There Are No Political Saviors

For too long, I and other leftists banked on the idea of Senator Bernie Sanders saving us through his consistency on progressive issues. But it’s important to note that even he was unable to resist the buy-out that consisted of a threat on his career.

What I mean by that is that Sanders and his base have been considered the part of the left that caused the win of President 45 in 2016 for the last four years now. The approximately 0.08% of nationwide votes that Sanders received in the general election via write-in votes from the 12 states that counted write-in votes (Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming) have been used to blame Sanders’ entire base for Secretary Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016.

A blame like that could ruin a political career and Sanders was very fortunate to have a strong base in Vermont that reelected him as Senator in 2018. However, taking that blame a second time would most likely be something he couldn’t recover from. So it’s no surprise that Sanders has been trying to back Vice President Joe Biden for President since suspending his own campaign, and as of today, Senator Kamala Harris for Vice President, regardless of his previous disdain for the two and their moderate platforms. It’s clear that the progressive movement cannot rely on solidarity from even Sanders.

There’s no way to guarantee solidarity from any one singular person and banking on a political savior will only end in loss. It’s why this year’s resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing of George Floyd has managed to stay in the streets demanding action for almost three months now—the movement has no leader.

It’s hard to kill a movement without a mouthpiece.

Tl;dr It’s time to abandon political saviors because a singular person will always be easier to shut down than a movement on it’s own.


Personal Note #1

Welcome to my first personal note, as seen in the title. I want to express my personal thoughts more often and in a less formal way than some of my previous articles. Might be a little self-centered, but I want to talk about myself for a bit too.

I’m trying to love myself more. I know that’s like a cliche line for young women in their early 20’s who are trying to pull themselves out of college-debt-is-too-much-depression. But I’m an 18 year old who has spent their entire life doing things and never enjoying any of it. I’ve been obsessed with getting out of the bubble that is Frisco, TX that I forgot that my life is in the present, not just the future.

I think what happened is I toured the college campus I’m going to be at in the fall and suddenly it all came together: my future that I’ve been dreaming of is so close. I’ve spent all of my life wanting to get to this, and now I’m almost here. Am I ready for it?

It’s kind of awful that when I’m almost out that I start to want to live in this moment forever. I finally have my coming-of-age movie friend group and I finally get to do coming-of-age movie things like run through a parking lot after dark from Wendy’s to Target. Like do a photoshoot in Target while not worrying about the democratic debate that was live. Like play Dungeons and Dragons at school every Tuesday until 7pm after jaywalking to Walgreen’s and buying a box of Poptarts and a bottled Starbucks Frappaccino. Like stay up until early hours of the morning with my friends that I haven’t yet met in person while playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and yelling stupid things at each other over group call.

The 18 year long moment that I spent all of trying to get out of is ending and I’m realizing I don’t want it to end.

I’ve been waiting for this part of my future for my entire life and now I’m realizing that I’m terrified of it.


Is the convenience of Amazon worth its detrimental effect on the United States economy?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com Inc., which was initially just an online bookstore. But over time, as any major company would in a capitalist economy, Amazon expanded. It grew to include electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys, jewelry and anything else that could be reasonably shipped to people. With Amazon’s expanded inventory, it became a household name and the most convenient way of shopping. 

However, it’s important to know the destruction Amazon leaves behind as it continues to expand. It’s convenience and low prices that put other companies out of business. In fact, in 2009, Amazon had a large enough profit that they purposefully took losses in order to put their competitors out of business. 

Diapers.com was a new business from parent company Quidsi. They were offering diapers and other baby products on a subscription basis, which appealed to young parents for its convenience. While Diapers.com wasn’t a serious competitor to Amazon, Bezos launched Amazon Mom.

Amazon Mom had a similar concept as Diapers.com except it offered free shipping and priced products so low that Amazon actually took losses from Amazon Mom. But it did the trick. Diapers.com lost customers to Amazon Mom until Quidsi finally surrendered and was bought out by Amazon for $545 million. 

Quidsi and Diapers.com weren’t the first companies that Amazon took out and they weren’t the last. They were just one in a list of over 100 companies that Amazon has acquired. 

It’s that horrible statistic: over 100 companies acquired by Amazon, that proves that Amazon is dangerous to the free market. It has the power to destroy small businesses and put so many people out of work. 

Yes, Amazon is the second-largest employer in the United States, behind Walmart, with 750,000 employees. However, it’s impossible to even estimate how many people are unemployed because of the way Amazon burns through its competitors like a wildfire. 

But it gets worse: Amazon reported a $10.8 billion profit in 2018 and the taxes they paid after rebate was -$129 million. What that means is that the United States government gave Amazon $129 million. That’s $129 million that comes from tax-paying families that could have been spent on infrastructure, social security, or literally anything else that the United States government is having trouble funding. 

It begs the question: when will Amazon be recognized as what it is—a monopoly—and when will Amazon be held accountable for the destruction of a competitive market?

Bernie’s Cult of Personality: Debunked

(Photo: Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Since Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the 2020 presidential election, we’ve seen a lot of centrists and liberals claiming that Sanders has a cult of personality. In other words, we’ve seen people claim that “Bernie or Bust” people are more interested in Sanders’ personality than his policies because if ”Bernie Bros” were actually interested in policy, they would vote blue no matter who.

However, this conclusion by centrists and liberals is wildly inaccurate. Sanders never talked about himself. Other candidates are always so quick to bring up personal anecdotes—Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren brought up their identities as women in nearly every debate and every rally; Beto O’Rourke brought up his experience living in a predominately Hispanic area; even Joe Biden brings up his experience being President Obama’s Vice President. But Sanders strays away from conversations like that. He always tried to stay as focused on possible on his policies and what his policies would mean to people.

It’s not as if Sanders’ doesn’t have an identity or experiences that would be unique to the presidency. He’s a Jewish man who was born during World War 2. When probed about his experiences, he does admit that his father’s family was almost entirely wiped out by the Holocaust. He did admit that growing up in Brooklyn, a predominantly Jewish borough of New York, he had grown up around people that had all been affected horribly by the Holocaust. Those kinds of experiences impact a person’s worldview.

Any lesser man than Sanders would have used those experiences as a talking point to gain more support, but he didn’t think that his experiences should have any affect on the public’s decision to vote for him. He was adamant that if he was to win, it would be on the merit of his policies and not the empathy his experiences garnered. He never wanted his victory to be dependent on him, because that went against his slogan, “Not me. Us.”

Sanders doesn’t have a cult of personality because he doesn’t talk about himself. He has a solid base because his policies offered to solutions to problems that people are struggling with.

I wish I could be mad, but I can’t hate the man for trying to be above the nastiness of making politics personal. I just wonder how the campaign might have gone if he had made it personal.

Holistic Ghostly Stockholders Discover a Dark City Secret

This was a satirical article I wrote for my newspaper class as one of our eschool assignments. The headline was made randomly and I just had to roll with it.

The world is coming to an end, or so it seems due to coronavirus concerns. No human crisis in the history of our world has ever reached a point like the one we’re at now: the economy at a standstill and people unable to leave their homes. However, if there’s one positive to come out of this crisis, it’s that stockholders of Beff Jezos’ company, Daintree, are discovering the moral cost of their stocks.

Daintree’s warehouse in Gotham City is the workplace of about 45,000 people. 45,000 people that are required to continue to go to work everyday because they are “essential employees.” These so called “essential employees” are only being paid $7.25/hr, even in the midst of a pandemic where families are unable to afford food, housing, and health care. 

Now the story here is that a Daintree customer who also happens to have a quarter of a million dollars invested in Daintree stock—who wishes to remain anonymous—received a scribbled note with his Daintree package.

The note reads: “Help us. We’re starving and aren’t protected from coronavirus. My coworker tested positive for it and came to work the next day because he couldn’t afford to not come to work.”

This was the cause of the stockholder’s realization that he should put more consideration into the companies he financially supports.

“I’m 93-years-old,” he says. “Practically a ghost. But knowing what these workers are going through will help me look at companies and stocks holistically, considering the moral cost along with the fiscal one, for whatever remains of my life.”

What the Iowa Caucus Means

Welcome to the 2020 presidential election. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, then you’ve already heard about the complete disaster that is the Iowa Caucus. Everyone is freaking out and running around in a mad panic trying to figure out what happened. But the first step to that is understanding what the Iowa Caucus is and what it means.

For the democratic party this election season, they have to choose a nominee that will face Donald Trump in the general election. The nominee is chosen by whichever candidate has the most delegates. There’s a certain number of delegates per county, so however the county votes in either the caucus or the primary decides how many delegates each candidate gets.

Most everyone is familiar with a regular voting primary; people go into a voting location, show proof of identity and voter registration, they go up to a booth, vote for who they want, and the vote stays anonymous.

But in a caucus, each county instead has people come into a designated place. Common locations for caucuses are high school gyms, churches, etc. Anywhere they can fit in about 200 people. People come in, and are told that each part of the room represents a different candidate and they have to go stand with their candidate. In Iowa, in order for a candidate to be considered for any of the delegates for that county, they have to have at least 15% of the people at that specific caucus event. If someone’s preferred candidate doesn’t meet that threshold, they’re allowed to realign with a different candidate. At the end of the night, people get to do their final realignment, and the percentages of people per candidate decides the number of delegates per candidate.

The Iowa caucus is especially important because it sets the tone for the rest of the primaries. It’s the first of every election cycle, followed by the New Hampshire primary. Candidates who do poorly in the Iowa caucus tend to drop out in the following days. The results of the Iowa caucus also influences people in other states to vote a certain way.

For example: Joe Biden’s number one selling point is his “electability,” but if he does poorly in the Iowa caucus, people in other states begin to doubt the “electability.”

Update, written a couple hours after the above written: only releasing partial results is misinformation. Like stated above, people are influenced by elections and only releasing 62% of the vote is 38% of information that isn’t being told.

Politics and TikTok

Today’s young adults and teenagers may be more socially aware than teens and young adults of the past, and it’s only fair to credit the one of the fastest forms of information: memes. A growing portion of these memes include TikToks. TikTok stars such as notaskinnylegend and UnsteadyMehdi build their content off politics and issues in the media, such as the impeachment of President Donald Trump or Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign for President. 

In order to understand why teens and young adults are drawn to making TikToks about serious issues such as politics, notaskinnylegend and UnsteadyMehdi explained their reasons for being on TikTok and creating political content for the platform.

19-year-old TikTok star Jared, more commonly known as his TikTok handle, notaskinnylegend, says he joined TikTok after seeing compilations of the short videos on YouTube. 

But he now uses TikTok to spread awareness of issues that are important to him, such as “the upcoming election or the borderline omnipresence of the elite class.” 

Jared also felt the need to present these ideas and issues in a comedic way and he’s gotten a lot of attention for his content, with over 1.1 million views on a TikTok about how Senator Sanders is actually not too old to be President of the United States, as Senator Sanders is not a boomer. Jared included the fact that Senator Sanders is older than the baby boomers, but didn’t elaborate, leaving it as the punchline. 

“I kind of expected this amount of attention,” Jared said. “I’ve been trying to put as much effort into my content as I can for a little over half a year.”

Another TikTok star, Mehdi, known on the platform as UnsteadyMehdi, also posts content about politics and popular social issues, jumped into the TikTok creating realm with the rise of the phrase “OK boomer.” 

Mehdi, similar to Jared, uses the platform to “spread information and make other people laugh simultaneously.” 

However, even though Jared and Mehdi use similar content and goals on TikTok, they both have very uniquely different styles of their videos. 

Jared tends to create his videos outside of TikTok as his videos typically have editing far beyond the TikTok app. His videos don’t follow the popular trends of TikTok, but instead go down a route that is completely unique.

Mehdi, on the other hand, tends to make TikToks that more closely follow popular TikTok trends with a political twist. One of Mehdi’s TikToks begins with the caption of all of the female Presidential candidates of the 2020 Presidential election wondering who will be the first female president, then switches to “Nancy Pelosi after impeaching Trump AND Pence,” with the sound of the video saying, “It’s me! I win.” 

So while both TikTok stars use similar content as the basis for their videos, but different creative choices for the videos, they both hope to have either inspired more young people to be politically aware or further inform young people already in the headspace. 

Either way, TikTok has become a major platform for politics and social issues, with videos tagged as “#bernie2020” having 85.8 million views.