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Jonny Kenfield

Jonny Kenfield has 2 articles published.

Hate in America

in Columns/Opinion by
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    Photo provided by Shannon Kokoska

OPINION

Although our country is not the most divided that it has ever been, it is still plagued with anger and hate. People have different ideas on why this is; maybe social media has just become a window into people’s unpopular beliefs and warped opinions. Or maybe radical idealism is becoming more frequent. Whatever is happening, the feelings of the country’s citizens seems to be moving farther and farther away from sanity.

It is becoming so normal, in fact, that Twitter recently verified a prominent member of the white nationalist community, Jason Kessler. Jason organizes meetups like the Unite the Right’s March in Charlottesville, VA. Twitter support later paused their verification process because, as they said, “Verification was meant to authenticate identity & voice but it is interpreted as an endorsement or an indicator of importance. We recognize that we have created this confusion and need to resolve it.”

Although this is very strange and overall shocking, I know that this isn’t new to our country. Groups like the Alt- Right and Neo Nazis have always been there, but it feels as if they have moved out from hiding and become almost accepted members of society. Although, as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “ Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

So, to counter the rise in these groups’ influence, we have to start speaking out against them. There are a few ways to do this every day. Every small thing helps put society back the way it was. Both Twitter and Facebook have an anti-hate policy. To report posts and people for hate speech, click on the three horizontal dots on the post, and then, “report.”Keep watch for any hate you can find, and help stop it.

The rise of independence

in Opinion by
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    Photo Credit: Mike Mozart / Flickr

Democracy has been the stable foundation of this country for hundreds of years, and the party system has been the driving force behind that. We, as the people, select a party to back and then vote for politicians from that party for office. However, it seems that people are abandoning this system and deciding to cast their vote based on what individual politicians they agree with. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, 39 percent of registered voters identify as independent voters.

Although this may seem incredibly odd because we’ve been using the party system for so long, there’s a reason why people are doing this. At it’s core, identifying as an independent voter means that you aren’t locked into voting for one of your party’s representatives. In recent history, with the party system in place, people have been forced into a kind of black or white outlook on politics. Until the recent years, many people have voted based on almost party alone. If you had more traditional, economically conservative ideals, you voted republican. And if you had more progressive views you voted democrat.

But young people, or millennials, have been drifting away from this system and voting based on which individual politician they want to support rather than party affiliation. In my opinion, I think this will move our country forward and allow the people of this country to take down some on the politicians who have cemented themselves in seats of power with little to no opposition. Voting based on the individual and not the party will help combat the group thinking mentality of this country.

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