The Columbia Political Review is a student run non-partisan publication. The views represented here belong to their author and are not representative of the publication's political views or sympathies.

2019 Editorial Board


ISabelle harris


Celine Bacha

Managing Editors

Hannah wyatt


benjy sachs

TEChnology & marketing Manager

Kerem TUncer 

Social media Manager

Anthony cosentino

arts editor

Antara agarwal

Podcast producers

KRisten Akey

Hannah wyatt

Senior Editors

Jake tibbetts

Christina hill


Henry feldman


Jodi lessner

akshiti vats

Copy Editors

Sonia mahajan

grace protasiewicz

aryeh hajibay

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OP-ed staff writers

raya tarawneh

eric scheuch

sophia houdaigui

ayse yucesan

aja johnson

antara agarwal

pallavi sreedhar

jasleen chaggar

ramsay eyre

ellie hansen

rachel barkin

sarah desouza

feven negussie

Feature staff writers

anthony cosentino

kristen akey

kristha jenvaiyavasjamai

maria castillo

stella cavedon

devyani goel

janine nassar

diana valcarcel soler

stephanie choi

katherine malus


The Right Stuff

NASA. You can say whatever you like about spending priorities and government waste, but this is one program that a majority of Republicans and Democrats consistently back. Their reasons vary—advancing science, inspiring schoolchildren, maintaining American leadership, and, of course, lucrative contracting jobs. NASA—particularly when it comes to human spaceflight—remains a cherished institution, but it has its detractors. Looking back on the Space Shuttle program, costly as it was in both lives and treasure, one line of the naysayers' arguments makes a great deal of sense. Why, they ask, instead of using spacecraft to travel across space (a novel concept), have we been using them to go in circles—for three decades? Why, instead of accepting a mission that is worthy of the risks of human spaceflight, have we chosen to build a space station that serves no purpose? The answer is simple—nobody cares enough to change. If the President of the United States really wanted to show off America’s innovative prowess, he would call NASA Administrator Charles Bolden into the Oval Office and tell him that his astronauts are going to be shipping out. Soon. Then, he’d march out in front of the press, his trusty red tie and teleprompter at the ready, and announce that the United States is going to be the first nation to put a man (and a woman or three) on Mars. Also, NASA is going to use a rocket and a crew module that will support missions to other destinations—like the moon. In fact, just because we can, we’re going to test our new spaceship by sending it to the moon first. But make no mistake, the astronaut program is now the Mars program, and that’s where our resources are going to be directed. Speaking of resources, this is a time of budget constraints, and in light of that, NASA’s budget (currently at $19 billion per year, or .5% of the annual budget) should receive only modest, gradual increases to fund our new mission in space. We will make the most of our existing technology to implement Mars mission designs that have existed for decades now. One last thing. All this stuff? It is going to happen well before 2025, or Houston will discover what real problems feel like.

Barack Obama could make that announcement tomorrow, and he wouldn’t exactly run up against the limits of technical or political feasibility. In fact, he has already admitted as much.When arguing for clean energy initiatives in his State of the Union, he alluded to how limited NASA’s capabilities were when JFK announced the Apollo program. The reference was not entirely off the mark—America was very far away from putting a man on the moon in 1961, and America is very far away from having a fleet of electric cars in 2011.

Rather than merely making a vapid call to “win the future” with a recycled laundry list of Democratic spending priorities, the President should seize this moment—25 years after Challenger, and nearly a decade on from Columbia—and chart a new course for human spaceflight. Instead of simply throwing money at our education system, the President should lead the way in motivating American students to study math and science. Instead of pretending that the deficit doesn’t exist, the President should try to get the most innovative and scientific bang for the taxpayer’s buck. Finally, instead of acting as if most Americans find high-speed rail inspirational (they don’t) the President should point to our astronaut corps, and allow them to remind the world that the United States of America still has the right stuff.

Asia's Middle Child

Dude, Where’s my capital?