By Langston Curtis, Social Media Staff
The nation tuned in tonight to watch President Obama deliver his 2013 State of the Union address. Here are some of the observations I made as a viewer.
President Obama appears to have regained some of that contagious optimism that catapulted him into the Presidency four years ago.
The President made an aggressive push for a variety of new liberal social service programs, such as a promise that all American children will be provided with a quality pre-school education, enticing fiscal conservatives with the results of a study showing that every dollar spent on a persons early childhood education will correlate to an additional seven dollars in economic productivity during adulthood.
President Obama made a passionate demand to the assembled legislators that they act on proposed federal gun control laws. His emotionally charged appeal, laced with the personal stories of parents who lost their daughter, and a police officer who was shot twelve times by a madman on a killing spree resonated as the most powerful moment of the evening. This storngly supported his demand to legislators to work together to at least attempt to stop such senseless violence.
Supporters and skeptics alike took to Twitter to offer their opinions. Apparently, in droves. According to Twitter’s Government and Politics Team, the Twitter-sphere exploded with 1.36 million tweets referencing the State of the Union and the speech’s official hashtag, #SOTU. What could all those people have to say about the Statue of the Union address? Well, I have compiled some interesting, funny and strange tweets for you here.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
In the wake of the second deadliest shooting in American history, Americans are partaking in a heated debate over the future of gun control. Many are calling for legislation that would address the gun control issue head-on while others believe that little could be done to appease the national violence. Several days before his second inauguration, Barack Obama released his plan to reduce gun violence.
The plan outlines tighter gun license regulations, a ban of military-style assault weapons, making schools safer and increasing access to mental health services.
The passing of Obama’s plan falls in the hands of the Congress. We are not aware of their stance on the president’s gun control measure so in the meantime, here’s my opinion on the pros and cons of Obama’s proposal.
- An assault weapons ban is important so the most destructive guns will no longer integrate itself in street culture. Semi-automatic firearms should not be in the hands of the public.
- Obama’s implementation of school emergency management plans is necessary for preparing schools for emergency situations. Every school should have a set plan of action in the event of an emergency.
- The accessibility to mental health services is needed. Many believe that the perpetrators behind gruesome shootings suffer from mental illness. I believe that some of the perpetrators are, and increasing mental health service accessibility may help to cut down on tragic and unnecessary violence.
- If the assault weapons ban is passed, the government needs to find a suitable way to impose this legislation.
- There are always people that believe their natural rights are being violated. In this case, some individuals will view the banning of certain guns as another threat to their liberty.
- Many Americans also believe that guns are required for defending themselves in dangerous moments. When Congress considers Obama’s measure, self-defense will be brought up as a reason supporting the need for guns.
In my opinion, gun control has cemented itself as a prevalent issue in society and action needs to be taken. Obama said it best: “It’s not only the high-profile mass shootings that are of concern here, it’s also what happens on a day-in-day-out basis in places like Chicago or Philadelphia, where young people are victims of gun violence every single day.”
By Tom Ford, Daily Free Press Contributor
Last night, at approximately 11:15 p.m. Eastern time, the state of Ohio was projected to fall on the side of President Obama, a raucous cheer broke out across America, celebrating the end of a long, arduous campaign that’s left a deeply divided nation behind in its tracks. As the weeks dragged on, more and more money went into increasingly negative ad campaigns that had many confused about what positives there were to be had from either candidate.
Yet here we are. In a night that also saw multiple states legalizing gay marriage, America has seemingly taken a stand on the issue of whether a business background and plans to revamp the economy are enough to make up for a somewhat antiquated view on social issues. Romney ran a strong campaign, don’t get me wrong; however, it seems that Obama’s message of moving forward and finishing the work that he’s started resonated with people in swing states.
The biggest shock of the night arguably came a few hours before the end result was announced; Pennsylvania, a state many analysts predicted swinging toward Romney, went to the President. This is likely due to the large presence of the auto industry and steel industry in the state, both of which might have been a bit turned off by Romney’s anti-bailout stances.
Elizabeth Warren was elected Senator in Massachusetts, winning a heavily-contested battle that acted as a referendum on Brown’s handling of the Wall Street fiscal crisis. Needless to say, the Harvard Professors message of a “fair shot” for the middle-class was persuasive, with the race being called relatively early in the night.
All in all, this election has served to teach us a few things about ourselves, both positive and negative. First, our young generation of voters is one that is very passionate about having a say in their future. There was not a day that I could go without seeing a dozen posts on some sort of social media about the election. Next, we’re trending toward spending an ungodly amount of money on campaigns. Unfortunately, most of this went into negative ads this year. Finally, we’re very willing to be at each other’s throats to defend our personal views. Impassioned rants about why Mitt Romney is evil or about how Obama is a covert Muslim Kenyan terrorist really soured my first Presidential election, to say the least.
Ah well, four more years until this political circus rears its head again. God bless.
By Saba Hamedy, Staff Writer
On Election Day in the year 2000, my fourth grade teacher gave my class copies of a blank United States map. Our homework was to color in each state blue or red, based off the Electoral College tally as it was projected. Naturally, my 10-year-old self didn’t quite understand what the Electoral College was, let alone the significance of an election. My first reaction was frustration over the fact that I’d probably have to miss an episode of “Hey Arnold!” that night. But alas, my inner perfectionist was ready to get an “O” for outstanding (I went to a liberal elementary school) on my assignment.
So, that night, I sat with my parents in front of the television and slaved away at my coloring — state by state, hour by hour. When the clock struck 9 p.m., I was ready to go to bed. With all my states colored in, I could go to sleep in peace knowing I finished my assignment. But as I was leaving, the reporter said, “This just in: Florida now a red state.”
I blinked twice, shocked. I was livid. I had already colored in Florida blue with marker! I couldn’t erase it.
“My teacher is going to mark me down!” I wailed, both frustrated and confused.
“No, no it’s okay, we’ll just white it out,” my mom calmly responded.
I watched her slowly trace over the then-blue state with a milky white pen. Now Florida was red, with a slight blue tint. I still wasn’t satisfied but figured it was the best I could do. Finally I could go to sleep.
But just as I was getting up, the reporter repeated, “This just in: Florida is a blue state… again.”
I decided to go to sleep anyway, with the state colored red. I was too tired to re-white out Florida, and I secretly hoped my classmates had kept it red too. The next day, I found not only did my entire class have it red also, but that this mysterious red-blue state of Florida was a toss-up, making the 2000 election one of the most controversial ones in U.S. history. Reporters said it would take months to figure out if the state was blue or red. The president elect was still undecided.
That was my first experience with politics, but certainly not my last. As the years went on, my knowledge of politics increased but my interest stayed the same. Although the next election took place in eighth grade, all I really remember is that after George Bush won, my very-liberal English teacher (who dressed up as a “blue state” for Halloween, I kid you not) muttered “F—k!” under her breath and let us have free time during class.
Then of course came the 2008 election. In high school, voting became cool and those non-18-year-olds (aka me) were frustrated I couldn’t take part in the “vote or die” trend. But I don’t think the Election Day effect ever really hit me. Until today.
Today, Nov. 6, 2012, I lost my voting virginity and sent in my ballot. No more confusion over the Electoral College. No more coloring in red or blue. In fact, now, as a political science and journalism double major, I have become the ultimate political news junkie. This time around, I know more is at stake than just an “Outstanding” on my homework assignment. So tonight, I will sit glued to the television, anxiously watch Wolf Blitzer point out states on CNN’s interactive map and either cry tears of joy or sorrow. Maybe I’ll print out a blank map of the United States and color, just for fun.
Happy Election Day!
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Although Obama’s 2008 inauguration was almost four years ago, I will never forget sitting in my tenth grade biology class watching the event take place on live television. I have a sharp memory my classmates’ reactions: the boy to my left was staring on almost with tears in his eyes, the girl sitting to my right was sleeping with her head down on the desk.
These observations have frequently come to mind recently, whenever I hear talk about the election around campus. So this made me curious about students here at Boston University. What are their opinions on voting this upcoming November?
I spoke with various students across campus and found that many of them plan on voting. Of those who said they will not be voting, many gave reasons relating to eligibility.
“I’m not a citizen,” said College of Arts and Sciences freshman Kelly Chen, “maybe if I were, I would vote though.” Another popular answer involved not being of age in time to vote.
When asked about the reasons why some students vote for certain candidates, School of Management senior Jinelle Pecson said, “half of them are following the news and have legitimate reasons to vote for a candidate, while the other half goes with what the environment says.”
Aman Sharma, a sophomore in CAS, brought up a good point and said, “a majority of young people are swayed by their parents.”
But does who you affiliate yourself with always have a correlation with who your parents affiliate themselves with?
“The ones who know why they’re voting for their candidate of choice will definitely have a good reason for doing so,” said Benjamin Wildman, a CAS freshman.
Whether or not students have a reason for voting for a specific candidate, there is definitely a ton of awareness on campus about voting in the upcoming election. Students mention hearing many discussions about voting, even if it’s just over a joke about a certain candidate.
With 40 days until election day, the time left for registering to vote is dwindling down. As I anxiously await the arrival of my absentee ballot in the mail, I hope that many others across campus are, too.