The Lifestyle

Top 5 Reasons Millennials Must Vote

Folks we’ve got less than two weeks until Election Day, and I’ve got one word for you.  VOTE! I know PSAs and the media describe every election as extremely important, but this one truly is.  There is a lot at stake with this election cycle, and if you don’t exercise your right and duty as an American citizen, you’ll be doing this country, and more importantly yourself, a real disservice.  Don’t believe me, well let’s look at some of the things at stake here.

 

  1. Post Obama Race Relations

It should be no secret to anyone that since the election of President Obama, race relations in this country have taken some unfortunate steps back.  The fact people must chant “Black lives matter” in 2016 is just sad.  I for one don’t want to let my vote go uncast knowing politicians hold a lot of power in making sure this country is truly dedicated to seeing that there is real “justice and liberty for all.”  Marching in the streets and posting named hashtags is symbolic and sentimental; but, if you want to make a real difference, you’ll show up to the polls.

 

  1. Potential for War Deployment of Troops

With the looming threat of Russia, the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria, and the infamous ISIS still present, matters of national security will be increasingly more important during the next presidential term. You’ll want to vote for someone you believe can keep the country safe and out of wars.  Someone that is of sound mind and temperament to engage with other international powers.  I for one don’t want someone that will be like a “bull in a china shop.” (Old country saying for you. LOL)

 

  1. Higher Education Costs

If you are reading this and you’ve never heard of Sallie Mae or Navient, consider yourself blessed. There are those like myself that are very familiar with the two.  College is expensive and is not getting cheaper.  There are many in this country that hail education as being the great equalizer, and the major key needed to get ahead and reach the American dream.  However, for millions of millennials it’s becoming harder to reach that dream because they are drowning in student loan debt trying to pay for a degree (or two) they were told they had to have in order to even pursue the dream in the first place.  Where is the fairness in that?  It’s important you go out and vote to stop the increasing price of degrees, and to help alleviate some of the financial burden on countless college graduates.

 

  1. The Supreme Court

The right for members of the LGBT community to get married just became nationally legal and recognized a little over a year ago. I want you think about that when you say you won’t vote, because that is what’s at stake.  The highest bench in the land has an opening, and possibly a few more openings in the next four years to come.  Do you want to risk having the wrong person elected as president, or people elected to the senate, that could possibly shape a court that overturns the rights of millions of gay couples?

Besides gay marriage, the future makeup of the Supreme Court will also be deciding on some cases involving voting rights, women’s rights, and affirmative action.  These are things that impact your everyday life.  And if not directly, these issues impact someone you know. Trust me.

 

  1. Empowerment of the Average Man

I may not agree with most of the things Trump says, but he and Bernie were right about the corruption in DC.  Too many companies and special interest groups have their hands in politics.  These groups use money to persuade politicians into making horrendous policy decisions that often disenfranchise the average man.  Take for example the criminal justice system and the private prison industry.  When politicians voted to impose mandatory sentencing, they often did so knowing they would be directly benefiting the private prison industry, but disguised their decision as voting to protect public safety. (Check out 13th on Netflix.)

Heck, you can look at the gun lobbying groups such as the NRA.  The NRA has pretty much immobilized many politicians from voting on simple common sense gun reform policies. Politicians claim they don’t want to pass anything that limits the Second Amendment, but you would think they would pass something that makes it more difficult for the wrong people to get weapons.  But again, many politicians are more loyal to the money getting them elected than the average people they swore to serve.  And you can apply a similar argument to failed banking reform and failed checks on Wall Street.  (It’s understandable why so many people felt the Bern.)

 

So in short, VOTE!  If you can vote early, go.  If you are sending an absentee ballot, send it.  And if you are voting on Election Day, get to the polls before they close.  We’ve got to take this seriously people. Remember, if you don’t vote, then don’t complain.

 

The Lifestyle

Stopping Donald Trump

So in the past week, I’ve been reminded of a major reason why Trump is seemingly so popular.  The ignorance that he spews from his platform, preys on the very fears and ignorance many in America have.  His “othering” of Muslims, condemnation of Mexicans and Mexican Americans, and belittlement of women, strikes a chord with the apparent millions of people that treat minorities as a scapegoat for all the turmoil in this country.

The Lifestyle

This Can’t Be American Politics

Up until now, I’ve been relatively quiet about the present and future political landscape of this country.  And that’s not because I haven’t had my share of opinions.  Trust me, I’ve had plenty to say.  But now with the 2016 presidential primaries inching closer, and certain politicians and pundits shoving their feet further into their mouths, I decided to get somethings off my chest.  So here it goes.

The Lifestyle

Top Takeaways from the First Democratic Presidential Debate

  1. Lincoln Chafee Failed in a Big Way

Where to begin with this former senator and governor?  Last night was simply not his night.  I’m not sure if his nerves got the best of him, or he simply wasn’t prepared to engage in a debate.  But whatever it was, he will need Olivia Pope herself to save his campaign run.  When asked about his vote as a senator to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, he basically said “I had just arrived in the Senate.”  As a viewer and voter, I instantly knew his candidacy has a fast approaching expiration date.  And I completely understand him being new in the senate, and the fact his dad had recently passed at the time of the vote.  However, no voter wants to be offered excuses by a presidential hopeful.  No matter how valid the excuses may be.

Oh and by the way, Chafee fell victim to Hillary Clinton’s most celebrated one-liner of the night!  A simple “NO”!

  1. Jim Webb Is the Odd Man Out

I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Jim Webb dropped out of this presidential race after last night.  When he wasn’t being forgotten about in the deep corner of the stage, he was offering the American public gripes about Anderson Cooper’s skill as moderator and awkward responses to debate questions.  More than a few times, his answers made me cringe.  I mean it got so bad, that I actually had to wonder why he considers himself to be a democrat.  Plus, his response to the question about the Black Lives Matter movement was laughable.  While I’m sure the black community is appreciative of his support of a black hero in way of a memorial/monument, that’s not exactly helping the community in the continued fight for equality and justice.

  1. Martin O’Malley is Really Campaigning for a V.P. Spot on Someone’s Ticket

In many ways the former Maryland governor echoed Bernie or Hillary.  Other than perhaps his stance on immigration reform, he didn’t really state anything that makes me as a voter give him a second look over the party’s two front runners.  I ultimately came to the conclusion last night that he is really in this race running for vice president.  His debate answers and at times soft attacks on Sanders and Clinton, made this “VP” theory quite clear.

  1. Everybody Loves Bernie, BUT Are His Plans Realistic

While many of us watched republicans attempt to sink Clinton’s campaign, we also saw Bernie Sanders emerge as a real democratic contender for president.  I have to admit, while Clinton has struggled over the past few month, Sanders has managed to capture my attention.  His ideas about free tuition, student loan reform, and attacking Wall Street really almost made me a full Bernie supporter and one day voter.

Now as amazing as Sanders was last night, and he was really pretty spectacular, he failed to convince me that his policy proposals are actually possible.  When he attempted to explain how he planned to expand things like social security or fund a free tuition program in this country, he claimed to want to institute a higher tax on Wall Street and the wealthiest 1%.  The problem I have with that, is that tax reform is extremely difficult to get passed in Congress, especially when both the House and Senate are overrun by a disjointed Republican Party.  So taking away his unlikely tax hikes, where does that leave his platform in the realm of probability?

In addition, last night’s debate shed light on the fact that the gridlock we see in Washington under President Obama, is nothing compared to what it will be under a Sander’s administration.  While I admire his “shake up D.C.” attitude, I’m not sure his revolutionary spirit will be beneficial to bipartisan compromise.  And I for one am sick of the looming threat of government shutdowns.

  1. Hillary Is Finally Back

As a longtime supporter of the former secretary of state and her husband, I like many was excited when she officially announced her 2016 candidacy for president.  I was thrilled to see her again vie to become the first woman leader of this country, and perhaps even more thrilled to see a solid democrat contender possibly follow President Obama in the White House.  However, since announcing she was running for office, she and her campaign fell kind of flat.

Prior to last night’s debate, I honestly felt Mrs. Clinton was resting on her 2008 bid for president.  Almost as if she felt she didn’t have to work hard for votes this go around.  And then came along this asinine probe into her very legal, but possibly compromising email account.  For months now, a largely led republican witch hunt has attempted to nail her for this account in the press.  It got to the point I could barely discern her 2016 platform amongst the republican noise, and was slightly confused on where she stood on key issues.  Unfortunately for this former New York senator, all of this was working against her in terms of my support.

But last night, the one and only Hillary Clinton hit restart on her 2016 campaign and made it clear she is a formidable opponent.  Her debate preparation was impeccable.  She was clear on her perspective, didn’t allow her opponents to knock her off her game, and redirected negative comments or questions back to the narrative of her solid political platform and experience.  I’d be completely surprised if Clinton doesn’t see a bump in her poll numbers as last night’s debate winner.  Kudos to her!

Oh and check out some highlights from last night.