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Missouri Primary Reaction
By: Corinne Naeger
This election’s Missouri Presidential Primary was a truly unique experience to witness, particularly with candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton winning within a narrow 0.5% margin over their competitors. Furthermore, this primary contained a record high voter turnout with roughly 39% of registered voters turning up to do their civic duty. This exceeds even the previous record of 36% set back in the 2008 election. These results bring a number of elements up for our consideration, particularly the respective front-runner candidates, and what these results reflect about the opinions and desires of the populace. (Source: Fox4 News, Kansas City).
Across the country, Donald Trump has taken the Republican party by storm, leading nationally in the republican polls. Trump is followed closely by Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio. However, Rubio ended his campaign late Tuesday evening. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has further solidified her lead, but Senator Bernie Sanders not far behind. The selection of candidates reveals something interesting regarding the attitudes of the voters. Perhaps people are growing tired of the traditional establishment politicians; ones that are groomed for several years by their parties and presented at the proper time for election.
Even though Hillary Clinton is slightly ahead of Bernie Sanders at present moment, the fact that Sanders’s campaign is able to challenge a candidate as well established as Clinton shows that there has been a shift in the mindset of the public. Many people are wanting something different from their leaders than what they have previously experienced.
With a record number of voters turning up to make their voices heard, and a selection of anti-establishment candidates, perhaps people are beginning to take a real interest in the governance of their country. Looking forward, it seems likely that Donald Trump could be our Republican Presidential candidate. He has won 18 states so far and leading with approximately 600 delegates.
It is apparent that this election has shaken up the political establishment of both parties. When considering the future of the Republican Party, a massive cultural shift will be needed in order to stimulate voters into thinking critically about the needs of the country and what it will take to address these needs. It is the College Republicans hope that the selection of non-establishment candidates sends a message to politicians and leaders from both parties that Americans are tired of “business as usual”. However, only the party conventions, and ultimately the election in November, will reveal if this is truly the “year of the outsider” with candidates like Trump, Sanders, or Cruz, or if they will be swept away by the establishment. The choice rests with our fellow citizens, and ourselves, to determine our future leadership.
Liberal Arts Under Attack
By: Korbin Keller
- There is a spectre descending on college campuses
- Your constitutional right to be offended. How did it go?
There is a spectre descending on college campuses throughout the nation. It silences those who disagree with it, exiles those who do not follow it, and is consuming higher education as we know it. “Tolerance” is it’s name, and it is anything but. Tolerance has been transformed from a synonym of open mindedness into a new fascism; one focused on making sure no one is “offended” rather than creating a conducive learning environment. Sinclair Lewis is attributed with saying, “When fascism comes to America it will be cloaked in the flag and waving a cross.” However, this new fascism is cloaked in silence and waving tolerance.
One only has to look at recent events to see just how pervasive it has become. An assistant-professor at Mizzou demanded “muscle” to forcibly remove a student-journalist from a protest; students at Yale demanded that longtime professors be fired because they dared suggested that it is better for students to have adult conversations about what is offensive to them rather than the university try and police student behavior; Students demand the establishment of “free-speech” zones on campus (which would relegate your constitutional right to say whatever you want, no matter how many people disagree with you, to a corner on campus), and recently a fake petition to repeal the first amendment (which oddly enough, protects, among other things, the right to petition). Have we become so obsessed with protecting feelings and ensuring no one feels “unsafe” (unsafe in this case means having your ideas threatened) that we are willing to trade in our most important rights?
Maybe talk about “right to be offended” thing
The right to be offended should be especially sacred at a liberal arts college like Truman. We are supposed to be open to new ideas, to take in new information, and to have our beliefs threatened. When we have our beliefs threatened, we are better off as people, we can’t grow if we’re coddled and told that everything we believe is alright.
Truman Students Should Explore Capitalism More
By: Korbin Keller
Last week’s “Truman Students Should Explore Marxism More” called upon Truman Students to take a closer look at two economic structures: Capitalism, and Marxism. The article draws upon the importance of examining and questioning both economic models. I couldn’t agree more, and since true Marxism was so well explained last week, I figure the opposite idea should also get fair representation. We got a look at capitalism from a Marxist perspective, so, logically, we should also look at capitalism from a capitalist’s perspective! So, let’s make a mental investment and dive into the spirit of Capitalism, as we examine it in its purest form.
Capitalism ain’t just an economic theory, but it is also a social model as well (just like Marxism, oh boy!). Capitalism, according to Capitalism.org, “Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. Politically, it is the system of laissez-faire(freedom). Legally it is a system of objective laws (rule of law as opposed to rule of man). Economically, when such freedom is applied to the sphere of production its result is the free-market.” Capitalism believes that the means of economic production rest in the hands of private individuals, not the government. According to classical liberal theorists like John Locke and Adam Smith, our own country’s founders, and the madonna of capitalism, Ayn Rand, the government should be limited and beholden to the people it serves, and should also try not to interfere with people’s personal lives (private or business wise). To them, government’s role should be limited to protecting basic freedoms, rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or property, depending on who you ask, and not much else. This also means that no one, not the government, business, or any other person may attempt to assault, steal, or defraud from you, in which case your right to live peacefully has been violated. Capitalists also believe that businesses will arise to supply to people what they demand. Businesses will then hire workers, who cannot accept a job without consent of their own free will, to work at a specified rate by the business. Workers are able to form unions (contrary to popular belief, a real capitalist supports the rights of workers to form unions) and bargain with their employer for better wages/benefits. There’s a lot more involved, but if you have any questions, I suggest watching CrashCourse: economics on YouTube.
Now, comparisons were drawn between capitalism and slavery in last week’s article. Let me be clear that a real capitalist respects the rights of all human beings. No one can be forced into submission against their own will. Also, Marx states that Capitalism is based off the exploitation of the working class, and while it’s true that workers will always be paid so that business make a profit, that is only so the business, workers, and owners have an incentive to grow the business to make more money to hire more workers and to raise wages and increase owner’s profits in order to grow the business and make more money. Critics who wish to point out the evils of capitalism will refer to efforts of businesses during the 19th and 20th century to forcefully stop labor movements. However, that is crony capitalism. Those businesses who were suppressing the rights of the laborers to speak their minds were using the government to do so. In a real capitalist society, government stays out of business, but more importantly, business stays out of the government. That means no lobbyists, no vying for favors, nada. The government will only step in if people’s rights are being violated, and remember, no entity may use force, steal, or defraud a person. So, if the United States had been truly capitalist at the beginning of the 20th century, the companies would never have gotten away with sending police to attack strikers, or passing laws to make striking illegal. Businesses also won’t get away with trying to market dangerous or unhealthy products as safe; that involves defrauding the consumer, and is not allowed. When the government operates almost hand in hand with businesses, and in an environment where a business needs an ear in government just to compete, that’s not really capitalism, that’s economic socialism. Additionally, imperialism (what Lenin called the highest form of capitalism) could not be accomplished either; just as the government can’t take away our rights, it also should not be allowed to seize colonies away from people who self-determine themselves independent. So it can almost be said that every instance of the government interceding on the side of business to violate human rights or taking colonies in order to bring new wealth to the home country could actually be socialism.
And if you want to know how capitalism, even in the unpurified form we have in society, has benefited you, please keep the following in mind. You are reading this in a newspaper. The paper was first a tree which was cut down, converted into paper, and then submitted for publishing. The machines used to print the paper were built by some other private company. The metal used for the machines that printed the paper had to be mined by some other private company. The tools used by the miners to get the metal had to be produced by another company and so on and so forth. The most insignificant thing as a newspaper had thousands of hands involved to bring it to you, and all of them were motivated by the ancient contract of honest pay for honest work. Also, please note all of the excuses for practicing Marxist nations that were made. Not a single country that has implemented whatever version of communism they want to call it ever achieved a standard of living comparable to that of a practicing, capitalist republic. Everyone communist country or society, from Russia to Jonestown to North Korea to China to Cuba, has relied, or is still relying on, oppressing its people and committing crimes against humanity in a feeble attempt to compete with Democratic capitalism. So, that is why you, in a democratic, capitalist society, has a highest standard of living and more liberty to say what you want and to demand change, then anyone in a communist nation does. Let me be clear; a country, and a system, that relies on the suppression of dissenting ideas and opinions, and does not allow for criticism of the system for fear that people will see it as a failure, is a failure. You can criticize capitalism all you want, but keep in mind that you have a freedom to criticize it. I can only imagine where this article would get me, my immediate family, my grandparents, my cousins, and the next three generations of my family placed in North Korea. Truman Students should critically examine both Capitalism and Marxism, not only in their theoretical nature, but what these theories have actually accomplished when applied. Because if the only place an idea looks good is on paper, then the communist manifesto is as good as it will ever get.