Cole is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying International History.
Reflecting on Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13)’s sweeping victory in the GUSA Executive election, I can’t help but think of a similarly successful campaign waged just four years ago by the current occupant of the White House. The savvy use of social media, the left-leaning rhetoric, the brilliant marketing strategy and distinctive campaign symbols and images, the dedicated campaign staff, the massive turnout of a previously apathetic electorate that became enthusiastic about change, and, of course, that vague sense that something new and different was on the verge of being realized—haven’t we seen this before?
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice could barely contain her outrage in a series of tweets following China and Russia’s veto of a Security Council resolution condemning Syria President Bashar al-Assad’s use of force against protestors:
The recently unionized workers at the Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall joined together for a short rally this afternoon to protest stalled contract negotiations with Aramark. They were joined by students as they chanted, “What do we want? Contracts? When do we want it? Now!” The two-minute rally took place under the gaze of Aramark executives, who had just met at Leo’s for lunch.
I have to admit it—I’m one of these people that gets excited when I hear Ron Paul rail against the military industrial complex, the barbarity of the War on Drugs, and the massive erosion of civil liberties that has taken place since the Bush presidency. Sure, the twelve-term congressman from Texas isn’t the greatest orator—his declaration after the Iowa Caucus that “We’re all Austrians now!” has to be one the most awkward political moments in recent memory— but he seems to possess that increasingly rare quality: adherence to principle. It isn’t uncommon for American politicians to declare their undying love for the Constitution, but one gets the impression that Paul really has it. It gets more complicated when you ask why.
Cheri Honkala is a community activist who has spent her life fighting against poverty and homelessness. Honkala, who has been homeless herself, is running for Sheriff of Philadelphia with the Green Party, promising to refuse to evict individuals from their homes if elected. In an interview with Counterpoint’s Cole Stangler, she talks about her political vision, poverty and homelessness in the United States, and how her campaign is similar to the Occupy Movement across the country.