Month: November 2020

The Democratic Party is Not Working for Democrats

Election Night was a “dumpster fire” for Democrats: the nail-biting presidential race when it should have been a landslide; the statewide losses when they were sure they’d flip seats. How is it that in 2020, the year of the greatest public health crisis of our time and the collapse of our economy, Republicans have secured their majority while centrist Democrats battle it out with the party’s progressive wing over how the blue wave stopped short of the shore?  All of this on the heels of Democrats still reeling from the one-two punch in the Supreme Court. Establishment Democrats have...

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What Will and Will Not Change in Japan: Part 1

Hope is high, but so is anxiety.  On Sep. 16, 2020, Yoshihide Suga succeeded Shinzo Abe and became the 99th Prime Minister of Japan, after previously acting as Abe’s Chief Cabinet Secretary. Suga announced in his Cabinet decisions that his first priority is tackling the spread of Covid-19. As for his other policies, he claims to follow Abe’s vision−a point made obvious as Suga offered 11 of 20 cabinet positions to Abe’s previous cabinet members. One of the 11 members to maintain their position is Abe’s brother.  Given the similarities, the public is concerned over the election process in...

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Voting As Liturgy

It is no secret that the United States has one of the lowest voter turnout rates of the developed world. In 2016, only 58 percent of eligible voters participated in the presidential election. At the state and local level, that percentage of voters is even lower, and although the 2018 midterm saw record high voter turnout at 53.4 percent, many Americans do not exercise their right to vote.  In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, nonvoters emphasize a recurring talking point—that voting in U.S. elections is pointless.  To examine such a claim,  Americans must consider not only...

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Prop A Is Long Overdue

Proposition A is Austin’s latest and most ambitious attempt at developing a robust mass transit system. If approved by voters, the $7.1 billion bond will expand the MetroRapid bus system as well as adding two light rail lines, a downtown tunnel and a second commuter rail line to the city’s public transit infrastructure. Despite requiring a 4 percent property tax increase, the plan is a necessary investment for a rapidly growing city. COST Smaller ballot initiatives that primarily called for the construction of a light rail system were rejected by Austin voters in 2000 and 2014 due to concerns over costs and infrequent ridership. Proposition A is more expensive than those...

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