Maybe it wasn’t Chris Wallace’s fault either.

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Last night there were two town halls. Both starting at 8 P.M. ET, on different networks. That decision has been talked about at nauseum in the past week, but that doesn’t make it any less ridiculous. Regardless, though the debates were on at the same time, they were starkly different in every way possible. One was in Miami, the other was in Philadelphia. One was indoors, the other was outdoors. And one centered around an aggressively defensive old man, the other centered around a calm one. Can you guess which candidate was which.

Throughout Donald Trump’s meeting, the President repeatedly clashed with the woman asking him questions, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. Whether it was a question regarding Trump retweeting a conspiracy theory involving Biden having Seal Team Six assassinated, or one about Trump’s infamous tax returns (or lack thereof), Guthrie was met with the same dismissive anger, as if Trump were offended that they would ask him questions like those. Everyone took note of the almost debate like atmosphere of this town hall meeting, but many people did not believe Trump was to blame. Instead they felt as though Guthrie was treating Trump unfairly, and attacking him instead of asking questions. They pointed to ABC’s debate with Joe Biden and George Stephanopoulos stating that Stephanopoulos was babying Biden by comparison. But it’s important to remember what these moderators, especially in a town hall setting, are there to do. Their job is to ask the candidate questions, and if they avoid answering those questions, to press them on it. To be clear, at times Biden was pressed as well. But here’s where Trump and Biden differed, when Biden was pressed, he calmly answered the question. I’m not saying his answers were always perfect, but they were answers, not rebuttals. …


a quippy statement does not win a debate

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Photo by Jose M. on Unsplash

I once wrote an article titled “The Importance of the Aphorism today”. I talked about the French philosopher Francois de La Rochefoucauld and his short yet insightful book of aphorisms, and how beneficial it would be if the intellectual community were to integrate this writing style, rather than strictly long form essays. I wrote this because aphorisms are entertaining yet educational, easy to digest yet rewarding. But there can be a dark side to these tart statements, and right wing politicians and media figures are very much illuminating this side of the literary tool. From “Facts don’t care about your feelings” to last nights “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts” Republican and conservative figureheads have targeted these mic drop moments, and a portion of the public has bought into it. On it’s own this wouldn’t necessarily be harmful, as long as the aphorisms were: A. relevant and B. contextually accurate. …


How the Republican parties northern star went from Lincoln to Reagan.

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Donald Trump cut taxes in his first term (primarily for the wealthy), and all signs point to him doing it again if he is elected for a second term. But of the many things that he has done during his time as president, his economic policies were by no means the most shocking. Going in we knew Trump was a Republican candidate, and Republican candidates absolutely adore tax cuts, especially when they involve the 1%. However it wasn’t always like that. For example Eisenhower increased social security, increased minimum wage, and even increased corporate taxes. In fact, at the end of his second term, corporate taxes had reached 52%. Even Nixon, in spite of everything that came with that fiasco, increased taxes on the wealthy. And if you’ll remember, even after Watergate and his ensuing Impeachment, many Americans took a while to renounce him. However since Reagan, every Republican candidate that received continued support has enforced significant tax cuts. …


we haven’t been pretending he’s a radical leftist.

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Original Photo by Rishabh Sharma on Unsplash

Last night, among the many things that were said, Joe Biden stated that he does not support the Green New Deal, stating that the proposal was “not my plan”. A few right wing personalities seemed to latch on to this point, as did Donald Trump himself. They all echoed a point that this was Biden turning his back on his more left leaning voter base, and that this would cause further division within the entire Democratic party. But as a member of that more left leaning voter base, this isn’t exactly news. We’ve known this entire time that Joe Biden was a moderate, despite Trump’s outlandish attempts to brandish him as a “Radical leftist”. In fact, as Joe Biden brought up during the debate, Biden revealed his own plan to combat climate change in June. And While the Biden plan isn’t quite as aggressive as the Green New Deal, which I personally would have preferred, it was still a step in the right direction. On top of this, the Biden campaign has put together the Biden Sanders Unity Task Force to address the climate crisis in a more progressive manner than his original plan. So yes, Biden doesn’t support the Green New Deal, we already knew that. Anyone who was paying attention did. Even though he acted as if he didn’t even Trump and his team must have known. …


There wasn’t much useful information from last nights debate, and that may have been intentional.

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Last night was… unique. That’s typically the first line of a text sent the morning after a fun night out, but instead this is an article about the presidential debate. Frankly that’s the kindest thing you could say about what happened, because Donald Trump ensured that there would be no way in which ideas were coherently exchanged on stage. Many people, myself included, were a bit concerned about Joe Biden on the debate stage. Concerned that a relentless amount of pressure applied by Trump may cause Biden to stumble a bit on his words. And like any other human being, Joe Biden did occasionally stutter, but unfortunately for Trump’s supporters, Biden appearing human on television was overshadowed by the U.S. President doing his best impression of a 14 year old lashing out after being caught stealing something. Throughout this debate Donald Trump continuously interrupted Joe Biden during his two minutes (in spite of the rules Trump agreed to), and launched malicious personal attacks against Biden and his family. Trump constantly brought up allegations that Hunter Biden took money from the wife of Moscow’s ex-mayor, which are at best unproven, and on top of that attacked Hunter once more for being a former drug addict. Just read over that last part one more time. The President of the United States, attacked his opponent’s son for having a drug problem, on live television. After quite a few efforts to move the conversation away from that topic, Joe Biden finally addressed it, saying that his son did have a drug problem, like many Americans have dealt with, and that he was proud of him for overcoming it. It was in moments like these that Trump’s debate strategy became painfully clear: Don’t debate. …


How the Republican Party moved dangerously far right, and took the country with it.

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Photo by visuals on Unsplash

Let’s flashback for a second.

November 29, 1990, President George H.W. Bush has just signed the Immigration Act of 1990, therefore passing it into law. With this bill, President Bush has just raised the annual limit of immigrants to 700,000, as well as introducing the Diversity Visa. 14 days before, Bush signed the clean air act. He then told the public that the US “fully intends to be the world’s preeminent leader in protecting the global environment.” 4 Months prior to this, President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act, forbidding workplace discrimination against people with disabilities. These are moderately leftist policies, or at the very least they aren’t aggressively right wing/laissez faire policies. That’s because George H.W. Bush was exactly what he claimed to be, a moderate conservative. He opposed deep structural changes when possible, but also understood that certain things made adaptation, and therefore change, necessary. …


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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

There are few individuals in history that are simultaneously as popular and obscure as Dr. Seuss. Born Theodor Seuss Geisel the man would become one of the most well read american authors ever, yet many of the people familiar with his work don’t even know his name. Frankly to the vast majority of the public he’s thought of as rather insignificant. Many people believe his role to be similar to that of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, in that he is most important to you when you are five years old, with a gradual decline in relevance as you grow older. While his books are certainly aimed at children, I would argue that he may have something to say to you long after you need help sounding out three letter words, you just have to see it the right way. Theodor Geisel was a surrealist, and not just a surrealist, he embodied the spirit of the movement in a way that few artists ever have. …


and the lesson to take from it

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Photo by Dmitrij Paskevic on Unsplash

“Stand out of my light.”, the modern day equivalent of “Move. You’re in my way.”. A rather rude statement, one that the more mild mannered of us would never say in general, let alone when speaking to the most powerful man in the world. However Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was not mild mannered, not even the slightest bit.

Odds are you’ve probably heard of Alexander the Great. The legendary leader of Macedonia has at least a chapter dedicated to him in every history book. Nonetheless it’s important to understand just how intimidating Alexander’s presence was for the context of the story. By the age of 30 Alexander the great had amassed one of the largest empires ever known, and not through diplomatic relations. He spent the majority of his 20’s on a vast conquest in which he conquered all of the land from Greece to Northern India. Not only was this man seen as a brilliant general and ruler, but he was even viewed as a literal god by some, as many believed he was the son of Zeus.


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Photo by Nastuh Abootalebi on Unsplash

The 8 hour work day was once the saving grace of workers across the United States of America. At the time of its inception, workers had been clamoring for some way in which they would be able to get their lives back. Workers spent 50 hours or more per week incredibly often, resulting in leisure being viewed as either a waste of time, or a luxury of the upper class. Thankfully in 1940, after introducing a 44 hour work week only two years earlier, the U.S. government signed a law limiting the work week to 40 hours. This was seen as the final step in providing a work and life balance for the everyday U.S. citizen, 8 hours of work, 8 hours of leisure, and 8 hours of sleep. …


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Photo by Georgie Cobbs on Unsplash

There tends to be two attitudes when referring to breaks during work hours; those who believe that taking a break is wasting time, and those who believe that not being on break is wasting time. One of these is seemingly efficient and one is seemingly lazy, however they share a similarity in that they are both incorrect. In reality yes it is very important to actively focus on your work and that can not be done while avoiding work, however it can also not be done when you are quite simply burnt out. …

About

A Mere Attempt.

Constantly tight-roping the line in between novel and pretentious, hoping to fall on the side of the former more often. Run by Nicholas Harrell

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