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Elaine DiMasi has officially hung up her lab coat — forgoing her position as a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory to jump into the 2018 race for the congressional seat in New York’s 1st District. The 1st District, comprised by much of Suffolk County, has been held by incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). Cook Political Report puts Zeldin in a safe spot, with the 1st District likely remaining Republican in next year’s midterm. The 48-year-old Ronkonkoma resident joins a small enclave of Democratic candidates looking to take on Zeldin in a seat that looks hard to beat. But after almost a year of planning, DiMasi is done wading and is ready to take the plunge. “Are they going to say wow that’s great, a different kind of candidate that can get out the vote or are they going to say I want that seat?” DiMasi said. If successful, DiMasi would…

With the Republican majority in the Senate, the confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, will undoubtedly proceed successfully. However, Senate Democrats must surely be feeling the heat from their constituents, many of whom believe that the Republicans unfairly stole the Supreme Court seat. Some Democratic senators concurred with these sentiments and have declared they would not support any candidate for the vacancy other than Merrick Garland. An uncompromising attitude towards Trump’s pick might seem unfair to a President in the early days of his term, but for many Democrats the obstruction of Merrick Garland’s chance of even getting a fair hearing and the massive loss of opportunity to help balance the Court, leaves almost no room for compromise or complacency. Justice Breyer is 78 years old and Justice Ginsburg is almost 84. It is very likely that more seats will open up during a Trump presidency and…

On Nov. 8, Donald Trump stood in front of our nation to give his acceptance speech as our 45th President of the United States.  This may have come as a shock for many people, especially since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but still lost the election. However, that is why we have the Electoral College. Our government allows everyone to have a voice, until that voice goes against what the people in power want. The Electoral College was created to ensure each state is fairly represented and has some sense of equal say during the election.  However, a candidate like Clinton, who was ahead in the popular vote, still lost to Trump because he made it to 270 electoral votes first. While the system was created to fairly represent smaller states like Rhode Island alongside much larger states such as California, it overlooked one small thing: the votes of…

Democrats and Republicans. Blue or Red. One or One. For most of America’s history, there has been a system of two parties overwhelming the rest, whether it be called the Democrats and Republicans or the same values under older names. They’ve always been at war with each other for power within the government. This past election cycle has been a demonstration of the flaws within that system, as it does not display the feelings of the majority. In George Washington’s Farewell Address, he famously warned against the issues that could come from partisan fighting. “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.” All those years ago, George Washington knew of the dangers that could come from this two party system, and how it…

It seems like almost everyone knows billionaire business mogul Donald Trump. Trump has stirred conversation here and abroad, much of it negative. Many of the foreign students we spoke to found Trump’s politics shocking yet strangely familiar. He is employing tactics that have been used in many countries throughout history.   The potential endgame of a Trump presidency, however, seemed to concern them all. Brazil: “This Type of Leader Spreads.” Ana Ribeiro, Sasha Botello and Allan Franco, a group of Brazilian students, said they spent a whole night discussing the possible consequences of a Trump presidency. The American economy could collapse, they said, if Trump’s hostilities against immigrants reached a fever pitch. “The country attracts the greatest minds,” said Allan Franco, a chemical engineering major. “It would be really bad.” Donald Trump, known for misogynist comments, praising America’s strength, and saying he’s fighting for the country, reminded the group of…

It was on a train between Wuhan and Xi’an that I did the most illegal thing in my life. I criticized the government. Jing–a regular student at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law–had spoken about the argument over Weibo, China’s online news blog, about whether or not to give independence to Tibet and Xinjiang and their ethnic minorities. But it was while our classmates—Stony Brook students like me—slept in their overnight train bunks that she and I sat down to talk about the divide between China and the United States. She was a polite, soft-spoken girl studying French to become an international businesswoman. I had thought French was a useless language until I met fellow foreign students from Africa and France in our dormitories—which is rich coming from me, a German minor. “How do Americans portray China?” she asked me. Outside, the Chinese countryside, in all its familiar unkempt greenness,…

We’re reaching the point now in our current election season where everything is on the table. All the problems in the process itself are visible and tangible. This is the chance to fix our broken system, or there might not be another opportunity to fix it. It’s not doom and gloom, but a necessary observation understanding just how bad things have gotten. The same politicians who gerrymander their districts to make sure they remain in power for the next six years are in charge of determining whether or not they even pass a budget to keep the government running. Nobody likes our leaders anymore. Nobody trusts them, and frankly, nobody should. This current and previous congress has passed the least legislation of any other time period, according to the Pew Research Center. Gallup polls show them having a bare 14-percent approval rating in September. It was never really high. And…