I think it is a very good idea for people in politics and government to reach out and talk to people whose views may be very different,” Sanders told USA Today. “It’s easy enough to talk to people who agree with you, but it’s a lot harder to talk to people who have some fundamental disagreements with you.
Sanders said that his support of gay rights and pro-choice ideologies clash with the university’s faculty and staff, but he hopes to find common ground, discussing income inequality, morality and childhood poverty.
“I believe in women’s rights and the right of a woman to control her own body. I believe in gay rights and gay marriage,” Sanders began at Liberty, which was met with an applause from students.
In March, Senator Ted Cruz used Liberty’s convocation as his platform to announce his run for presidency. This past weekend, Sanders joined forces with Cornel West on the campaign trail in South Carolina at Benedict College.
Watch the speech below:
Cover Photo Credit:Marc Nozell/Flickr (CC by 2.0)
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About the AuthorSetareh Baig is a writer and editor. She recently graduated from Florida State University and served as the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper, the FSView & Florida Flambeau. You can follow her on Twitter at @heysetareh_.
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By James Kardys
Let’s face it. Donald Trump is a very unpopular guy.
However, what about the remaining 21% of Republicans who would not vote for Trump or Clinton? Would they vote at all? Some, if not many, will not.
Others, however, are contemplating third party options.
The same logic applies to the 31% of Bernie Sanders supporters who may or will not cote for Clinton, and the 20% who would vote for Trump.
Perhaps the most frequently discussed of those options is that of voting for the Libertarian Party, whose online search results have reportedly surged since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican primary on May 3.
On Sunday, the Libertarian Party nominated former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson for President, and former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld as his running mate.
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In an era where it seems that the Republican and Democratic parties are the only political parties around, and where dissatisfaction with them is near historical highs, it seems only fitting that additional options be shown to and discussed with the general public. Therefore, this article will be dedicated to doing so with the Libertarian Party.
Like all political parties, the Libertarian party determines its platform at its national convention. The result of this convention (aside from the nominees) are as follows:
-The Libertarian Party places emphasis over individual sovereignty over all else. It criticizes both the Democratic and Republican parties as being too regulating and authoritarian. It demands that the government not deny the right life, liberty, and property for the sake of itself or others.
-Under this philosophy, the following policy positions are advocated:
1. Individuals should be able do whatever they want to their bodies (appeals to liberals).
2. The government should not control the internet of mass media (appeals to elements of both sides).
3. The government should not spy on everybody (appeals to elements of both sides).
4. The government should not classify anybody by sexual preference (appeals to liberals).
5. The government should not regulate abortion (appeals to liberals).
6. Criminal laws should be limited to those involving person-to-person interaction (appeals to liberals).
7. The government should not regulate guns (appeals to conservatives).
8. The government should not interfere in property ownership (appeals to conservatives).
9. The government should not interfere in pollution regulation, for it is less trustworthy and effective than innovative civilians who seek to do the same (appeals to conservatives).
10. The government should not interfere with the energy market (appeals to conservatives).
11. The government should not rely on income taxes to produce a balanced budget, which should be mandatory (appeals to conservatives).
12. The government should not interfere in non-fraudulent banking practices (appeals to conservatives).
13. The government should not interfere in the free market (appeals to conservatives).
14. The government should not interfere in worker-employer relations (appeals to conservatives).
15. The government should not interfere in education, which should be determined by parents (appeals to conservatives).
16. The health care market should serve as any other market that operates across state lines, and not be subjected to government intervention (appeals to conservatives).
17. Social Security should be replaced with private retirement planning (appeals to conservatives).
18. Military service should be limited to voluntary defense of the country’s territory (appeals to elements of both sides)
19. Internal security should not trump individual liberty (appeals to elements of both sides).
20. All foreign aid should be ended (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to paleoconservatives).
21. Trade and immigration should not be restricted unless there is a threat to national security (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to liberals).
22. The government should not interfere in private practices of discrimination (appeals to conservatives).
23. The government should not try to rig electoral systems to create a party system with a limited number of parties (appeals to elements of both sides).
24. The people have the inherent right to self-determination (appeals to conservatives).
At the end of the day, this party is very socially liberal but very fiscally conservative.
This unique platform has the potential to either attract or repulse people on both sides of the political spectrum.
If the party wants a chance of growing to substantial polling numbers, it may have to target single issue voters.
Given that single-issue voters appear to be significant in numbers, as indicated by Gallup polls on the level of priority voters have on issues such as abortion and gun control, perhaps that may be all it needs to do, especially if it succeeds in attracting protest votes from disillusioned Republicans and Democrats.
Do you wish this party good luck in its quest? Feel free to comment and share your opinion below!
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 267
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For a large portion of the 21st century, liberals have taken on the role of the protective big sibling persona for any minority or controversial community in the U.S.
Time and time again, liberals speak for those who have been othered. But this type of help has enforced a new, problematic discourse that hinders ones ability to have an opinion and generate productive discussions about any kind of issue directed at a specific group of people.
The liberal protectiveness that is most destructive in today’s current state of controversy is Islamophobia.
This is a word created to criticize those who reject Muslim culture by calling them irrationally fearful of a religion.
But this is an unfair categorization for the disapproval of aspects of Islamic culture.
In 2015, Bill Maher had a round table discussion about Islam and whether or not it is predisposed to violence.
In that round table, Dinesh D’Souza explained, “What’s going on here is there is a civil war in the mind of the liberal”. He explains that liberals advocate for individual freedom for everyone and for multiculturalism all at the same time.
The latter half protects Muslim culture from any kind of criticism or intervention.
Bill Maher stated, “Christopher Hitchens said Islamophobic is a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons”.
So let’s break down this very clever statement.
The Fascists, in this case, are liberals that dictate how a population can be viewed, understood, and spoken of within a political or social setting.
Cowards are those that fear political incorrectness and controversy.
And morons are the public who agree with this strategy, thus eliminating any discussion that represents Muslims in a poor fashion.
Can we really chalk up every fear of an oppressive culture to being a phobia? To be fearful of an extreme religion that has enabled people to murder and stone one another does not seem irrational; in fact, that is a very rational thing to be afraid of.
Those that feel strongly against the oppressive nature of the Islamic faith are not being phobic, they are afraid of the violence that has ensued and continues to kill innocent people due to ancient ways of thinking.
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In 2013, a story was released that Arifa Bibi was stoned to death by her uncle and cousins for having a mobile phone in Pakistan.
Stoning is a violent torture method most frequently used to punish women for asserting too much freedom or for their sexuality.
Many Muslim supporters of the campaign against stoning argue that while stoning women is not written in the Koran, “it is legitimized by the Hadith – the acts and sayings of the Prophet Mohamed.”
The story also mentions another case in 2008 in which a 13-year-old girl, Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, was buried from her neck down and stoned to death by 50 men. The reason? She had been raped by three men and was instead accused of adultery.
Our fear has not been the manifestation of a phobia of Islam; it comes from these real life tragedies.
Yet, this is not to be mistaken for a generalization that all Muslims are violent. The issue here is a misrepresentation that the religion itself invokes peace and that instead, a few extremists have reformed its ideologies and have become violent.
There is something innately violent within the religion, but that does not mean that all who follow the teachings of the Koran are violent.
This misconception comes from a lack of education and discussion on the topic. Words like Islamophobia allow this misrepresentation to exist because of the absence of communication about the violent qualities of the religion.
Both protecting and blaming an entire race is not constrictive, and it destroys any kind of productive conversation with regards to a controversial ideology.
But, disapproval of these characteristics still do not warrant the kind of blind, racist bigotry demonstrated by Donald Trump and his supporters.
The Koran, like the Bible or the Torah is a sacred text to those who read its teachings. Religion, for those who believe in it, should serve as a personal tool to connect with God or a higher being(s) in order to find support and lead a good life.
However that is not all that makes up religion.
Like any ideology, religion’s goal is to dictate and hide certain truths in order to obtain power over a population. It enforces certain beliefs, and rejects others.
This is a solidified quality of all religion, and it enables people to exclude others and their philosophies in order to support their own.
Ignoring oppressive aspects of Islam by calling anyone in opposition to the religion “Islamophobic” eliminates our ability to point out pieces of a culture that need changing for the greater good of humanity. You can disagree with something, you can even find it unacceptable, but that alone does not make you racist and it does not make you hateful.
Racism and hate come from an irrational blind assumption that all who are Muslim are also violent; xenophobia that encourages that kind of thinking proves ones stupidity.
Fear of reprimanding Islam cements the topic in mud and watches people drown in prejudice and oppression while everyone else ignores them to avoid controversial discussions.
The word, Islamophobia is not protecting Muslims, it is systematically harmful.
An individual should be able to be Muslim and not face stoning if they choose to sleep with someone before marriage or get an educating, or want to live their life differently than their parents had. That is their prerogative.
Liberals’ efforts to avoid political incorrectness allows this kind of practice to exist without reprimand, it is not protecting anyone.
However, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. By deliberately othering a religion and prejudicially demanding that they be kept from living in the U.S. is not an example of simply foregoing political correctness, it is just racism.
Donald Trump is not a leader in real discussion of controversial topics he is just racist.
Islamophobia and Islamic racism have been frequent and popular ideologies ever since 9/11, and it has kept the stigma of Muslim Americans alive.
It is acceptable to discuss the fundamental problems with Islam if they could be reasons for oppression and murder.
Just like it is acceptable to discuss gun regulation if a lack of background checks and restrictions could be the reason for massacre.
It’s time to stop speaking for other people and to instead, speak for the issues and find solutions.
If there is an inherent violence within a religion, we can talk about it without saying all Muslims are violent.
On the other hand, violence does not make it acceptable to completely omit a religion from this country, and it certainly does not warrant racism.
It is time to find the medium between both sides, to recognize that this religion of peace might not be so peaceful after all, but to also understand that that does not disregard all those who use its teachings to lead moral lives.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.Post Views: 270
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Gambia’s president has declared the West African country an Islamic republic saying the decision was made because Islam is the religion of most citizens and the nation must break away from its colonial past. President Yahya Jammeh made the declaration at the end of a political rally held on Friday at the coastal village Brufut, about… Read MorePost Views: 134
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