Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Conservative Credits Bush Agenda For Revolutions


This article talks about what the U.S. should do in light of the current situation in the Middle East. America has had multiple foreign policies dealing with democratization throughout the world stemming back multiple presidential terms. However, learning from our past, America is being cautious this time. 

Under the Bush administration, the U.S. developed a policy called the "freedom agenda", to distribute democracy throughout the world. President Regan had a similar policy throughout the Cold War. The Bush policy was about world democracy. As Americans, we want democracy. But, the question now resides, what should we do with the situation in the Middle East? There have been multiple propositions, but no hard action. It was not until this week that President Obama took a hard formal stance. The article says that by taking a hard stance the problem is that, "The U.S. stands to lose stability in the area" (p. 1). This is where our past comes into play. 

One idea that has been thrown around is the possibility of training local militia groups to overthrow the governments. In the interview, former Regan and Bush staffer Elliott Abrams says, "Give (the people) whatever help they can" (p. 2). This was an agenda strongly supported within Iraq and Afghanistan. However, we have seen the results of that. More importantly is the results of what happened with the Taliban. We supported and trained the Taliban militants against the Soviets, we even gave them weaponry; we see where that ended up today. Abrams makes the claim, "The Middle East is turning democratic" (p. 2). I agree with this. However, we should let them do so themselves. 

NPR is a public news source using multiple non-bias sources. However Abrams is a former Presidential staffer siding towards American views.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

State of The Union

     Last week, President Obama delivered his second State of the Union address. In his speech Obama covered a wide variety of topics. However, what was more interesting in this address was the way the members of the Congress conducted themselves. As you may remember, during the last Presidential address Representative Joe Wilson yelled, "You Lie!" towards President Obama when talking about healthcare. During this address, no such events occurred. The inspiring part of this address to our nation was that the members of Congress both Democrats and Republicans sat together. Normally, Democrats would sit on one side of the aisle while Republicans on the other. However, this time they sat intermingled. Democrats and Republicans were unified while everything else they seem to do in congress is divided. President Obama made a comment saying, "What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow". What Obama is saying is that the fact that Congress was sitting together at the address does not matter. What is more important is if the Democrats and Republicans can work together in congress. We have been accustomed to recently seeing democratic filibusters in both the House and Senate. But now since Republicans control the House and Democrats the Senate it will be imperative for the two to work together to pass any legislature. America needs to work together.

     Another interesting aspect of this address was the topics discussed and the overall feeling within the House Chamber. One of the first things that Obama addressed was to pray for Gabby Giffords. The comment that Obama made received applause from the whole Chamber. Additionally, instead of focusing on one major topic, Obama discussed a variety of topics. This is unusual in State of the Union addresses. But what was even more surprising was the feeling within the Chamber. In previous addresses, comments by the President generally only receive applause from either Democrats or Republicans. During this address, it was not uncommon to see both Democrats and Republicans standing together applauding. This is possible due to the fact that many of the topics covered by the President were ones embraced by both Democrats and Republicans. Additionally it showed a sense of unity within the Chamber. This years State of the Union address was not what everyone expected. However, it did deliver significant information on the current state of our union.

A full transcript of the State of the Union address:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

     One major political component is the institution of government policies. Our government imposes these policies on the entire country. However, these policies often take great debate and discussion. Debates also occur about the disagreement over current policies that were instituted many years ago. One of these policies is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". It was implemented in 1993 by President Clinton at an attempt to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. What the policy did was discharge any openly gay service members of the armed forces, however it let gay men and women to secretly serve in the armed forces without revealing their sexuality. It also limited harassment and prosecution of this violation. Since its implementation over 13000 servicemen and women have been discharged directly as a result of this policy. Today, this policy is under much scrutiny and has been subjected to multiple debates.

     Today the debate is over whether gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the military. This can be done by repealing this policy. Many politicians are in favor of this, however many others with opposing view want to keep the policy and what comes along with it. Many reasons can be sited for wanting each. A reason for repealing the policy is that people want gay men and women to openly serve in the military and not be fearful of any consequences. Reasons for keeping the policies is that some military personnel may be uncomfortable with serving with a gay member, and this as a result will impact the service of the personnel. And since this policies has been intact for some time, some people are resilient to change. A recent study done by the Pentagon cites that nearly 50% of those servicemen and women surveyed said that they believe that they have already served with someone gay; 70% have said that they are comfortable serving with gay colleagues. However, 60% of Marine troops who are engaged in direct conflict say that they would feel uncomfortable serving with someone gay. This survey has provided fuel for both sides of the argument which continues. Currently, the policy is intact but forces are trying to both repeal it and maintain it. It really addresses the question what should we do with "don't ask, don't tell"?

Sunday, November 21, 2010


     We have the privilege of living in a country with freedom. Our constitutional republic allows for the people to have some say in government. However, throughout history and in modern day there have been countries that prevent freedom from their people.Specifically, there have been dictatorships established throughout this world that prevent people from enjoying the simple luxury that we have. Freedom.
  A dictator can be described as someone who has complete authority over an area, and does as he pleases. There have been many dictators throughout history. To name a few notable dictators there has been Fidel Castro of Cuba, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Kim Jong-il of North Korea. These dictators have imposed total control on their respective countries by themselves. This power coming from a single person shows us how bad singular control of a government can be. We in the United States have been exposed to a government where all of us have some say in it. But the people who live under dictatorships are under the complete control from a single person. The three examples that were stated earlier are all example of dictatorships from different times. North Korea is currently under a dictatorship. Its people currently have no freedom and it is a current example of this problem. On the other hand, Iraq is an example of the past. Over time, its people have led the country towards a democracy. The most interesting example is Cuba. Cuba has been in a dictatorship since the late 50's. However,  this year Cuba has relinquished some control over its people. It still holds government control, but outside of that its power has diminished. These examples can all be focused on current dictatorships and hopefully show that they can be abolished. There is hope for freedom for all.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Congress: Democrats and Republicans

In just a couple of days, the 2010 midterm elections will be upon us. It is important to note that some of these key races will have a significant impact on our future. Currently, it can be said that Congress is a problem. It has been incapable of making significant change since the last elections, and it is clear that the situation that we are currently in is not positive. Therefore, the upcoming elections will have a significant impact on how Congress can move forward. But what exactly are the problems that are causing Congress to be unproductive? A close examination of all angles can possibly clue us in on what is wrong.

At quick glance we always hear about the conflict between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. This is an obvious problem. Simply, the Democrats are blaming the Republicans and vice-versa. However, the issues are far more complex and go much deeper. Democrats are blaming Republicans based on their past. Democrats say that the Republicans have put this country in a hole that no one can get out of. This causes the bases of the argument. Republicans in turn counter and say the Democrats have been unable to bring any significant and immediate change this country needs. This argument goes back and forth with Democrats saying that even they cannot do anything because the problem so large and Republicans admitting yes we created this problem, but let us fix the mess that we started. Republicans say that they know most about the situation while Democrats say enough is enough, you had your chance and you let it slip away. This constant divide does not let our Congress currently do much that is productive. It has been so rare for bipartisan success, that it is now considered a miracle when it does happen. This relationship between the two parties is a problem.

When looking at this problem, many questions arise. We ask ourselves, "Should we fix this problem?" "Can we even fix this problem?" and if we can even answer any of these questions, we will end up asking ourselves "How can we fix it?" and "What can we do?" It shows us that this problem is so complex that we may even be unable to fix it ourselves. Does this problem belong to be solved by the people who have caused it? Our Congress? I would like to think that the people that we have elected into office can and will do something about this problem. But, with the recent inactivity and inability to do so, I believe that they cannot. What I see is that Congress has abused its power and it is time for the people to step in. Maybe we can finally do something about it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

2010 Political Season

Today, when you talk about political parties you mainly hear of the Republicans and the Democrats. These two parties often have opposing viewpoints, and they each control a large part of our politics. Because these two political parties have opposing viewpoints, it is seemingly unfair for one of these parties to control our politics. Today, it appears that the democrats control our politics. This large control of one party is unfair to the people of the other side. It is necessary that the people have equal representation and that is clearly not the case here. However, this can all change soon.
All throughout the states, there will be elections held for seats in the Senate, House, and also there will be gubernatorial races to come in the coming two weeks. All these elections can have a dramatic shift on the political orientation of our country. Republicans are looking to take control of more and more positions, and in the process kick Democrats out of office. But what indication is there that there may be this shift? A look at a recent Associated Press report shows us multiple reasons.
It says that due to the largely unpopular policies of the President, and the incapability of Congress to do something productive, people are fearing that are nation may go into a deeper hole than it already is in. As a result, people are looking for change again, and can do so by electing Republicans. Experts say that this may very well happen. Democrats have already conceded some races and are looking to only savage others. They are becoming more and more desperate. This is a perfect time for Republicans to pounce and take back control of what they once had. Once they do that they can work on the things that Democrats were unable to do and as a result do what the people want. That is to improve our great nation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Political Introduction

     We live in a world that is all about politics. May it be your local city politics, or the politics in a distant nation; we all have our own opinions. These opinions are what fuel our beliefs of these immense and often overwhelming topics. But however complex each of these topics in politics are, our core beliefs are what define them. It is important to be aware of the multiple topics in politics all over the world to get a true understanding of what is going on globally. We need to know what is going on all over the world and not always thinking about ourselves. This global mindset is what we need to achieve. When discussing political ideas, it is necessary to accommodate a global viewpoint because what is best for us is not always best for all. However strong your core beliefs are, you must always be able to sometimes go against these beliefs to look at the greater good. We are all at fault with this. It is challenging to do this, but I will admit that I am at fault for this as well. Going forward I will respect all the topics being discussed. I will address multiple viewpoints and thorough explanations behind the reasoning of a topic. I will also include my own opinions to compare with those of other people. I cordially invite you to discuss these topics of politics that I will address in the near future.