According to the Mayan Calendar, the world is supposed to end this year. Republicans seem to agree – that is, if Barack Obama is reelected. That might be a little hyperbolic, but hyperbole seems to be the theme of the current primaries. Constance Boozer argues that the media is just as much to blame as the candidates themselves for this. While it’s easy to mock the current state of our politics, we should not forget that our democracy is still relatively the most stable democracy in the world – certainly more stable than countries like Taiwan and Scotland that are still fighting for their autonomy. Vivian Tsai and Gregory Barber have exposed how the fight for self-determination is shaping the politics of these regions. Nevertheless, we cannot discount the issues our own country faces at the moment. Our strategic alliances in regions such as the Middle East are breaking down, threatening our ability to carry out our missions effectively. Usha Sahay, in A Modest Proposal, has outlined a strategy for the United States to revamp its precarious relationship with Pakistan. Within our borders, xenophobia and racism are beginning to shape our state laws under the veil of policies to crackdown on illegal immigration. Paul Anthony Arias has scrutinized these policies and their effects on states like Georgia and Arizona.
To compound all this, the long-term competitiveness of our nation is at risk as well. By many standards, the education system is simply not adequate, exacerbating problems such as income inequality. Education reform is imperative, but challenging. Ensuring that students are taught well, teachers are paid well, and money is spent well is no easy task. In partnership with our campus’ chapter of Students for Education Reform (SFER), we have put together a briefing that takes a closer look at the current state of education reform. We have juxtaposed perspectives from students and professors who have dedicated their entire careers to the cause.
To fix any of the problems facing our country today, requires new energy and new ideas. This is exactly the platform on which Clyde Williams, a former aide to both Presidents Clinton and Obama, is planning a run in New York’s 15th Congressional District, where Columbia happens to reside. CPR had the unique opportunity to have a brief chat with Williams about his views on issues that pertain to the Columbia community.
Finally, as CPR is rapidly expanding, we have made it a point to actively engage with student groups and campus politics. To that end, we have collaborated with at least one student group in every issue. We have also started covering campus political events in a new online feature called Political Minutes. If your student group has interest in working with CPR, please reach out to us. There is nothing we take more pride in than serving our campus community.