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Friday, June 10, 2016

Sophie Driscoll '19
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Trump's gender-based attacks on Clinton have no merit
Over the course of his presidential campaign, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has made no effort to conceal his misogyny. His recent attacks on Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton are not only sexist but also untrue. “Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she'd get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she's got going is the women's card,” Trump said last week. “And the beautiful thing is, women don't like her.”
Let’s take a look at what makes Trump’s statement false. First, he declares that Clinton’s gender is “the only thing she’s got going.” This comment undermines her intellect and impressive resume. In 1973, Clinton was among the 27 women of Yale Law School’s graduating class. Since then, she has advocated for human rights, equal access to education, internet freedom and gender equality. Clinton has served as Secretary of State, First Lady of the United States, senator from New York, first lady of Arkansas and a member of the Clinton Foundation Board of Directors. These various roles have made her more than qualified for the presidency.
Trump’s statement also insinuates that being a woman serves as an advantage for Clinton. The truth is, a “woman card” isn’t worth much. Women in the United States make an average of 79 cents to a male worker’s dollar, hold less than one-fifth of the seats in Congress, and are assaulted approximately every nine seconds. As demonstrated by Trump’s inappropriate remarks, Clinton’s “woman card” has earned her a whole lot of sexism, rather than a whole lot of respect.
Trump’s second claim is that women don’t like Clinton. Apparently, he is unaware that last year, Gallup, a trusted polling organization, named Clinton “more admired than any other woman or man” in the entire world and “most admired woman” in the world for a record twentieth time. Even in the face of blatant sexism, she has managed to earn the respect of both men and women around the globe. Now that Clinton is in the midst of a contentious campaign, a recent Suffolk poll found that 48 percent of women dislike her. However, the same Suffolk poll found that a whopping 66 percent of women dislike Trump. Right now, instead of insulting Clinton, Trump’s time might be best spent winning over female voters (a.k.a. cutting down on the sexist comments).

Clinton’s response to Trump’s “woman card” comments is perfect. “Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, ‘woman card,'” Clinton said. “Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the women’s card, then deal me in.” Clinton has been advocating for equal rights for several years, and that is no small feat.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trump trumps the odds and is favored to be the Republican nominee

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Eliza Goldberg '17
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Bloomberg announces he will not run for President in 2016
At 5 p.m. on Monday, New York’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg announced via his online publication that he will not be running in the 2016 presidential election.
In the piece, titled “The Risk I Will Not Take,” Bloomberg discusses his views on the election and how he ultimately came to the decision not to run.
“But when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win,” Bloomberg wrote. “I believe I could win a number of diverse states -- but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.”
Considering Westport’s close proximity to New York City, the talk of Bloomberg’s potential campaign had become quite popular around town.
James Allott ’17 attributed some of the buzz surrounding Bloomberg to the discontent many people feel toward the current political candidates. “I think a lot of people were looking forward to a fresh new face in the election,” Allott said.
Julian Ross ’17 found that, despite the fact that a Bloomberg campaign might hint at a political “polarization,” it would eventually be unsuccessful, specifically in the ways Bloomberg mentioned.
“His favorability numbers borderline on single digits among both major parties,” Ross said. “People in Westport and the surrounding areas are oftentimes very fond of him which leaves the impression that he is well-liked outside of the Northeast; however, this is simply not the reality.”
Staples’ Young Democrats club vice president Jacob Plotkin ’16 is happy that Bloomberg ultimately decided not to run, feeling as though Bloomberg never had a chance at winning. “Due to his socially liberal policies, he would end up swaying voters who would typically vote Democrat to his campaign,” Plotkin said. “This would result in a higher chance of a republican presidency, something I would not like to see.”
Eli Debenham ’17 also finds that Bloomberg’s campaign would have been unsuccessful. “I think it'll be interesting to see what he does in the future in terms of running for office, but this is not the year,” Debenham said.
Although Olivia Payne ’18 was neutral toward Bloomberg, she admired his work as mayor of New York City. “If he did run I think he would make a strong candidate,” Payne said.
Even though Bloomberg has decided not to run, he has expressed that he will not be silent when it comes to political issues. “I am not ready to endorse any candidate,” Bloomberg wrote, “but I will continue urging all voters to reject divisive appeals and demanding that candidates offer intelligent, specific and realistic ideas for bridging divides, solving problems, and giving us the honest and capable government we deserve.”

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Sophie Driscoll '19
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Super Tuesday is a success for Trump and Clinton
On “Super Tuesday,” ten states- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia- held primaries for the presidential election. In addition, Republicans in Alaska and Democrats in Colorado both held caucuses, and Democrats in American Samoa held their nominating contest.

In order for a Republican candidate to become their party’s nominee, they need 1, 237 delegates; 661 Republican delegates were allocated on Super Tuesday. In order for a Democratic candidate to become their party’s nominee, they need 2,383 delegates; 865 Democratic delegates were allocated on Super Tuesday.

Currently, Donald Trump leads the Republican race with a total of 285 delegates. Ted Cruz has a total of 161 delegates and Marco Rubio trails behind with a total of 87 delegates.

On the Democratic front, Hillary Clinton leads with a total of 544 delegates, while Bernie Sanders has a total of 349 delegates.

Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma held closed primaries, where constituents were only able to vote for candidates representing their political party.

Here are the night’s specific results:

Republican: Donald Trump (43%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (78%)

Republican: Ted Cruz (36%)

Republican: Donald Trump (33%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (66%)

Democrat: Bernie Sanders (59%)

Republican: Donald Trump (39%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (71%)

Republican: Donald Trump (49%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (50%)

Republican: Marco Rubio (37%)
Democrat: Bernie Sanders (62%)

Republican: Ted Cruz (34%)
Democrat: Bernie Sanders (52%)

Republican: Donald Trump (39%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (66%)

Republican: Ted Cruz (44%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (65%)

Republican: Donald Trump (33%)
Democrat: Bernie Sanders (86%)

Republican: Donald Trump (35%)
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (64%)

American Samoa
Democrat: Hillary Clinton (73%)

Regardless of their political affiliations, many Staples students say that they were unsurprised by the Super Tuesday results.
Although Daniel Westfall ’16 is not a strong supporter of any of the candidates, he said, “It was no surprise that Donald Trump was going to win the majority of delegates, as he has constantly been winning before by a large amount. Hillary Clinton was also winning so many states beforehand it was clear that she would win quite a few delegates.”

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Claire Dinshaw '17

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Philosopher's Choice: A Guide to the 2016 Presidential Election

Everyone from Amy Schumer to Sheldon Adelson has been weighing in on the 2016 Presidential election. However, there is one group of people who has not been able to offer their opinion: philosophers.
But, who better to take advice from than the people who are responsible for thinking-up our system of government? If each of these distinguished men and women could cast a vote today, who would they choose?

Plato’s Choice: Lessig

Plato believed that those who desired power would make the worst leaders.
There is only one person in this race that meets this strict criteria: Larry Lessig. Although not a philosopher, he is a Harvard professor who planned to give up power after passing campaign finance reform legislation.
Unfortunately for Plato, Lessig said he is no longer seeking the Democratic nomination.

Aristotle: Kasich

Aristotle saw a leader as needing four “cardinal” virtues: prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice.
In other words, the best leaders are those who desire success, but are able to put their emotions to one side and view evidence objectively before making a final decision.
Although few politicians today are able to remain objective, Kasich, as one of the more moderate, and generally more calm, candidates, might be able to fulfill Aristotle's criteria.

Montesquieu: Sanders

Although a supporter of an aristocratic leader, Montesquieu felt that Republics, like the United States, relied on virtue to continue.
So, who is the most virtuous candidate? It is hard to make an argument for any of them having their virtue completely intact. However, one can be sure that Bernie Sanders is at least trying to advocate for what he believes (even going so far as calling himself a socialist), party politics aside.  

Emerson: Cruz

Emerson saw five traits as holding the key to good leadership: reputation, legacy, image, integrity and dignity.
Who is a candidate that at once shows self-respect, a strong legacy with few political skeletons and the correct amount of both discipline and character?
Although this is a matter of opinion, Ted Cruz seems to have the commanding aura that Emerson was perhaps searching for (although Emerson was, undoubtedly, more liberal than the fiery conservative Cruz).

Mary Wollstonecraft: Clinton

It is easy to assume that the famed female philosopher who is responsible for writing the “Declaration of the Rights of Women” would be thrilled to see this nation finally elect a female to the oval office.

2016, Philosophy, Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders, Larry Lessig

Monday, February 8, 2016

Zach McCarthy '16
What Iowa's indicated
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While all those normal (Pfft, normality. Who needs it?) people scuffle over the Super Bowl, we political buffs know that the most action-packed day of the year is actually now behind us as the Iowa caucus (the kickoff to the presidential election) has come and gone. What can we gather from the Hawkeye State’s selections? Let’s reflect on the highlights look below:

1. Out with the outsiders
As one very wise writer boldly envisioned months ago, the amateur hour is now up. The colorful characters that once dominated the GOP stage and vexed all their seasoned competitors seem to be slipping off their pedestals. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson ebbed well behind his colleagues, scoring a scrawny three delegates. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina did not fare much better, earning a paltry 3,000 votes. These hopefuls may move on to the next primary but Iowa’s message is clear: Republicans’ fling with diletantes is over.
2. ‘Bern’, baby, ‘Bern’
Remember Larry David’s crazy commie cousin from Vermont? He’s winning big. Senator Sander’s astounding ascension from fringe candidate to Prophet of the People was cemented earlier this week when the Democrat amassed over 49% of the vote, muscling out O’Malley and (presumably) shaking up the Clinton campaign. There was only 0.3% of the vote sitting between Hillary and her bane Bernie this round and, given Sanders’s traction, that gap shouldn’t be widening any time soon.  
3. Has Trumped been trumped?
This mogul hasn’t stopped seizing the spotlight. From day one, Trump’s gotten all the ink and basically played chicken with the GOP by not even attending the latest Republican debate out of spite. Stunts like that have led us all to wonder whether all the audacious antics would pay off: Iowa shows maybe not. Trump was trounced by Cruz who yielded 3% more of the vote and closed his detour to Des Moines with a humble (Yes, humble) yet out of character speech that perplexed his deflated fervent supporters. Did Iowa show his era’s gone the way of the rest of the amateur onslaught?
4. Meanwhile, in New Hampshire…
Next stop for the candidates is New England for the New Hampshire primary. If Iowa is any indicator, Bernie’s numbers will continue to balloon and, if Trump doesn’t pick up the slack, Rubio could conceivably snag second place. In the Granite State, floundering picks like Jeb Bush will have to assert their presence once and for all or else risk getting jettisoned by their party (See recent dropouts Rand Paul and even Rick Santorum). The pieces are really all there, New Hampshire will be about putting them into motion.
5. The comedy continues…
The Iowa caucus never fails to remind American voters of just how wacky this system is and what better election to examine the sheer goofiness of the process than this exceedingly nutty one? Coming off the heels of the first primary, strugglers Ben Carson and Jeb Bush held some awkward, downright bizarre press conferences as they vied to court voters’ attentions. But perhaps the coup de grace of this political slugfest was the coin toss (Foolproof!) that won Hillary a few delegates. If those incidents don’t make you question the stability of this republic, I don’t quite know what will, but we can hopefully all agree on one thing: at least it’s pretty funny.  

Tags: Iowa, New Hampshire, primary, president, republican, democrat

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fritz Schemel '17
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The first votes of 2016: analyzing the impacts of the Iowa caucus results

With the first votes of the 2016 Presidential Election cast Monday night in Iowa, the nation received a better indication of where candidates stand and how they might fair in states,such as New Hampshire and South Carolina, later on in the primary season. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was named victor in the Republican caucus, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finished virtually tied with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders.

So, what do all these results mean for the candidates?

Top Republican Candidates:

Ted Cruz: The Texas senator exceeded expectations of late polls and won the caucus by a margin of 4 percent. With strong evangelical support in rural areas of Iowa, Cruz had a strong base in the state and a win solidified his spot as a strong anti-establishment candidate. He won’t have that same support in New Hampshire, but by solidifying his stance as front-runner in the race, his momentum should continue when the race heads south to South Carolina and other southern states on Super Tuesday.

Donald Trump: Despite holding a 7 point lead in the final Des Moines Register poll, Trump faltered on Monday night, finishing with just 24 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz bested Trump in ground organization and mobilizing supporters to vote. Not only will it hurt the invincible brand he built of being a winner, but it reflects a deeper issue in his campaign. Trump, despite huge crowds at rallies, was unable to create a large enough turnout of supporters caucus night. Still, even in his speech following the loss, Trump focused on New Hampshire, saying, “(In New Hampshire), we’re going to be declaring victory, I hope.”

Marco Rubio: With the exception of Cruz, Marco Rubio may have had the best night of all the GOP candidates. In finishing with 23 percent of the vote, up 8 percent from the final Des Moines Register poll, Rubio emerged as the leading “establishment” candidate to defeat both Cruz and Trump. Big GOP donors, some of whom have held off contributing large amounts of donations until there is a clear establishment front runner, will pour money in Rubio’s campaign, and his impassioned speech Monday night is sure to energize supporters. Billionaire Paul Singer is one donor who has already donated to Rubio’s campaign. Rubio’s prospects of uniting the Republican party, which he has been campaigning on for months, will certainly increase, especially if he’s able to carry the momentum from Iowa into New Hampshire.

Other Notes:
Kasich and Christie’s bet: While polling very low in Iowa, both Chris Christie and John Kasich are betting on a strong showing in New Hampshire. Kasich has foregone campaigning in Iowa almost altogether, pouring all his resources into the Granite state. Christie has focused heavily on the state as well in past weeks. Iowa was a poor indicator for both, New Hampshire will be much more crucial for the two moderate Governors.
2008 Winner Drops Out: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee announced on Twitter he’d be suspending his campaign, after a poor showing in Iowa, where he won in 2008.

Top Democratic Candidates:

Hillary Clinton: While a virtual tie isn’t a complete loss for the Clinton campaign, it will have supporters concerned, as Bernie Sanders will look to ride the momentum from a remarkable showing in Iowa into New Hampshire, where he is widely expected to win. However, for Clinton, she continues to build her strong organization into later primary states, and has much greater support than Sanders in later southern states, such as South Carolina. It’s certainly not the worst case scenario for the former First Lady.

Bernie Sanders: For Sanders, who trailed by almost 10 percent in Iowa just a couple months ago, a near-tie in the caucus will build strong momentum going into New Hampshire, where he holds tremendous support. Although not as organized in later states, Sanders’ campaign received $20 million from supporters in January, and after a strong showing in Iowa, will likely receive even more donations - this money will help him build a strong base in later states.

Other Notes:

O’Malley Drops out: Martin O’Malley failed to reach the 15 percent threshold needed at many Democratic caucus sites, and announced later in the night he would suspend his campaign, making the Democratic race now (officially) a two-person race.