In our modern and moral society, the death penalty should not exist.

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Photo by Tamara Gore on Unsplash

America must end the death penalty now. Capital punishment has a long and shameful history in the United States of America, and it is time our nation put an end to the despicable acts of lethal injection, death by firing squad, and the use of the electric chair within its borders.

There is a shocking propensity for violence deeply ingrained in the American psyche that has allowed for cruel and unusual punishment from the advent of colonial settlement onward, and although we have moved past such horrifying acts as pressing, quartering, and burning our fellow countrymen at the stake, we must accept our dishonorable past and begin to move in a direction that steers clear of capital punishment in our modern and enlightened era. Unfortunately, capital punishment in America has much less to do with historical precedent than it does with political power and propagandizing criminal justice. …


An in-depth look at the legitimacy of congressional powers, the relationship between Congress and the intelligence community, and the state secrets privilege

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Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Congress holds vast authority over the classification of surveillance gathered by the intelligence community of the United States. Privileges abound allowing the legislative branch to keep classified from the American people important security information, supposedly on the advice of experts from within American intelligence agencies. These privileges allow Congress to hold committee meetings in secret during which they discuss sensitive, surveilled information away from public scrutiny.

Members of Congress are thus allowed to do with critical information whatever they please and to operate freely without accountability for their subsequent actions and interactions in private. By analyzing the issue of surveillance classification in the United States through the lens of authority, the legitimacy of congressional powers, the relationship between Congress and the intelligence community, and the state secrets privilege may be put into question and scrutinized. …


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Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

The prevalence of violence in American children and adolescents is a polarizing issue plagued by misinformation. While many attempt to attribute violent tendencies in young adults to the unseemly consumption of distasteful and violent media, the warning signs, risks, and factors influencing violent behavior are much more varied.

Violence is a learned behavior and not to be taken lightly; most children caught acting with intense aggression are simply emulating behaviors demonstrated by others at home or in their communities.


For far too long, America failed to uphold its most basic promise of freedom and equality for all.

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Photo by Ronda Darby on Unsplash

The United States has long been heralded as a melting pot of distinct cultures and peoples. The nation’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” serves as a testament to that fact. However, since America’s inception, its leaders and citizens have often failed to embody this motto, granting rights to some and stripping them of others while forcing the “Americanization” of groups that stray from traditional Protestant values.

As a result of intolerance, bitter race relations and policies of nativism arose throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as war, imperialism, and westward expansion influenced American politics and society. From 1877 through the end of the Second World War, a xenophobic and racist ideology corrupted the nation’s sense of Americanness, pitting Native Americans, immigrants, and people of color against a White ruling class that insisted upon assimilation and the erasure of culturally significant bonds, customs, and practices. …


Students thrive best in an educational environment rooted in individualism and bolstered by a close-knit community of citizen scholars.

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Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

For 14 years, I attended a small independent school in Southside Virginia. Though the merits of a private education are certainly debatable, throughout my own, one fact rang true: Small schools are much more effective than large schools at promoting student engagement and preparing students for the real world upon graduation.

As I further my educational career at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, this reality now strikes me even deeper.

Based on my experiences from the past year alone, I can attest with confidence that students thrive best in an educational environment rooted in individualism and bolstered by a close-knit community of citizen scholars. …


(Hint: They couldn’t be more different.)

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The advent of social media has fundamentally transformed American politics. Gone are the days of impersonal speeches, print newspaper ads, and lackluster debates that typically preceded a general election. Now, in order to win the presidency, a candidate must actively and personally engage the American people online.

As reflected by their inverse Twitter and Instagram feeds, President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. “Joe” Biden, the Republican and Democratic 2020 presidential nominees, respectively, could not be more unalike. …


TL;DR: the federal government has always been pretty homophobic.

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Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash

Throughout the United States’ long and varied history, LGBTQ individuals have been routinely marginalized, discriminated against, and in extreme instances, even violently persecuted. From the “blue papers” of World War II to the mockingly dubbed “Lavender Scare” of the Cold War era, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans have faced intense discrimination by both the federal government and society at large.

Beginning in the 20th century, LGBTQ Americans have often been denied basic human rights. They have been forcibly exited from the Armed Forces, turned away from government jobs, and relegated to a second-class status for nearly a century. …


The answer may surprise you.

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Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

It’s a chilly October afternoon. A young man waits in line after school to donate blood to the American Red Cross.

Though the total population of his tiny private school is a mere 300 students, the blood drive in the gymnasium is packed from door to door.

After waiting nearly an hour to fill out the necessary paperwork, the young man is handed a clipboard. Its first few prompts are basic: What is your full name? What is your phone number? What is your date of birth?

As the young man continues to fill out the form, however, the questions become increasingly personal. Nonetheless, he answers them honestly, returns the paperwork to a volunteer, and is directed to a chair to await a nurse for further instruction. …

About

Jacob Farmer

Student. Professional procrastinator. President of the College Democrats of Longwood University.

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