Bernie 2020

ATULYA DORA-LASKEY
STAFF WRITER

We could regale you with stories about his incredible record. Or win you over with iconic policies such as Medicare for All and canceling everyone’s student debt. Maybe you’re the most pragmatic type who would be persuaded by learning that he is the best positioned candidate to beat Donald Trump by both winning over independents and turning out non-typical voters. The most compelling reason for the endorsement, however, would be that out of the two remaining Democratic nominees only one represents much needed progress while the other one represents a status quo that can no longer be tolerated in the face of a literal doomsday.

 

Climate change is an existential change to humanity. If we do not make radical changes, our generation will suffer from natural disasters with an intensity and frequency that has never been seen before on earth. After our institutions crumble, the generations after ours will be reduced to a pathetic shell of humankind, sold into oblivion by those who came before them.

 

Joe Biden’s climate plan is far behind the ambition of Bernie Sanders’s proposals, receiving the worst score by the Sunrise Movement as a result of the lack of detail. More egregious was the fact that Joe Biden held a high dollar fundraiser that was organized by a natural gas company co-founder, directly taking money from people who are responsible for pushing us closer to the brink of annihilation. In contrast, Bernie Sanders’s commitment to only using grassroots fundraising and his strong support of the Green New Deal serves as an important first step to mitigating the effects of climate change and fighting back against those poisoning the earth.

 

The Bernie Sanders campaign understands that America is a story of contrasts. It is the story of a son watching his father come home from fighting in Vietnam with PTSD he’s unable to get help for. A daughter watching her mom come home late at night from trying to start a union in her workplace. A girl growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp and eventually being elected to Congress. A woman dying from rationing insulin. A high school love story cut short in Afghanistan. A college student traveling the world even though her parents have never stepped foot outside Michigan. A man covered with newspapers freezing to death on a park bench. A couple holding their newborn baby for the first time. A frustrating call with an insurance company representative. A black community uniting to help each other in the face of natural disaster after receiving no federal aid. A non-binary person finally getting to use their pronouns. A mom borrowing money from her kid’s bank account to pay for groceries. A brave queer girl who stays closeted around her family. It is the story of a Jewish family fleeing Europe after losing half of their relatives to the Nazis, and their grandson who sets an unlikely run for mayor, senator, and then President.

 

A climate catastrophe now threatens to wipe out all these people, their memories, and their dreams. It was always just one story. Not of you and me, but a story of us. We must fight with all we have in the spirit of solidarity to better the story, or at the very least––continue it. Bernie 2020.

 

At the time of publishing, Michigan will be voting on the presidential primary tomorrow (March 10th). You can use the secretary of state’s site to find your polling place.

Post-Super Tuesday Election Update

BRETT JENKINS
STAFF WRITER

Joe Biden’s success Super Tuesday primary elections shocked Democrat voters, many of whom expected a much stronger turnout for Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Mike Bloomberg have all dropped out of the race, and Biden now stands as the frontrunner. Before the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29, Sanders was the favored candidate. Now, after Biden took the majority in 10 out of 14 Super Tuesday primaries, he’s projected to win the nomination. “Election betting odds have gone from 8% chance of Biden winning the primary to 85%,” said Professor of Political Science Derick Hulme.

Biden’s success was the result of a lot of good timing.

“The key thing for Biden was getting the endorsement from Jim Clyburn and then winning by 30 points,” said Hulme, “Suddenly the psychology of everything changed.”

That change in psychology was exactly what Biden needed to be taken seriously and the results speak for themselves. Biden was no longer just another candidate with nothing new to say. Instead, he represents a more stable, moderate substitute for Sanders. On top of that, he alienates fewer independent voters and therefore stands a better chance against Trump in the presidential election. “I don’t think the Democrats want to put forward a full-on socialist like Bernie Sanders,” said Reo Donnelly, (’23). “I think it’s going to come down to Trump vs. Biden.”

The Michigan primaries are coming up and students all over campus are getting involved. Increasingly, young people are engaging with politics. Social media has allowed young people to get involved in ways that weren’t possible before. However, young people still aren’t voting. Sanders was relying on young voters to turn out in the primary elections, but they just didn’t show up to vote for him or anyone else.

Many young people feel apathetic about voting, whether they don’t think their vote matters, or they don’t like their options for candidates, they ultimately choose not to vote. They don’t like being forced to choose between the ‘lesser of two evils’.

“This year I’m choosing not to vote. I know that makes people mad, but I rest easier knowing that I didn’t give either candidate my support,” said Ethan Zalac, (’22).

However, young people are situated to vote in elections that really matter. The leaders we elect now will have impacts that will affect us for the rest of our lives.

“If young people have ever experienced a time when who their political leader is matters, it has been over the last 3 years.” said Hulme, “If you think that it matters who’s in charge, you should get out and vote.”

As more young people vote, their collective votes will start to matter more, but it’s up to the youth of the United States to take action.

Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities on campus for Alma students to get involved in politics. Left-leaning students have clubs for the Democrats and Young Democratic Socialists of

America. For right-leaning students, there are fewer options. However, Donnelly is working to create a platform for those voices at Alma.

“We’re only really getting one side, as students, in politics,” said Donnelly, “So me and a few friends have actually started the ball rolling on starting a Turning Point USA chapter at Alma.

Virginia ratifies the ERA

SYDNEY BOSSIDIS
STAFF WRITER

On Jan. 15, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in a House vote of 58-40, and, in the Senate, by a vote of 27-12.

The Equal Rights Amendment states, “Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex,” according to the Congressional Research Services. If ratified, this would make it unconstitutional to discriminate against anyone based on their sex.

“That doesn’t mean it would magically end all sex-based discrimination,” said Kristin Olbertson, associate professor of history. “It would simply give those who want to challenge such practices (firing workers for being pregnant, for example) a vehicle with which to do so.”

There is no protection for women against discrimination on a national level at this time. A case could not be brought before the courts because of this.

“The amendment, if ratified, would mean a step toward breaking the divide between the sexes in the larger world today,” said Spencer Berry (’22).

Currently, it is not in violation of the national constitution to discriminate based on sex. However, 21 states have clauses that make it illegal to discriminate against gender identity or sexual orientation in public or private areas.

“I think that people believe that discrimination does not happen because a lot of rights are protected already,” said Grace Schmidt (’22). “It’s important for people to be aware.”

For an amendment to be ratified, it first must be proposed and approved by either two-thirds of both the Senate and House of Representatives or through a special convention proposed by two-thirds of the states. It then must be ratified by two-thirds of all state legislatures which would be 38 of the 50 states.

“The deadline was established on a bipartisan basis by supporters of the ERA as a way to keep the amendment from being indefinitely tabled,” said Olbertson. “It has already been extended once and there is no constitutional or legal reason why it could not be extended again.”

The amendment was approved by Congress in 1972 and given a seven-year deadline to be ratified by the states. In the first five years, 35 states approved it and there was a two-year extension that led to the deadline being in 1982.

Since then, Nevada ratified the ERA in 2017 as well as Illinois in 2018. Then most recently, it was Virginia. All of these have occurred after the stated deadline.

“The deadline should be extended,” said Schmidt. “There should be a fair chance for it to be ratified.”

Berry agrees with this sentiment and believes that if a majority of people feel a certain way then the deadline should not matter.

While there is the chance that the deadline could be extended both the Trump administration and the Department of Justices office of legal counsel say that it could not and will not be ratified at this time. For there to be an extension, there would need to be bipartisan support.

In the past, there have been amendments that have been on the floor for years before being ratified. For example, the 27th amendment—dealing with Congress’s compensation. It was originally proposed in 1789; however, it was not ratified until 1992—over 200 years later.

The ERA was originally proposed by Alice Paul in 1923 following women gaining the right to vote. It was to guarantee that women would have the same rights as men.

“It’s important to know the history and the context to for this amendment,” said Schmidt. “You can’t understand it’s meaning without both.”

It is unclear whether the proposed amendment will be officially included at this time; however, it is a step in a direction for equality. This would provide a national protection that currently does not exist in the United States but does in other modernized countries.

“There’s never a bad time for equality,” said Olbertson. “Moreover, nations score higher on virtually every measure of well-being—family stability, childhood health, education, economic prosperity, strength of democracy, etc.—when there’s greater equality for women. Why wouldn’t we want that for our country?”

Kaitlin Bennett “Gun Girl” stirs up online controversy

BAILEY LANGBO
DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

Kaitlin Bennett, dubbed as “gun girl” on Twitter, first became prominent in 2018 when she graduated from Kent State University. Normally, times like these are cause for celebration, but Bennett received mostly negative publicity from across the world when her graduation pictures went viral because she was shown carrying an AR-10 rifle on the university’s campus.

Since then, Bennett’s name has continued to show up across social media for a variety of reasons. According to Bennett’s Twitter, which boasts 275 thousand followers, she is quoted as saying, “My haters memed me into a lucrative career that lets me travel the world, do what I want, and have a platform to be heard.”

Along with being a social media personality, Bennett was once the president of Kent State University’s chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative non-profit organization that visited Alma’s campus last fall.

Following an incident on Kent State’s campus last year during “Free Speech Week,” Bennett sent in a flaming resignation letter, which is quoted as saying “I am in disbelief at how I went from being so upbeat, enthusiastic, and passionate about the organization to being disgusted, frustrated, and embarrassed to have invested my entire senior year into an organization founded by a college dropout who hires some of the most incompetent, lazy, and downright dishonest people I have ever encountered.”

Since resigning from this position, Bennett has taken on a position with InfoWars, a website dedicated to “seeking the truth and exposing the scientifically engineered lies of the globalists and their ultimate goal of enslaving humanity,” according to the online biography of their founder, Alex Jones.

Bennett also has spent her time protesting at popular rallies and interviewing other attendees. Recently, Bennett made appearances at the Women’s March, both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. At these events, Bennett has taken to asking about the political beliefs of others in attendance, as well as asserting her own.

“Whatever points she tries to make just fall so flat [that] it’s hilarious.” said Allison Boulware (’20). “Obviously I do not share any of her views or beliefs, but regardless of that, she…represents everything wrong with modern conservatism.”

Back in January 2019, at the Women’s March, Bennett reportedly harassed a father and his young child in attendance about abortion, saying that it was the number one cause of death for children in the United States. The interaction was caught on video and posted to Bennett’s Twitter and Instagram but has since been deleted.

Although Bennett continues to spread her beliefs through social media, rumors about her credibility have begun to circulate. One girl, in particular, shocked Twitter with the accusation that Bennett bought her nude pictures, including screenshots from Venmo to show the transaction.

Bennett has publicly stated that she feels she is in the political minority of her generation. Most are inclined to agree. “Kaitlin Bennett knows exactly what she’s doing when “expressing” her beliefs.” said Jordan Jackson (’21). “She uses transphobic rhetoric and stereotypes for shock value and comes off as a complete idiot.”

In addition to her beliefs about guns and abortion, Bennett has also expressed her ideas regarding controversial Halloween costumes on her Instagram. For the past two Halloweens, Bennett has posted pictures in Native American garb. Her Instagram also notes that Bennett has dressed in disguise at least twice to gather public opinion about politics or herself.

No matter age, gender, or political affiliation, it seems that a large majority of people disapprove of Bennett’s actions since she rose to fame. Despite this disdain, thousands of people across the world wait to see her name splashed across social media once more so they can read about what she’s doing next.

Adoption ban begins in Tennessee

DYLAN COUR
STAFF WRITER

On the morning of January 17th, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill that will allow religious adoption agencies to deny any service to LGBTQ+ couples. The law took effect immediately and allows any and all adoption agencies the right to refuse to take place in child placement if doing so would violate the agencies written religious or moral conviction policies.

In an interview with USA Today, Governor Lee’s spokesperson Gillum Ferguson stated, “This bill is centered around protection the religious liberty of Tennesseans and that’s why he signed it.” The bill was signed even after several groups including the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union urged the Governor not to.

The Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, the executive director of the Campaign for Southern Equality, also weighed in on the situation. “Other states, including Michigan, have implemented similar laws and had them halted in court,” said Beach-Ferrara in an interview with USA Today.

“This law is clearly discriminatory,” Beach-Ferrara continued. “As long as the LGBTQ+ community continues to be targeted by discriminatory laws, we will turn to the courts for recourse.”

In 2015, shortly after the Supreme Court legalized Gay Marriage, Michigan legislature passed a law that allowed adoption and foster care agencies to cite religious convictions when refusing to work with LGBTQ+ couples who wanted to adopt.

In 2017, however, two couples filed lawsuits challenging the Michigan health and human services department contract with taxpayer-funded and state-contracted agencies that refused to work with same-sex couples.

Business is a large part of the agencies as a whole, so some students discussed it with business ethics in mind. “I think the bill is fair,” said Micah Schultz (’22). “I believe that it allows businesses to have that religious freedom in business, but I think it’s a bad way of doing business because they are actively discriminating against a particular group.”

Attorney General Dana Nessel, who was the first lesbian to be elected to statewide office in the state of Michigan, is most well-known for her representation of the 2015 Supreme Court case that led to the legalization of same-sex marriage

Nessel was a large reason that the bill in Michigan was revoked in the first place. “Limiting the opportunity for a child to be adopted or fostered by a loving home no only goes against the state’s goal of finding a home for every child, it is a direct violation of the contract every child-placing agency enters into with the state.”

However, state senate majority leader Mike Shirkey was not in agreement with the decision against the bill. “I’m just disappointed,” said Shirkey in an interview with USA Today. “This proves our point that the attorney general is unwilling to defend the laws in this state.”

Later on Shirkey also stated, “Faith-based adoption agencies will have to stop operating in Michigan because of the lack of taxpayer-funded support.”

Many students have had a lot to think about when it comes to the topic. “I think if we are going to have religious freedom, we need to have freedom based on people’s family types too,” said Brandon Nicholson (’21). “I think it is unfair to base a families ability to parent based on who they spend the rest of their life with. Their parenting ability should be based on how they parent, not who they are with.”

Some students have been taking a more legal stance when considering “Tennessee was not the first to have something like this, so the recent signing of this bill might add to the increase in similar bills throughout other states,” said Kennedy Sutton (’23). “There might be an appearance of a few more laws, but I doubt that it will become a majority situation.”

While the bill may be legally sound, many still believe that morally it is unjust. “Personally I think the bill, although legally just, is morally wrong,” said Jordan Jackson (’21). “Discriminating against LGBT+ couples under the guise of religious expression is discrimination and outright wrong. Agencies are legally in the right but that does not mean LGBT+ couples are any less capable or qualified to care for and make a home for a child. Love is love no matter what.”

No more war nerds

ATULYA DORA-LASKEY
STAFF WRITER

Graphic by ALLISON WOODLAND

Do you feel clueless about what’s currently happening in Iran? Have you felt confused about why the US is even involved in the middle east for almost your entire life? When you were young and people told you that soldiers fight for our freedom, were you ever puzzled as to how that even worked? Recently, have you quietly muttered “Who the hell is Soleimani?” Did you ever feel like all of this was common sense, and that one day when you grew up this would click for you? If you said yes to any of these symptoms and we’re afraid or embarrassed to speak up or ask questions, then you have been unfortunately infected by the loathed War Nerd.

It’s not your fault, most people have been infected by the War Nerd (including myself), but the first step to seeking help is knowing more about what bit you. And that starts with finally asking some questions.

So, what is a War Nerd? They are not your average Republican or Democrat voter, people interested in military history, they definitely aren’t your enlisted family members. They’re not even the people who tore down the “NO WAR WITH IRAN” banner hanging in Mac Mall.

War Nerds are the wealthy sell-outs who pretend to be smart so they can personally get richer off of warfare. They are the suit-wearing talking heads who appear on the news to tell you that this war is definitely a good idea and that anyone who disagrees is either ill-informed or a terrorist. War Nerds are parasitic creatures who have one singular goal: making you divert trillions of dollars away from improving your country and instead towards their careers and the careers of their friends, no matter the bloodshed it takes.

They use a variety of tactics, but the most common is making you feel stupid. When Trump launched a missile strike and killed an Iranian commander named Qasem Soleimani which put us on a path towards violent conflict (most likely in order to get reelected), the War Nerds came crawling out of their holes with their thesauruses and hastily scrawled note cards. “Soleimani (whom the vast amount of Americans had never heard of) was one of most evil men in the entire world!” announced the smug War Nerds on their slated cable guest appearances. The clear implication is that if you don’t know who Soleimani was, then it is you who is the ignorant one, it is you who isn’t American enough.

Since you not knowing about Soleimani is a you problem, so you shouldn’t embarrass yourself by asking questions or pushing back. “Prepare to ship out your children and your friends to die in Iran, because we must defend Freedom,” proclaims the War Nerd from his comfortably air conditioned television studio. He doesn’t mean his children or his friends, but that is left unspoken.

That isn’t the only fact that gets left unspoken when War Nerds start calling for violence. Take this article by Stephen Hadley (pictured in the top row, third from the left) in the Washington Post for example. The article opens with a byline that describes Hadley as a former national security advisor, then Hadley takes 914 words to say that these dangerous aggressions might be good because they could lead to the possibility of diplomacy. Nowhere in the article is there a disclaimer that the author also makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year serving on the board of directors for Raytheon, a defense contracting firm that stands to make enormous amounts of money if we go to war.

On NPR, Jeh Johnson (top row, first from the right) was introduced as the former Homeland Security Secretary and treated as an objective source before the host began asking him questions about Iran. Johnson responded by “sensibly” scare mongering about what Iran could do to retaliate against us. Nowhere in the NPR story is a disclaimer given that Jeh Johnson also makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year serving on the board for Lockheed Martin, another defense contractor that has the potential to make serious cash if people die. Both Raytheon and Lockheed Martin have seen their stocks shoot up following Trump’s missile strike.

The poisonous effects of War Nerds can even spread to anti-war advocates. On the day after Trump heightened tensions by killing Soleimani, Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (MI-8) composed a 10 tweet long thread in which she talked about how evil Soleimani was before saying that the strike wasn’t strategic enough. In an effort to seem “reasonable,” you may also be tempted to add these disclaimers to your condemnation, you’re actually just further propagating War Nerd talking points. The average American doesn’t care about who this man was, they care about their kid coming home for thanksgiving instead of for their funeral.

“Aha!” says the smug War Nerd, “Did you know that Soleimani killed American troops in the middle east? I did, because I’m smart, unlike you.” This is where the mask of reasonableness completely slips off the War Nerd, because they always seem to forget why our soldiers were in the middle east to begin with. Maybe if they remembered to tell us that we sent Americans over there because War Nerds like Ari Fleisher (bottom row, first from the left) lied to us, the American people wouldn’t keep having War Nerds like Ari Fleisher on to lie to us again. War Nerds want to blatantly use their past mistakes to justify future ones.

If you are a fellow student on this campus, then you know our country has been at war for our entire lifetimes because older generations decided to listen to these leeches. We are not making the same mistake.

You don’t have to be a political science major to know that killing random people across the world––and getting our own soldiers killed in the process––so some corporate tool can make a couple more dollars is psychotic. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. We’re not going to listen to War Nerds anymore, we are going to shove these blood-sucking monsters back in the locker where they belong.

UMC proposes split

CHELSEA FABER
STAFF WRITER

The United Methodist Church has announced a proposal to separate into two denominations, a decision stemming from a 2019 vote regarding same sex marriage and LGBTQ+ clergy. The plan was announced on Jan. 3 and is set to be voted on at the General Conference in May 2020.

Passage of the resolution would separate the church, introducing the Traditionalist and Progressive denominations. “Simply stated, the Traditionalist approach looks more to ‘moral absolutes’ and an inerrancy in the words of the bible’s writers to inform morality and behavior,” said Pastor Chris Lane of Traverse City Central United Methodist Church.

In contrast, he explained the other side as well, “the Progressive approach seeks to appreciate that what the Bible’s writers addressed to their original audience may not apply the same way to modern audiences,” said Lane.

The components of the proposal have been in progress for decades and came to a critical debate after the 2019 General Conference. “This was a tipping point moment for our denomination, no longer seeing how we all might live amicably in the same denomination, despite our differences,” said Lane.

The issue of same-sex marriage has been a topic of contention between other religious dominations as well, “the conversation is already happening in every denomination, even if it is less obvious,” said Andrew Pomerville, Alma College Chaplin.

“We went through similar conversations about same-sex clergy within the Presbyterian Church and also wrestled with this topic,” said Pomerville. He continued, “for those of us who have gone through it, we are watching our brothers and sisters in the Methodist Church, praying for healing and for hope, and are saddened that they have come to this conclusion to split.”

Generational divide appears to be playing a significant role in the decision. “As the generations shift, we see conversations that result in these changes… what one generation thought was believed by all, is not what their children and grandchildren would support,” said Pomerville.

Splits within denominations is not a new concept. Daniel Wasserman, professor of history, explained the effects of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. “The primary impact of the Reformation was the division of Christians into several different churches. That reality often produced intense conflict within families, neighbors and church members,” said Wasserman.

Wasserman also explained the debate surrounding dividing religious affiliations among experts; “It’s been argued that the spawning of more divisions (and thus new Christian denominations) has led to a ‘hyper-pluralism’, with so many different groups and views that the larger government or society has difficulty functioning.”

In regard to whether this separation will create more division rather than solidarity, both Pomerville and Wasserman gave insights to how the future may play out for Methodists. “It’s not hard to see that the historical conflicts among Christians often have led to many Christians becoming disillusioned with their churches… many parishioners may be alienated by these divisions” said Wasserman.

Pomerville explained, “Anytime we split, it is sad because at one point somebody was together, and they had to decide not to be together anymore, it’s tough… it’s hard to say as a Christian, witness of our mission is helped by any splits, regardless of how necessary it may be.”

Pastor Lane is optimistic about the future of the Church. “I look forward to the day when I can, without reservation, celebrate the marriage vows of a couple who are in love and who see God’s Spirit at the center of their love, and who just happen to be two men or two women… this is an exciting time to be part of the barrier-breaking movement of love that Jesus began two thousand years ago. I feel blessed to be part of it.”

Tensions rise between the U.S. and Iran

SYDNEY BOSSIDIS
STAFF WRITER

The start of the new year was the start to growing escalations in the Middle East. On Jan. 2, President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani—an Iranian military general. This took place at the Baghdad airport in Iraq.

A few days prior, on Dec. 31, 2019, there were protesters at the US Embassy located in Baghdad acting against the recent airstrikes that killed 25 members of the militia.

On Jan. 7, Iran launched 12 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq. One of the bases that housed American forces, was hit with six of the missiles.

Another important event that has occurred regards the issue of war powers resolution. The House of Representatives voted 224-194 to limit Trump’s power on Jan. 9. This now moves to the Senate for a vote.

These events quickly took over the news cycles and raised concerns among citizens at first. Michael Marshall, a visiting assistant professor of political science, said that these events, called militarized interstate disputes, happen frequently.

“There are dozens of militarized interstate disputes between the U.S. and Canada for instance,” said Marshall. “Canada tries to see how far into the Great Lakes it can go before it meets resistance, and we do the same thing when we send drones over Canada. I don’t think we’re very close to a war.”

In the Middle East, this is what is occurring with the United States challenging Iran’s sovereignty and Iran reciprocating the actions said Marshall. The news has sensationalized the events and not given experts the chance to explain what is happening and how frequently it occurs. A major difference that Marshall cited is that the United States attacked a government official in another country violating more than Iran’s sovereignty.

Samuel Nelson (’21) said students should watch out for the corporate media and the shift in tone when getting the information.

“Most people had no clue who Soleimani was before he was assassinated, but now we are being told that he was public enemy number one,” said Nelson.

Marshall suggests that students read their news rather than watch it because it all comes from the same source material but frequently the rhetoric changes to allow the stations bias and analysis to keep the news fresh and enjoyable for viewers.

With the news surrounding this situation evolving constantly, Nelson reads the news and updates about it daily. He gets his information from reputable journalists associated with The Washington Post and The New York Times. He also pays attention to “well sourced reactions to their reporting.”

The future of the conflict is uncertain. In recent days, there was been no further escalations of the situation. This differs from the initial reaction on mass media that worried about further war and conflict, and some people opposed it.

“It is heartening to see online interactions between Iranians and Americans that reject calls for war,” said Nelson.

“Any militarized dispute could become a war typically caused by both sides playing brinkmanship,” said Marshall. Brinkmanship is when both sides push each other to the point they step down. This could lead to an accidental war as it has in the past. However, at the moment, the countries are at a tense peace.

The consequences of the issue has lead to a rise in the pro-democracy movements in Iran and has polarized political parties within the United States more than they previously were.

“Try to read the news not only from United States’ perspective but also a worldly perspective and understand the biases,” said Marshall. People should understand the historical, cultural and political background to the situation when examining the events from an outside perspective. They may also try to look at it from the other leader’s point-of-view.

“Understanding how and why is a better way to look at it than just saying they are crazy,” said Marshall. “No, they are rational actors attempting to survive and accumulate wealth and power just as we are as well as preserve our sovereignty.”

Billionaires’ opinions on Warren’s tax plan

KARA DENIKE
STAFF WRITER

Early this month, Bill Gates, most well-known as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporations, was interviewed by The New York Times and voiced his thoughts on US Senator and possible presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax plans. Gates said, “I’ve paid over 10 billion in taxes, I pay more than anyone in taxes. If I would have had to pay 20 billion, that’s fine, but you know, when you say I should pay a hundred billion, okay, then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over.” However, some media outlets have left out that he went on to say, “Sorry, I’m just kidding now.”

Later that evening, Senator Warren tweeted in response, “I’m always happy to meet with people, even if we have different views. @BillGates, if we get the chance, I’d love to explain exactly how much you’d pay under my wealth tax. (I promise it’s not $100 billion.)”

On Senator Warren’s presidential campaign website, she lists an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” under her many plans to carry out if she wins. In a box to add your email in support, it says, “A two-cent tax on the great fortunes of more than $50 million can bring in nearly $3 trillion to rebuild America’s middle class.” As stated on her website, “the families in the top 0.1% are projected to owe 3.2% of their wealth in federal, state, and local taxes this year, while the bottom 99% are projected to owe 7.2%.”

Senator Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax proposes “zero additional tax on any household with a net worth of less than $50 million . . . 2% annual tax on household net worth between $50 million and $1 billion . . . 1% annual Billionaire Surtax (3% tax overall) on household net worth above $1 billion.” Gates’ net worth is 107.1 billion dollars, and after putting this through Warren’s wealth tax calculator, it is shown that he would be paying $6.379 billion in taxes next year if she were president, far from the $100 billion he fears.

When thinking about how to look at Gates’ side of this interaction, political science major Elizabeth Flatoff (‘21) said, “I think it’s important to look at what they are already doing with their money. Are they spending it? Or hoarding it?” In response to why billionaires might jump to conclusions such as Gates did, Flatoff said, “I think they always jump to conclusions as a way to demean, or demote what others are saying about the tax. If you can make it seem crazy enough, if you have enough pull, then maybe it won’t affect you. Maybe you can stop it.”

After looking at Warren’s side of the interaction, it is important to  When asked if it would even be possible for a wealth tax to go through, Ben Peterson, visiting professor of history and political science, said, “If [Elizabeth Warren] is elected and a significant number of the house remains in fairly progressive democratic hands, and then, if, and that’s a big if, the democrats gain control over the senate, then she would have a fighting chance to pass the things she wants. Otherwise she’s going to be negotiating. However, it’s just too soon to tell.”

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