No, Libertarians and Liberals Won’t Team Up To Overthrow Trump

There has been talk as of late about the possibility of libertarians and liberals uniting to ‘take down’ President Trump.

How this coup d’état occurs in the material world I’m not quite sure, but it is nonetheless an intriguing question.

Both sides have numerous qualms with the Trump agenda, some of which overlap.

The tightening of the immigration system, the travel ban, and a belief in the existence of authoritarian tendencies point to a teaming up of the administration’s foes.

However, the differences outweigh the similarities and I am far from convinced these two will form a successful resistance.

Libertarians pride themselves on individualism, abiding by the U.S. Constitution’s prescripts, and cherishing free market capitalism.

They support minimal taxation (if any) for all individuals and aim for a general disengagement between the government and the private lives of the people.

This includes very few economic regulations, a reduction to the welfare state, and a refrain from unnecessary international entanglements.

No limits to your speech and no antiquated social restraints.

Within Libertarianism is a codified system of beliefs, whether you agree with them or not, that aim to reduce the state apparatus and maximize the liberty of an individual to live as they wish, without inflicting harm on others.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is often considered one of the leading libertarian voices in the country. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

An ideological line can be drawn straight from principle to policy.

Liberals, on the other hand, fail to present a systematic worldview which applies to the plethora of modern questions.

The most vocal left-of-center Americans have turned all of their attention to protesting whatever Trump does.

And as Trump doesn’t adhere to a concrete vision of government’s role in society, liberals follow him deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole.

They were aroused by the zeal of Bernie-sized federal authority, but tremble in the streets now that it has fallen in the hands of he who shouldn’t be mentioned (‘Calexit’ is the type of irony satirists have a field day over, as highlighted by Edward Morrissey in his piece, “California Has Lost Its Mind”).

Instead of formulating a legislative response to fight Trump’s immigration orders they demand a ‘turn-the-other-cheek’ approach to the law.

Even though changing immigration law is a monumental task, proposing such a change would be a more respectable reaction than the emotional response to border walls and ICE raids.

Apply this to another area of the law and it unfolds quickly.

We all want police officers to follow the law when carrying out search warrants or routine traffic stops.

In what universe would it be suitable for them to neglect the law?

By suggesting that we only follow some laws, the law-abiding argument no longer holds up.

On the constitution, liberals love to cite it when fighting Trump but too often refuse to accept its other necessities.

Staging a sit-in is the first amendment at its finest but allowing a conservative speaker on campus is a bridge too far.

Perhaps the point of greatest separation from libertarians is the way the American left thinks in term of group identity.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is a leading American liberal. Photo Credit: Nick Fisher/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This collectivist mindset erodes the focus on the individual which is essential in libertarianism.

Ask your average liberal – millennial or not – and they will most likely describe our current state as a battle between the marginalized and the majority, a society divided among the oppressed and the oppressors.

You are Black, White, Latinx, Muslim, Evangelical, Straight, Gay, Cis or non-Cis, etc.

It’s not you who matters, it’s the group that matters.

This way of thinking appoints all of its resources towards the ‘common good’, a utilitarian goal but one that can easily lead to a starvation for freedom.

The individual becomes relegated to serfdom, pleading for liberties to the group or the state.

I have a hard time believing libertarians and liberals can unite for a common purpose to stop Trump.

Their missions are polar opposites, at times antithetical to the very existence of the other.

It is commonly thought that liberals and libertarians are very similar in their political leanings, but libertarians are simply more frugal with money.

This is a complete understatement of the fundamental differences by which these sides view the world and societal order.

Even if, hypothetically, these two did join forces to take down the President, there aren’t many avenues go down.

Impeachment would lead to Vice President Mike Pence stepping in, someone who libertarians and liberals aren’t too fond of either, or a 2020 defeat, which leaves four years minus a few months left for Trump in the White House.

Some fantasized outcome other than these, as unimaginable as I think it is, would require a serious rebuilding period with the victors sharing the spoils.

As the famous axiom of former Secretary of State Colin Powell (And Pottery Barn) goes, “if you break it, you own it”.

Libertarians and liberals would have a nation-sized divorce on their hands.

As they would try to divide up the assets, their quarrels would become insurmountable.

Unless the Senate Republicans buy into the theory that Trump is a Russian puppet, the Donald is here to stay.

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.

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Does Cultural Appropriation Really Even Matter?

Asking whether cultural appropriation matters or not is like asking if a fat kid loves cake… Of course!

But it’s such a taboo subject to talk about that people usually keep quiet about it.

Let’s start with a definition of cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is the exploitation or oppressive cooption of elements of one culture by members of another culture without permission.

Now that we got a working definition, let’s ask this question again: does cultural appropriation matter?

Yes, and especially in America.

This question sparked an interesting debate with my sorority sisters and me.

Some of them actually believed that cultural appropriation shouldn’t matter since everyone takes from everyone to make their culture unique.

However, the rest us believed it to be a bad characteristic of society that needs to be addressed.

We live in a country that was built on the backs of the oppressed.

Because of this, the melting pot that we are said to live in comes with double standards.

Many of these ‘new’ trends that appear in mainstream come from someone else’s culture.

Let’s talk hair.

Braids have been a part of the African American culture as a protective style to protect our natural hair from harsh weather conditions.

When worn by us, we are negatively stereotyped and ostracized by society.

Photo Credit: Alvaro Sasaki/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Yet if someone like Kim Kardashian wears it, then it is accepted by those same people that called it ugly and ghetto.

For anything to be magically accepted by mainstream America, you have to be of a fair complexion.

Let’s talk dances.

Breaking out of her Disney barrier, Miley Cyrus decided to twerk as part of her on stage performances.

Before then, this was only heard of in the black community as a form of dancing.

She often kept black women in her videos and performances as pieces.

Usually having some sing and some dance but objectifying the dancers to those equivalent to a sex toy.

But she isn’t the only one.

Shall we go on?

Let’s talk appearance.

Society is a monster.

From a young age, we are taught to hate ourselves, especially young minority girls.

As a black girl, I was often teased for my full lips, milk chocolate complexion, and my naturally curvy body.

Now that I’m older, the same things that I was being teased for are the same things that are being praised on others.

Let’s use the lovely Kardashians as the example.

Kim altered her body to have curves and an ass which she didn’t have naturally; Khloe got ass injections that are not proportionate to her body; and Kylie got lip injections that she swore wore not lip injections.

It seems like the features that many minorities have are favored on other women who are not in the minority.

Not convinced yet?

Let’s give it one more shot.

Cultural appropriation matters because it is a form of oppression.

Typically, the ones that are being oppressed are usually the ones that have a problem with this.

This is just another example of how white privilege works.

White people take something, give no credit for it, and claim it as their own and repeat the process.

White privilege and accountability don’t go together at all hence why we have cultural appropriation issues.

Minorities have given the false hope of ‘all man is created equal’, forgetting the fact this quote wasn’t meant to include everyone at the time it was first said.

So in turn, the foundation of this country has been built on the unequal stature of those who take from those who are defenseless.

And in the end, cultural appropriation does matter and needs to be recognized.

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: Alannah Giannino/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Should Everyone be Automatically Registered to Vote?

Voting was such a hot topic on campus this past fall.

Obviously from the Hillary v. Trump election but I think on a deeper level too.

Voting comes with a certain pride and a feeling of hope of being heard.

I know, I know!

It sounds ridiculous, but think about it.

I go to school at UNC Charlotte.

Currently UNC Charlotte is made up of 17% African-American students, 48% female students, and 41% who are considered low income students.

All are less than the majority on campus and throughout history, these groups have faced some time of oppression when it comes to voting.

It took time and a great amount of push-back to gain suffrage for all of these groups.

So now, for the pressing question: Should Everyone be Automatically Registered to Vote?

In my opinion, everyone should not be automatically registered to vote.

Voting is a guaranteed right for us now, but it was not always guaranteed and therefore should not be taken for granted.

I myself worked for a politician during his re-election and during a presidential election year and was not registered to vote.

Not to mention, I am a political science major.

I kept making excuses for why I was not registered yet.

For a while it worked but eventually I had to come to the reality of the matter.

The whole time I was convinced that I was making the executive decision to not register but really, it was that I clearly was not mature or responsible enough to vote for our leaders.

I am thankful I could not vote at that time, because I would not have made the most informed decision.

Yet, if I were automatically registered then someone as apathetic as I could still be able to cast my vote last-minute and without any thought.

Thankfully, because I was not wholly convinced on the importance of my vote, my laziness prevailed and I did not want to take the time to register.

Finally, I had an epiphany and realized what a difference voting vs not voting would mean personally for me personally.

Getting to register was the validation to myself that I was growing up and it symbolized a commitment to myself and society to become informed and cast a vote that counts.

Voting is our right, but we should have some initiative to receive this.

If those before us worked so tirelessly to gain suffrage then we can take a little time to fill out our personal information to register to exercise this right.

When you work, even just a little bit for it there is this pride in knowing your vote is unique to whatever you believe no matter what authorities or anyone else thinks and you earned it.

How freeing and liberating is that?

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.

This is an opinion piece. It is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of RISE NEWS. 

Cover Photo Credit: Joe Crawford/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Patriots Of The Left And Right Must Unite Against Trump’s Personal Rule

By Jacob Kaye

Throughout much of the last two years, talk of patriotism has been at a fever pitch.

Although defining patriotism – and what it means to be a patriot – has long been a contentious debate between the left and the right, the nationalism evoked by President Trump has added new life to the conversation.

The conversation itself, it seems, has been fairly inadvertent.

Few politicians, political pundits, or journalists have spoken of patriotism by name.

Instead, we have been subjected to certain phrases that speak to the core of what the two sides believe is patriotic behavior – or, more often, what they believe it is not.

Whenever someone suggests that we give President Trump a chance – to fail or succeed, they never do specify – or that those who are upset by his electoral victory or his onslaught of executive orders should move out of the country, they are speaking to the core of their form of patriotism.

One that relies on the belief that the actions, policies, and traditions of this nation should be unquestioned and often celebrated.

This is typically the belief of a patriot of the right.

Conversely, when someone proposes that we overhaul or dismantle large and deeply embedded systems of American society, they are speaking to their form of American patriotism.

One that relies on the belief that the actions, policies, and traditions of this nation be questioned often and celebrated when reformed, calibrated, or undone.

This is typically the belief of a patriot of the left.

Photo Credit: Jeff Turner/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Both forms of patriotism come from a place of love and an insatiable need to believe in American goodness or, at the least, it’s potential for goodness.

But both forms of patriotism ­– at their worst – can also inspire great and terrible violence.

The inability – or, in some cases, willful ignorance – to question the country, it’s people, or government, can lead to a national blindness that allows evil actors to bring injustice upon groups of people indiscriminately.

On the other hand, the constant destruction of long-standing institutions – in the name of either love or despair – can lead to anarchic revolution.

Of course, both cases speak the most extreme deployment of one’s patriotism.

What I find most curious is that a both sides feel their patriotism is in direct opposition to the patriotic believes of the other.

It is not simply a matter of disagreement but both believe the other patriot is inherently acting to destroy America.

One patriot uses their love as a weapon against the other.

Both sides have failed to recognize how their patriotism is rooted in the same belief-American Exceptionalism.

Patriots of the left believe that America has the ability to solve the world’s ills – inequality, systemic injustice, racism, or poverty – and that we have a duty, as well as a unique gift, to diagnose these flaws.

Patriots of the right believe that the exceptionalism of our past has so strongly guided us to a present in which the world’s ills exist in America only fractionally and this difference is worthy of celebration and continued dedication.

Whether or not one can be an American patriot without believing in some form of American Exceptionalism is a conversation for another day – or if we can put it off, another election cycle – but I believe that the two patriots outlined above both feel that this country is unique.

Photo Credit: MarieEly/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Although it certainly isn’t the only disagreement between left and right, the definition and qualities of a patriot remain a critical cause of the current political chasm.

But still, we avoid a deeper conversation about what a patriot is because it is rude, tacky, confrontational, and at times, incendiary, to proclaim one’s self a patriot or to say that someone is not.

Maybe we believe that the times are not dire enough to speak fervently about patriotic notions.

But they are.

Every day, we adjust and recalibrate most aspects of our lives to the 21st century.

A patriot of 1776 is not a patriot of 2017.

American institutions and systems and history have informed the patriot over time and the patriot has a duty to allow American institutions, systems, and history to do so.

There is one patriot who has decided to change the definition of American patriotism altogether.

He even declared that January 20, 2017, this year’s inauguration day, be forever remembered as the “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” implying there is no further discussion to be had over what patriotic behavior is.

President Trump, as suggested by Paul Krugman in The New York Times, believes in a haunting credo – “L’état, c’est moi,” or, “I, myself, am the nation.”

Patriotism, as he has defined, is devotion to him.

As patriots of the left and right, we owe it to the love we both have for this country to empathize with one another and open our eyes to the common ground we all stand upon.

Understand that this is not a fight over who loves the country and who doesn’t but instead, it is a fight over how we, both as patriots, choose to express our love.

If we don’t, one man will make sure, through credo, proclamation, or law, that both patriots are patriots no more.

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: Luz/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Milo Isn’t Going Away

By Joshua Hudson

Milo Yiannopoulos is the second most polarizing figure in the current political scene.

Whether it is his pro-pedophilia comments that recently came to light, campus protests at UC-Berkeley, Twitter-ban, open condemnations of Islam, or “humorous” rants about obesity, abortion, race, feminism, homosexuality, and religion, the British-Greek former Senior Editor and provocateur of Breitbart News creates continuous controversy in a society conditioned by political correctness.

With his bleached-blonde hair, flagrant homosexuality, and exuberance, it would be easy to expect Milo to be a prominent liberal figure, but with any research into his ideals, it becomes clear that is not the case.

However, despite his consistently conservative views, establishment Republicans dare not associate with such an outlandish, vexed person.

READ MORE: Milo To RISE NEWS: “Racist? Me? I’ve had more black dick in me than the entire Kardashian family” 

Instead, Yiannopoulos is viewed as a figurehead of the Alt-Right movement characterized by divisive, regressive ideas such as white supremacy, but Yiannopoulos refutes this association due to his sexuality and preference of black male partners.

So, where does he fit in?

In light of his controversial comments on the benefits of hebephiliac-homosexual relationships, intuition would imply that the answer is nowhere.

In an era dominated by the resounding voices and opinions of partisan extremes, that is not the case.

Milo Yiannopoulos embodies the “Freedom of Speech” doctrine and extensively conservative views.

By incurring the cost of hurt feelings, Milo destroys a range of stereotypes and political correctness so perfectly that his presence is the Achilles’ heel and consummate antagonist to the modern media and progressive millennials.

The direct honesty of his world view and opinions resonates with a niche populace that is determined to be heard.

By supporting Yiannopoulos and others like Tomi Lahren and Ben Shapiro, many conservative millennials have voices to combat the likes of John Oliver, Van Jones, and the many liberal voices in the media and Hollywood.

These supporters say they treasure the Constitution, freedom, patriotism, and nationalism.

They despise the rise of social justice warriors, safe spaces, the modern feminism narrative, gender non-conformity, the perceived liberal-bias in the media, and feel exiled by not conforming to the rise of Bernie Sanders like many of their peers.

This rebellion from the mainstream is the exact vein that Donald Trump tapped into to win the 2016 Presidential Election.

Their stream-of-consciousness style connects with the silent majority in America that rebukes the scripted, robotic political styles of many mainstream politicians.

Despite the controversies, there is no denying that Yiannopoulos is a talented, research-driven debater, who’s witty attacks and ability to frazzle even the most composed opponents are perfect for an age of information driven by echo-chambering, 10 seconds videos, and memes on Facebook.

Milo’s recent misstep with pedophilia was drastic enough to be the final nail in the coffin of his “Dangerous” book deal from Simon & Schuster his invitation to CPAC and his career at Breitbart.

But based on the exemplified steadfast support he has continued to receive on social media, it is very unlikely that this ends the career of America’s most infamous provocateur.

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: OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Political Correctness Could Be Making Millennials More Conservative Than They Want To Be

On the Jan. 27 episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the eponymous host burst into a montage of situations where celebrities were forced to apologize for comments and actions which were viewed as being culturally insensitive.

He began by saying, “Republicans apologize for nothing, Democrats for everything. Can’t we find a balance?”.

Maher is absolutely right.

Political correctness has gone awry in America.

What was once believed to be an instrument to bring us all together, to blanket our society in expressions that brought the marginalized into the fold has only deepened the divide among liberals and conservatives.

It is also apparent that the 2016 election was the battlefield on which this separation raged on.

The main problem is the restriction on language that follows the insistence on political correctness, and college campuses have become its overwhelming stomping ground.

Political correctness places rules and procedures on the way we communicate, which is only to lead to a skewed and incomplete form of dialogue.

Currently, there are things that you can say, and things that you can’t.

Unfortunately, the things you can’t say haven’t been deemed incomprehensible through debate.

No, they have been shut out completely in an attempt to eradicate them forever.

Instead of having individuals discuss opposing opinions, one view tends to be accepted as fact and the other is pushed underground because the surface is now inhospitable to a civil disagreement.

If some views are incomprehensible, shouldn’t it be simple to defeat it in debate?

If so, why the need to stop the conversation instead of using it to prove the point?

We all know what some of these disavowed ideas are.

Have a not-so-liberal opinion on the transgender bathroom issue?

You’re transphobic.

Want a tightened immigration system?

Don’t talk to me you xenophobe.

Are you a big believer in capitalism?

It sucks that you hate working class people.

It’s a perfectly democratic notion to disagree with someone on political issues because the very nature of these questions show a lack of consensus.

Their elimination from civil discourse is tyrannical.

These responses, or ones with similar sentiments, have succeeded on campuses for a number of years.

However, I believe it has come back to haunt the liberal cause.

These politically correct attitudes have backed people into a corner and micromanaged them into submission.

This leaves them no political escape other than doing exactly what they were told not to do.

Photo Credit: Pug50/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

We have all done things simply because we were warned against them and, at times, we have all wanted to be the person that is completely rebellious to a status quo we don’t like.

We listen to music that asserts no remorse for their honest lyrics, we watch movies in which recalcitrant characters are respected, and we look up to individuals who never change their resistance even with the strongest of winds in their face.

Yet, you may not express a politically incorrect opinion because you were told not to.

It’s quite obvious why our generation is splitting at the seams.

I can’t even count the amount of people I know that have rejected many a liberal cause not because they disagree with it, but because the way they felt forced into the belief.

Political correctness has stripped the human element from conversation.

Our conversations have become robotic, mechanical, hierarchical, something relegated to you at the permission of someone else.

People do not give their honest opinion because we have branded those that disagree with us as bigots, or ideologues, or fascists, or mentally ill.

This is where the difference Maher referred to becomes relevant. The two major parties differ on this topic in vast ways.

Donald Trump, whether you love him or think of him as an evil ruler, is clearly the antithesis to a politically correct way of speaking.

Other Republicans aren’t very cozy with it either.

To many average college students, the Democrats demand an apology before they seek safety for your family, a truthful media, or accountable governance.

To a rather aloof millennial, they very well may see Democrats as the party of political correctness.

Some of these young people found solace in a candidate like Trump. Not because they like him or his policies or what he speaks of, but because they saw the majority of elected Democrats and those running for office as the enforcers of this PC mindset they are disgusted by. A mindset that is omnipresent and affects them on a daily basis.

This drug was initially meant to numb the pain of the oppressed, which is an effort worth respect.

Unfortunately, it has done serious damage to the language we use to express ourselves.

Language is the waterway on which humans explore the unknown; it’s the mechanism from which society breathes.

The greatest conversations about life, religion, politics and love occur when, in that moment, our words have no filter.

It’s just your free flowing thoughts and emotion that unleash the truth.

People love Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” because it’s raw and unflinching.

We read Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum est” because it is bold and shakes us to the core.

Honestly, how can you describe the horrors of the First World War while using a filter? You can’t.

The truth is ugly.

It stings, it’s chaotic, and at times makes us writhe.

But we won’t solve anything if we refuse to listen to other arguments.

It is how we find the truth.

Without it, who knows where it will lead.

For the time being, this is an issue met with warm applause and visceral condemnation, sending many into the ballot box aiming to remove it from their lives entirely.

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: Nicolas Raymond/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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