What Do You Think?
About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Nolan Watts
As everyone can see, the world has undoubtedly changed in the past year or so.
From the Trump victory to Brexit to the resilience of right-wing parties in Europe, there remains a certain level of chaos in the world order.
There seems to be an aura of the past which we will never regain, for better or worse.
A space in time so close in a textbook but eons away from the society we inhabit today.
These sweeping changes to the status quo leave many of us asking, what’s next?
Lying ahead there must be some fundamental shift away from the political alignment of years past; a transformation that will reset our society after the obliteration of previous norms.
I’m not going to pretend that I know what type of realignment we can expect, nor am I advocating for any or all of those below.
Nonetheless, here are a few which I see, at least partially, as possible.
The first is the battle between big government and small government.
After a fiery American election cycle and two hotly contested primary challenges, the Democratic and Republican parties have taken a beating.
With civil strife bludgeoning both establishments we may see a revolt against the major parties and a new system of simple ideological differences emerging- not the traditional party labels being the great divide.
The new reality could be a more principled approach to worldviews instead of the patchwork we see in the main parties today.
A poll conducted in May of 2016 shows that only 13% Americans surveyed believe the two party system works, and 38% say it is “seriously broken”.
One would imagine a rise in those who consider themselves Independents would be in order if that many seem fed up with the current system.
On the contrary, according to Gallup poll results which accumulated over the course of 2016, registration among Independents is at a six-year low.
To further complicate this entanglement between and within both parties, Republicans and Democrats see this divide in vastly different ways, according to Matt Grossmann and David A. Hopkins who describe their investigation into this question in their book Asymmetric Politics: Ideology Republicans and Group Interest Democrats.
They wrote about their theory in the Washington Post:
“…the Republican Party defines itself in ideological terms as the vehicle of symbolic conservatism. The Democratic Party, in contrast, is organized as a social group coalition”.
However, their research finds that even Republican voters who consider themselves as having strong conservative principles depart from such “orthodoxy” on specific policy questions.
A more obvious example of this is in their support for then-candidate Donald Trump, someone who strays from ideological consistency much of the time.
For me, I see no clear direction for the conventional two-party system except to continue on in the confusing and muddied path it’s on now.
To suggest that an ideological realignment is likely to occur here, at least in American politics, would be inappropriate at this time.
The next is the continuation of the divide between the elites and everyone else.
In Europe and in America, disenchantment and the desire to throw out those in power are moving full speed ahead.
Concerns over immigration, political correctness, cultural ambiguity, and long-term economic prosperity are major factors in this anti-establishment wave the western world is currently riding.
People, on a large scale, no longer believe those in charge are inherently better at their jobs than people from completely outside of that system.
In comes the torch to burn it all down: voting.
This would be a different conversation if the United Kingdom had remained in the European Union and both candidacies of Senator Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump had inevitably failed.
That would have put a scare into the old order but their influence would have braved the storm.
But they didn’t.
The anti-establishment movement has gained real power.
It could fail miserably, or it could provide the footing for this anger to wipe out every remaining piece of the old system for the near future.
Insert the electoral chances of right-wing parties in France, Germany, and the Netherlands — to name a few — and Europe then makes the Trump revolution look like a dress rehearsal.
Now, elections could forever be won by who we think hates the elite most, not policy differences.
We may, as many of us already do, watch press briefings and tally not the legislation being announced but the number of coded messages sent to the holders of power in Washington, New York, Brussels, and Paris.
A candidate’s success may be determined by how many CEOs, seasoned politicians, TV anchors, and university professors are forced to face those who feel forgotten on bended knee. Those isolated and cold from globalization in the Bible Belt, Rust Belt, and Stoke-on-Trent.
Recent events have shown us just how disconnected these people are.
They all told us none of these political movements would get off the ground, and we have seen very few self-reflections once they all realized they had been fooled by the very people they were supposed to understand.
As a 21-year old, this was the first time I saw this strong of a vilification of the politics-as-usual attitude.
These exchanges could be typical every few years as elections and referendums come around.
But for me, I can’t imagine these frustrations going away.
The battle lines may have forever been redrawn.
The final is the chasm between multiculturalism and assimilation.
This is the most politically charged of the realignments I see possible.
Multiculturalism is the existence and preservation of distinct cultures within a community or society-at-large.
Assimilation, on the other hand, is the adaptation and conforming of different groups into a unified culture in a given community.
As different groups have become scrambled together in the modern world, people are trying to decide which of these they believe is best for society.
An interesting phenomenon I noticed through the election cycle was the proud flying of other nation’s flags on the streets of America.
If you were to watch a nominal protest of then-candidate Donald Trump you would have seen Mexican flags next to Cuban flags slightly behind Palestinian flags, all whose holders desire a more multicultural society.
Many view this as a beautiful sign of toleration.
However, many others view this as one more stratification of American society.
Instead of coalescing under one banner, we all have different ones that make us take yet another step away from our neighbors.
The situation in Europe is slightly different than the one in America.
As a steady flow of migrants and asylum seekers from terror-stricken, war-torn areas of Africa and the Middle East have continued throughout 2016, this question revolves around the rapid changes to European culture and identity.
As the majority of refugees flee Muslim-majority nations, some European governments have welcomed them.
However, many Europeans are pessimistic about these changes.
Pew Research can help us understand this.
In a survey of 9 out of 10 European nations, at least half of individuals believe that Muslims want to maintain a “distinct” culture and not integrate into the customs of their new European communities.
A separate report shows that a majority of Europeans surveyed believe refugees increase the likelihood of terrorism, and no more than 4 out of 10 citizens in any EU country feel an increase in diversity is good for their country, compared to 58% of Americans who think diversity makes the U.S. a better place to live.
In Greece and Italy, a majority of citizens feel more diversity makes their country worse off.
Issues such as gender equality, acceptance of homosexuality, and secularism are a few instances where the two cultures just do not see eye to eye.
Right-wing European parties have become the vehicle for these frustrations.
Marine Le Pen, the head of the French National Front Party, is leading in the polls (as of the time of my writing this) to win the first round of the French Presidential race.
She also has more support from those aged 18-34 than any other candidate in France, which may come as a surprise to many.
The central issues which run through these populist, right-wing parties are immigration and a distaste for international agreements that reduce national sovereignty.
Many are calling for a total shutdown of Muslim immigration, something that an average of 55% of Europeans surveyed agree with, and making a Brexit-like move from the EU or other foreign obligations.
The multicultural attitude Europe is known for is being challenged strongly on many fronts.
As popular movements are seemingly rejecting the openness the continent has historically praised, the concept of assimilation seems to be a dire turn many are hoping to see.
As hordes of people around the globe chant for multiculturalism, for the elimination of border walls and even, in some cases, for the abolition of sovereign states completely, there is a powerful camp that believes different cultural groups living together is an ideal scenario.
On the other hand, there are millions of individuals who see a lack of a unified culture as a ticking-time bomb for social strife. People who feel the palpable modifications to their culture too large of a pill to swallow.
This possible realignment would be ugly, it would be a knock-down drag-out brawl of the most nativist sort, but it is undoubtedly an element that drove many to the polls in recent history.
In the end, no one really knows what will arise from this grinder the western political system has been thrown in.
Anyone that suggests they know for a certainty should be viewed with some degree of skepticism.
The possibilities I have just laid out are merely avenues our society may take as we move forward.
And only one thing is certain, whether we like it or not- we will experience this together.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 618
What Do You Think?
By Camila Saenz
RISE NEWS Fellow
Senator Marco Rubio once again set foot on Florida International University’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus Wednesday, but this time he is looking for some serious help from the students he once taught.
Rubio is a born and raised Miamian with a family background not uncommon to the 54,000 students who attend FIU.
Rubio also previously taught a Florida Politics class on Monday’s and Fridays even after he was elected to the US Senate.
And according to the college professor tracker, Rate My Professor, students enjoyed his class at the university and seemed to like him.
“Probably the most amazing professor I have ever had,” one reviewer wrote on Rate My Professor. “Not to mention that he is a sitting U.S. Senator and Presidential Candidate. Would definitely take him again.”
Rubio’s political history runs deep in the southern end of Miami-Dade County. He was a long serving member of the Florida House of Representatives (where he eventually rose to be speaker of the body) and was a city councilman in West Miami starting when the future Presidential candidate was in his mid-twenties.
But not everyone is fond of Rubio these days.
“The people of Florida can’t stand him. He couldn’t get elected dog catcher,” Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said recently. “There will be a lot of advertising. It’s the only thing that might save him. But I doubt it.”
The question many students at FIU find themselves asking is whether or not Rubio will win the Florida primary, and whether they should continue to support him.
“I feel since he is born and raised in Florida he has a connection with the people of Florida,” FIU student Frank Mercado. “Age does not determine how well of a president a person will be, Rubio though young can still be a good choice.”
On Wednesday, a large crowd of students waited to catch a glimpse of Rubio walk through the doors of the Graham Center Ballrooms where he participated in a town hall hosted by MSNBC.
— megan quintana (@megan_quintana) March 9, 2016
“Rubio has made a large impact on the republican campaign in this election cycle,” A student attending the town hall said after the event. “He is the strongest candidate out of the final four, however, he lacks years and experience.”
According to RealClear Politics, Trump is currently ahead in the polls by more than 15 points in Florida.
The Florida primary will decide which candidate will receive an additional 99 delegates; it can either give Trump a tighter grip on the GOP nomination or help Rubio stay competitive.
If Rubio loses Florida, he is expected by some to drop out of the contest.
“Donald Trump makes the Republican Party look bad and Ted Cruz does not do a much better job,” Nicolas Zapata, a registered Democrat and FIU student said. “Rubio is the best choice out of the Republicans.
Florida votes on March 15th.
For more information on voting for the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary in Florida visit http://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/.
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: 423
What Do You Think?
Immigration Activists Deliver More Than 520,000 Signatures From People Who Want NBC To Dump Trump From SNL
By Lissette Calveiro
On Wednesday night, undocumented rights activist and dreamer Juan Escalante made a trip to Rockefeller Center carrying a large box that had a 522,080 taped on it.
That number represents the amount of people who’ve petitioned NBC to drop Donald Trump as a host of tonight’s Saturday Night Live,” following his continuous racist remarks about Latino immigrants. What this number also represents is people who feel disrespected, and are flat out fed up with, the antics of Donald Trump.
The #RacismIsntFunny campaign was a collaborative effort between multiple organizations including America’s Voice, Change.org, CREDO Action, Latino Rebels, MoveOn.org, NCLR, UFW, Voto Latino Action Fund and many others.
Juan Escalante serves as Digital Campaign Manager of America’s Voice, leading the delivery of the signatures and getting them in the hands of NBC Executives.
Aside from the hand-delivery of signatures, many of these organizations are working to host peaceful protests throughout the day to help amplify the voice of the Latino community. The hashtag #RacismIsntFunny connects people on social media and streamlines the ability to reach more people.
In case you don’t remember, NBC previously dropped the Miss USA Miss Universe Pageants that Trump is associated with.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the company said in a statement back in June. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBC is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
Now, NBC has allowed Trump to return as the host of one of their most successful television shows.
One SNL encore episode costs advertisers $26 thousand for a 30-second bit; on special nights it can cost upwards of $100 thousand. Add Trump to the recipe and this becomes one of the network’s most important nights for ratings and dollars. It’s this “hypocrisy,” as Escalante puts it, that the Latino community and its allies should not stand for.
The now 530 thousand signatures seek to remove Donald Trump from hosting Saturday Night Live, but it doesn’t look like the network will budge.
The flash drive inside the box also holds a note with Escalante and other organization’s contact information but no one has reached back with any comments. An open letter has also been delivered to SNL talent inviting them to engage in dialogue on the subject matter.
Donald Trump may very likely continue his host duties tonight, but Escalante encourages leaders to continue to do more.
“If they turn off the show tonight because of Donald Trump’s comments, they should turn it off indefinitely,” Escalante told Rise News. “SNL has had a troubling relationship with the Latino community in the past and we need make sure to draw the line.”
Trump is still in the top tier of the GOP primary.
As Escalante notes, Trump is an “showman” but the lack of substance and explanation toward his policies will catch up to him. Trump is an expert at getting reactions from people and it’s only a matter of time before he gets enough bad ones, Escalante said.
Escalante and his team visited the weekly “overnight line” for SNL tickets and staff tells them, it’s the shortest line they’ve ever seen.
Trump strongly believes his appearance will cause a huge boost to ratings, per usual.
During a phone interview with Fox and Friends, Trump dismissed the possibility of SNL dropping him. “Lorne Michaels is a very smart guy. NBC are very smart people,” Trump told the hosts of the Fox News morning show. “If they want to do a show with a third of the ratings, they might do that.”
Read More: How Donald Trump Is An IRL Internet Troll
Will ratings go up? Maybe. Will Trump actually make people laugh? Quite likely. What triumphs the “Trump Effect” of tonight’s SNL episode is the unity seen with groups like Escalante’s. Many are angry, and even more are over the appeal of Trump.
With studies showing you need much more than 40 percent of the Latino vote to win a presidential election, tonight may be a seminal moment in the campaign.
So, Mr. Trump, your show tonight might be HUUUUGE, but the voices of the Latino community can be just as impactful. Visit RacismIsntFunny.com to learn more about the petition and ongoing campaigns.
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Photo Credits: Juan EscalantePost Views: 638
What Do You Think?