Why so fake? Fake news spreading online

     Most of us have that one family member who constantly shares the news articles on Facebook with titles like, “Planned Parenthood Teams Up with Satanists to Promote Abortion in Missouri,” published by Breitbart. Obviously, with a title like this, further research is needed.

     This story­—and many like it—are shared throughout Facebook and other social media sites by, let’s face it, older individuals. Political memes have also made their way to social media. Only this means that it is one image with a caption that may say, “Adolf Hitler: 6 million people. Planned Parenthood: 7 million babies.” This is created with no source connected and believed by most of those that share it.

     Most of these stories can be fact-checked and are often debunked as the one mentioned above was. While it is already a concern that these articles and memes are being shared, it is even more concerning when you notice that the very same people that share this misinformation are the same as those shouting “Fake news” at more reliable publications such as The New York Times, NPR and AP.

     The question is, why does this happen? As we know, politics are often controversial and something that many people do not take lightly. How people vote affects politics, and people are likely to act on how they feel rather than what they think.

     It should come as no surprise when media outlets that are biased title their articles using strong language that will ignite a feeling of anger or sadness.

     Conservative media is not the only side guilty of this. Liberal media does this as well, only it seems that their audience is more likely to do further research when an article or political meme seems questionable.

     The lesson to be learned here is that, even if you do not agree with something, that does not make it fake. It may be a good idea to check where you are gathering your information from and who their sources are. Because, unfortunately, we live in a world that will spread false information in hopes of further dividing everyone.


The best thing for Dems? Dump Hillary Clinton

     As the 2020 election draws closer with each day and more new candidates enter the race, there have been growing murmurs about whether or not a certain former Secretary of State will make yet another run. Indeed, after her shocking loss last time, it was always a question lingering in people’s minds: Will Hillary try again?

     While she has gone on record as saying she won’t run this time, that hasn’t stopped some publications from speculating that she still will. While this does come off as Hillary fans simply wanting their lord and savior to try again, it would be incredibly foolish to assume she is being truthful.

     It’s no secret that politicians of all stripes lie constantly. Hillary has been caught in an abundance of lies over the years, from her email scandal to claiming she landed under sniper fire. So no one should act surprised, should she announce her run. However, this would be the worst thing for the Democratic Party in its current state.

     As of right now, the Democratic Party is in a precarious position. With representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar sowing infighting within the party and earning them ire from outsiders, the party needs a candidate who can unify them, and be moderate enough to win over lost constituents. Hillary Clinton is the last person they should choose for this.

    While it’s been about three years since the election, there will surely be people still angry about her stealing the party nomination from Bernie Sanders. If she should get nominated again over Bernie, this will only re-open those wounds.

     As for winning back lost constituents, there isn’t a chance. After referring to Trump’s supporters as “deplorables” and insulting them as racist, sexist and everything in between, she has absolutely no chance of winning back those alienated voters.

    If the Democrats want to win back voters and have a chance of getting back the presidency, they need to do two things: first, reel their policies back towards the center. Focusing solely on identity politics and seemingly embracing socialism is not a winning strategy, and as long as they keep this up, they will continue to lose. They should be pushing the brakes on these policies, not the accelerator.

     And second: Get rid of Hillary Clinton. And not just Hillary Clinton, but Bill and all their ilk. One of Trump’s most successful lines during the campaign was to “drain the swamp.”

     While it’s debatable as to how much he has actually delivered on that promise, it is still an argument that resonates with people. It would benefit the party to learn from it, and there is no bigger of a symbol of the political swamp than the Clintons, with their countless scandals and infamous corruption.

     Of course, I’m not stupid. I’m confident that the Democrats will not push for reform and will continue to support corrupt candidates, be it Hillary, or somebody else. So go ahead.

     The further you push to the left, and the more you push corruption, the closer you push yourselves towards self-destruction. The only ones I will feel sorry for are the moderate Democrats who are powerless to reign in their colleagues and are simply trying to do what they think is right. The rest can lie in the bed of loss they’ve made.


A rebuttal to ‘American Infanticide’

     Abortion. The word evokes many strong emotions. For some people the word means women’s right to choose their futures, for others, the word means murder. Some people refer to it as some kind of “American Holocaust,” as the author of the opinion piece “American Infanticide: The Final Solution 2.0” did in both the title and in the piece itself.

     Right from the start, it’s important to say that comparing abortion in America to the Holocaust is, at best, ethically grey. Comparing abortion to the suffering of millions of people, including the survivors who are still living today, diminishes their suffering.

     To suggest that anyone can find “comfort” in the Holocaust because it ended 70 years ago suggests that there is a comfort to be found in the horror of the Holocaust. If someone feels that abortion is an atrocity, an act of genocide, then it’s worse to “rank” tragedies, to suggest that one horrible event is more horrible than another.

     Most opponents of abortion, like the author, suggest that women choose abortion for the sake of convenience. But in a 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute, shows the complexity of why women choose abortion.

     While 74 percent of the respondents to the survey said that having a child would “dramatically change [their] life,” 73 percent also said that they could not afford the cost of having a child. Of the respondents, 48 percent said that they were avoiding single motherhood, or were having problems in their relationships that they were avoiding bringing a child into. A third said that they were not ready to have a child.

     Finally, 13 percent had an abortion due to concerns about the health of the child, and 12 percent because they were concerned about their own health. Concerns about education and employment were also a common thread in the study.

     Those statistics go to show that the choice to have an abortion goes much deeper than convenience. “But adoption is an option,” so many people say. However, the numbers tell a sobering story and reveal a reason that women might not want to give up a child for adoption.

     According to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 437,000 children were in the foster care system in 2016. During the 2016 fiscal year, over 273,000 children entered the foster care system, and around 250,000 exited the system. The number of children in foster care has been steadily rising; according to the report, in 2012 there were almost 397,000 children in foster care, and the number has gone up every fiscal year.

     Can one blame a woman for not wanting to have a child only to give it up to a system in which they have no guarantee of finding a home, a system that some children remain in for years? The median amount of time that children remain in foster care is two years, but the older a child gets, the lower their chances are of being adopted.

     It’s easy to look on from the outside and say what women “should” do, especially when you’re not a woman who might be faced with that choice. To claim that the choice is easy, that it’s simply for the sake of convenience, ignores the complex reasons that might cause a woman to make that painful choice.

     You want women to bring a child into the world that they may not be able to provide for? Make access to healthcare, paid maternity leave and childcare more affordable.

     Start fostering children and encouraging people to adopt, rather than telling women to give up their child to a system that seems cold and unforgiving. And if you’re a man who thinks he knows what is best for women, maybe it’s time to sit down, shut up, listen and learn.


How a bad work ethic affects everyone

     You would be lying if you said you’ve never procrastinated on anything once in your life. It’s something everyone is guilty of doing at some point, especially during their semesters in college. However, those bad habits do not imply one has a bad work ethic. A continuous lack of productivity distinguishes the difference between a few instances involving procrastination, and prolonged negative work ethic.

     Negative work ethic is a somewhat vague phrase. It can best be defined as a series of traits resulting in an overall lack of productivity and low-quality work. While procrastination would fall into this category of traits, a bad work ethic isn’t a one-time occurrence. It’s a bad habit developed over time that eventually manifests itself as a lifestyle.

     A bad work ethic can seep its way into everything you do, even outside of the work environment. You may find yourself leaving common household chores undone, putting off important tasks—such as buying someone a gift—or even neglecting essential duties like cleaning your cat’s litter box.

     This affects everyone you work with, especially if you work with a team to form a product. Certain jobs require cooperation from all workers, a good example would be a specific task that is composed of work from multiple people. An individual with a bad work ethic would either turn in their part late or not at all. This ultimately hinders the finished product of the company, as well as the process of creating said product.

     If you understand you have a problem with poor work ethic, it mostly comes down to a matter of poor self-discipline. You most likely don’t finish your work because you can’t force yourself to sit down and do it.

     This can also be a result of the inability to find a balance between work and fun. If you suffer from this, I suggest you learn to prioritize. Make sure you have an understanding that there is a difference between what you need to do, and what you want to do.

     If you have to deal with coworkers who have bad work ethic, honestly, there isn’t much you can do. You can sit down and talk to them about their troublesome behavior, but this wouldn’t be of much help.

     Once someone has developed a bad habit of putting off work and doing it poorly, it’s nearly impossible to break that habit. These are the same people who were able to easily coast through life doing the bare minimum, and now poor work ethic seems to be embedded in their minds.


America: The greatest nation to ever exist?

     The phrase “Make America Great Again” either invokes a sense of proud patriotism or elicits a strong animosity toward the current administration. For many, America has always been great but has undergone a low point in recent years. Others would argue, to quote New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, that “America was never great.”

     There seems to be no middle-ground in these opinions but is there any validity to either? Was America ever “great,” or has it always been the racist, misogynistic cesspool some liberal professors would have you believe?

     I argue that beyond an inkling of doubt, the United States was, and is, the greatest experiment of personal liberty to ever grace the world stage. The U.S. was founded on the bases of God-given, inalienable rights for all men.

     Of course, in the beginning, these principles were limited to white landowners. But this bit of hypocrisy on the part of the Founders does not negate the importance of the rights listed in the American constitution.

     This argument is a logical fallacy known as the appeal to hypocrisy. The mere fact that some of the Founding Fathers may have been hypocritical in their conduct does not invalidate their arguments for liberty. For example, Thomas Jefferson, who is famous for writing the Declaration of Independence and coining the phrase, “all men are created equal,” also owned many slaves during his life.

     While Jefferson’s participation in the abhorrent practice of slavery does make him a hypocrite, it does not negate the value of his argument that all men are indeed given (or should be given) equal opportunity before God and the law.

     Another popular trope of leftists is to defame America as being founded on racism and slavery. No one can argue that the U.S., like all nations, has its fair share of regrettable history. I make no denials of the evils perpetrated under the yoke of slavery in America’s infancy.

     However, to disregard and accuse the entirety of America based on wrongdoings in her past is foolish. If a Mercedes had a flat tire, would you junk the whole car? Of course not, you would realize what a prize luxury vehicle it is and takes the appropriate measures to remedy the problem.

     America is much the same. People of all races recognized this country’s potential and worked to solve the issues facing the nation from its birth and through the present day.

     Finally, one of the most popular methods of slandering the United States, often circulated via a hashtag on social media during the Fourth of July, “America was never great.” In the words of MTV’s “New Year’s Resolution for White Guys,” “America was never great for anyone who wasn’t a white guy.” This argument is blatantly false, and it is easily counteracted.

     America was so great in fact, that people from all ethnicities were flocking to the East Coast in droves by the end of the nineteenth century.

     America was so great that thousands of freed slaves were willing to lay down their life on the altar of liberty during the Civil War for a country they knew was worth salvaging. To be frank, America was and still is so great, people who claim to hate it so much still refuse to vacate.

     The truth is the USA is the greatest nation to exist presently or to have ever existed in the history of the world. No other place, especially at the time of the Constitution, was such a bastion for freedom and liberty. The ideas presented in the American experiment were revolutionary and they shaped the way every progressive, modern nation operates today.

    Despite the liberal indoctrination attempted by many institutions and professors around the country, American exceptionalism holds fast. This country and its people are unlike any other in history and, in my opinion, simply put, the best.

    If America falls there is little hope for freedom’s survival in this world. We must strive to ensure this nation “shall not perish from the earth.”