President

What It Really Means To Be A Woman During This Election

On January 20th, 2009, many Americans wept with joy that we had elected our very first African American President.

And when Obama was actually inaugurated on that day, America’s ideals changed for the better, and history was made.

Thunderous applause exploded in the streets of our cities as we all looked at one another smiling and discussing how far we had come.

For every individual who is dedicated to equality and the teachings of the Civil Rights Movement, Obama’s presidency was more than gratification for electing a smart, center-left Democrat into office.

That moment also stood for the thousands of advocates who fought for liberty and democracy for all around the country.

This was for the legs that carried scores of brave Americans from Selma to Montgomery, for the students in Little Rock, and for all of us that grew up knowing the “I Have A Dream” speech backwards and forwards while having the privilege of never knowing what it felt like to dream of our own freedom and opportunity.

21817204748_9c44a277b0_z

Photo Credit: Mike Norton/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Now, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for President, and we are less enthused.

But failing to acknowledge this momentous piece of American history would be a disservice to the women who fought for suffrage and equal rights.

In a now famous DNC video montage of all the past male presidents, the glass shatters and Hillary appears, “I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet”.

In 1919 women were granted the right to vote, second wave feminism fought for women’s sexual, familial, and economic freedom, and today, women’s rights fight for equal pay, respect, the right to choose, and racial and sexual liberty for all.

This is the time in history that America has been struggling towards, and we are taking it for granted.

To be a woman at this time in history means to be a woman who can vote, who can work, use birth control, and maybe even be president.

Hillary might not be the woman that we have all been waiting for, but she represents the moment that we have all been waiting for and that cannot be disregarded.

25342613434_db43aaa9d9_z

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Her nomination is even more important and profound when you compare her to the Republican nominee.

While Donald Trump attempts to throw America back in history, to a time when fascists ruled with impunity around the world, when your race and religion separated you in your own country, when fear drove people to commit unforgivable acts of hatred and violence, Hillary represents something grander and more fundamentally American.

She is the first woman to be nominated as a major party nominee for President, but she is also a socially empathetic, driven, and passionate leader that cares about people.

The stark difference between her and Trump makes this election an important choice for the kind of America we want to be.

Are we the kind that allows such an unqualified and odious meathead of a man to become commander-in-chief, or are we the kind that is ready to Elect a woman?

This choice goes beyond four years of a single presidency. Like Obama, Hillary Clinton will become a historic model of America.

This is what our children will know about.

They too will learn the “I Have A Dream” speech, and now they will learn the story of the first Black President’s election, and maybe, they will even learn about the first female president.

This is big, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

10820800325_37b500e5a5_z

Photo Credit: DVIDSHUB/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Of course, people have their complaints about Hillary, and that should be recognized, but this is about so much more than the individual candidate, and this is about avoiding our children learning about the rude and racist 45th president, Adolf- I mean Donald Hitler- sorry, Trump.

We might have our very first female president, and that in it of itself is something to extol.

Like Cory Booker said in his speech at the Democratic National Convention, “Generations of heroic Americans have made our nation more inclusive, more expansive, and more just”. Whatever your feelings of Hillary Clinton may be you cannot disagree that she is far more likely to uphold this ideal than Trump.

Martin Luther King Jr. once explained that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.

There is controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton, but there is so much to appreciate and afford to this woman.

It may feel different than how we dreamt it would, but it is still so incredible, and we should feel proud.

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: Lorie Shaull

New Numbers Show Why Bernie Sanders Really Could Swing The Election To Trump

Back in May, I posted an article here on RISE NEWS discussing whether or nor Bernie Sanders could spoil the election for Hillary Clinton.

But things have changed from May to now.

In the May article, I stated the following:

“According to a poll jointly conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News that was published on Tuesday, 31% of Sanders supporters say they may not or will not support Clinton in the general election. 64.5% of that 31% (or 20% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Trump.

When you take into account that 43.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 13.5% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, and 8.7% of all Democrats voting for Trump.

And remember, this poll was taken before the convention, whose outcome is now going to be determined by superdelegates, because of how close the race has been.”

The above information was posted prior to a series of developments that have since taken place, and are likely to make Clinton’s problems with Sanders supporters worse, despite the fact that all the primaries are finished and Sanders is reportedly expected to endorse Clinton prior to the convention despite being within range of clinching the nomination through superdelegates.

There are three developments in particular that stand out for me.

It is still an open question as to whether young voters who supported Sanders will  come around to Clinton. Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

It is still an open question as to whether young voters who supported Sanders will come around to Clinton. Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The first is the leak of a memo from the servers of the Democratic National Committee by a hacker called “Gufficer 2.0,” which points to the idea that the DNC had been secretly backing Clinton all along, as Sanders has previously claimed.

Since this leak took place, Clinton’s standing among Sanders supporters have only worsened.

As of June 22, the percentage of Sanders supporters that may not or will not support Clinton has shot up from 31% to 45%. 48.9% of that 45% (or 22% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Donald Trump.

40% of that 45% (or 18% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

When you take into account that 41.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 18.6% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, 9.1% of all Democrats voting for Trump, and 7.5% of all Democrats voting for Johnson.

The second development is the recent decisions by the FBI and the Department of Justice to not indict Hillary Clinton over her alleged mishandling of government emails while serving as Secretary of State.

Given that the announcements were made just after former President Bill Clinton met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, accusations of a rigged system have increased.

Notable and influential Sanders supporters such as Rosario Dawson, Shaun King, and Mark Ruffalo have openly denounced the outcome of the FBI’s investigation of Clinton on Twitter, and I have seen friends of mine do the same on social media.

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This development actually took place after the most recent poll on Sanders supporters was released, so expect the percentage of supporters who are disillusioned to go up further.

The third development is the alleged report that presumptive Green Party nominee Jill Stein is considering allowing Sanders to take her place and continuing his run after the Democratic National Convention.

Although it is not yet known how much such a move (Sanders still hasn’t endorsed Clinton yet, so anything can still happen until he does) would affect Clinton’s presidential chances, it would be wise for Clinton to make sure she doesn’t find out, especially given other recent events.

At the end of my May article, I stated that an opportunity awaits for both Clinton and Trump to make something out of a scenario that could make or break them. I reaffirm that belief, and say that it is now more apparent than ever.

If you are politically active, I suggest that you work to make sure the best is made out of this situation for your candidate.

After all, good candidates listen to their bases!

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: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Who Would the World Vote For As President of the United States?

While only, approximately, 235 million people have the opportunity to vote for President of the United States of America, that does not make interest in the outcome of that contest a solely American interest.

The President of the United States is uniquely powerful in affairs outside the borders of the United States, and will thus often impact the lives of a great number of non Americans.

Thus, it may be of at least passing interest to perspective voters who their peers across the world endorse as the next President.

A caveat before I begin, this list will not examine all 192+ sovereign countries on the Earth, but a handful relevant to American interests. It should also be noted that, just as in the United States, no country is politically homogenous. There are some attempts to reflect this, but the law of averages tells us that there was probably someone in India who was disappointed when Lincoln Chaffee dropped out.

China:

The Diplomat ran an excellent piece, based largely on the work of Matt Hartzell which examined the voting preferences of users of Chinese survey site, Zhihu.

Out of 450 respondents, most identified with Republican candidates, and a whopping 38% with Donald Trump. In a subsequent poll launched by Mr. Hartzell on Zhihu, the candidates feelings on various issues were briefly expounded upon, resulting in both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trouncing the Republican field.

These findings seem to contradict various Chinese bloggers, according to Foreign Policy, who claim that Clinton is unfairly critical of China. These harsh feelings would also likely extend to both Sanders and Ted Cruz who have both supported anti-Chinese legislation during their tenure in the Senate.

Trump has also been stridently anti-China, despite saying that he has lots of Chinese tenants in some of his buildings.

China probably doesn’t have much of a favorite in this field of leading Presidential candidates.

Russia: 

The cooperative mood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been well documented, and likely assisted by Trump’s anti-NATO stance.

The endorsement of President Putin likely influences Mr. Trump’s popularity among Russians, based on Putin’s own approval ratings. State news entity Sputnik News has published a number of articles praising Trump.

France:

France’s government has presented a consistent anti-Trump front.

Shortly after Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim Immigrants, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism”.

The ” others” being referred to is France’s own nativist party, the National Front. The ever delightful French Ambassador to the United States, Géraud Araud, also frequently bashes Trump and the similar National Front movement in his own country. It should then come as no surprise that National Front founder, and political kindred spirit on: trade, immigration, and NATO, Jean-Marie Le Pen offered his support for a Trump Presidency.

However, if the results of France’s recent regional elections are any indicationLe Pen’s support is worth little.

France24, one of France’s premiere international news sites, is pretty scant on individual coverage for the other Republican candidates, though John Kasich received some praise for his positions following his second place showing in New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, Clinton seems to be more popular than Sanders. Nicholas Sarkozy, head of Les Republicains and presumptive candidate for President of the center right party, offered his support for her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Sanders appears to be an after thought on France24’s search algorithms. This may be more reflective of the Senator’s more recent rise to prominence than his agreeability to the average Frenchman however.

Israel & Palestine:

Starting with Palestine, it is safe to assume that Cruz and Rubio competing during debates over who has more disdain for the Palestinian national movement does not endear them to Palestinians.

Kasich and Trump likely would not fair better, due to the former justifying illegal settlements in the West Bank and the latter’s support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in addition to anti-Muslim comments over the past year.

The consensus among Fatah, the Arab Center for research and Policy Decisions, and Al-Najah National University, among others, appears to be that Clinton, while no friend to the Palestinian national movement, is preferable to her Republican competition, according to Al-Monitor.

Sanders in the past has expressed solidarity with Palestinians as well as opposition to military aid to Israel, though his position seems to have shifted to a position that equivocates violence between Israel and Palestine.

Never the less, it seems that Sanders is the more palatable candidate for Palestinians at large.

Among Israelis, national polling done by The Times of Israel found that 38% of Israelis would favor a President Clinton, followed by 23% endorsing a Trump Administration. Sanders, Cruz, and Rubio brought up the rear with 7, 5, and 4 respectively, and leaving 23% of respondents unsure.

This seems to reflect that the opinions of Prime Minister Netanyahu are not influential on Israeli opinions on American Presidential candidates, as the Prime Minister has shamed Mr. Trump for his anti-Muslim comments, whilst presumably being very friendly with Senator Cruz who was among the first to congratulate Netanyahu on his recent electoral victory.

This small sample size of four countries, and one aspirant country, is not representative of the world at large, but is representative of a few of the places most relevant to American interests.

It would be wise then as American voters to consider the political opinions of our friends and rivals abroad, including those not mentioned here, so as to best mold the world in a positive way over the next four years.

Is there a country that we missed that you would be interested in learning more about? Tell us in the comments 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: Nicolas Raymond/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Scroll to top