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Duke Political Union endorses Ibrahim Butt for Young Trustee

(02/07/20 8:24pm)

Duke Political Union is excited to announce our endorsement of Ibrahim Butt for Young Trustee. We believe Ibby will represent the interests of DPU and the larger Duke community as a young voice on the Board of Trustees. His prior experience as a student representative on the board makes him an extremely qualified candidate. DPU is enthusiastic about his commitment to academic freedom and values his ability to criticize decisions made about Duke Kunshan University in this fight for academic freedom for all students. We believe Ibby brings a critical global perspective to the board and will continue his incredible history of advocacy work to ensure all voices are heard in the Boardroom. DPU would also like to thank Maryam, Leah and Tim, who all shared inspiring messages and would be fantastic stewards of this University.

Sides of the coin: Balanced budgets and the 2020 election

(11/04/19 5:00am)

Editor's note: The following two columns are the first installment of Duke Political Union's new series, "politically savvy." Once a month, two columnists from different ideological backgrounds will offer their opinions on the same issue. This month, Stephen Kosonocky and Bryn Lawson address federal debt and spending.

The 'S' word

(11/11/15 7:34am)

The United States is one of the few industrialized nations to view the term “socialist” as taboo. No other word is as contaminating for an opposition candidate, and that's why so many campaigns and political pundits are quick to use it as a weapon. Whether it be Bill O’Reilly referring to the president’s policies as part of a “socialist vision for America,” Ben Carson attacking the progressive income tax code by labeling it as socialism or Ted Cruz arguing that “Obama is a disaster because he’s an unmitigated socialist,” all of these jabs use the taboo of the “S” word in order to tear down the opponent. Even Democrats—who would be more likely to embrace the ideology—avoid the label at all costs, because they don’t want to seem anti-American or anti-capitalist. This trend among progressives is so apparent that even the comedian Bill Maher took notice on the issue: “If a Democrat even thinks you’re calling him liberal, he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something.”

A lesson from across the pond

(10/28/15 5:53am)

In May, the Scottish National Party won 56 seats in British Parliament, almost 9 percent of the popular vote. In the U.S., there is not a single third-party member of Congress, and the third most popular party, the Libertarians, did not even register 1 percent of the popular vote. Why this disparity? In America, a vote for a third party is a wasted vote. The winner-takes-all nature of American politics means that third parties can almost never directly affect policy. The end-result is a negative one: important policy issues are ignored, voter choices are limited and gridlock ensues.

The young liberal's folly

(09/16/15 5:49am)

Over the course of my time at Duke University, I have been mistaken for a liberal time and time again. Upon correcting one well-meaning man after he jokingly called my group of fellow interns in Washington, D.C., and I “crazy liberals,” he professed his surprise. I was a 21-year-old attending Duke—how could I be anything but? He was not wrong to assume. Of seven college students he was speaking to, I was the only conservative, reflecting a growing trend of America's youth leaning to the left.

The wrong sort of campaign

(09/02/15 4:12am)

Never in history have there been as many aggressive, prominent GOP presidential candidates fighting to ban abortion. The majority of the Republican presidential candidates support outlawing abortion even in cases of rape or incest, a stance previous candidates such as George H. W. Bush and Mitt Romney opposed. However, the willingness of current candidates to abolish the freedom for women to control their bodies goes a step further as fifteen of the GOP candidates believe that life and pregnancy start at fertilization rather than at implantation, with the latter view backed by all major medical groups and governmental agencies, such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services. These candidates are influenced by anti-abortion groups that radically oppose any form of contraception activated after conception, including the morning-after pill and IUD. This rush to the right regarding women’s reproductive rights is further intensified by the Republican-led congressional initiative to defund Planned Parenthood even at the potential cost of a government shutdown mirroring that of 2013. The Republican candidates are running the risk not only of causing such a shutdown but also of following Romney’s fatal political mistake in alienating the women voters Republicans will need to pull in swing states.