All in for Warren
Our next president will have to make critical decisions to position our country to succeed through the next decade. I choose Elizabeth Warren to lead us in this process.
Warren has developed a lot of plans, but they all are based on her commitment to tackle the corruption in Washington that perpetuates inequality in the United States. Our children’s generation no longer has the access to affordable education, health care and good-paying middle class jobs that enabled our parents to set us on the path to success.
I recently knocked on doors in Rochester, New Hampshire, to help remind voters why Warren is the best candidate for president. The responses I received spanned the spectrum from “Elizabeth who?” to “all in for Warren,” with a majority of registered voters who just weren’t sure yet.
Maine voters are lucky that we have until the Super Tuesday primary on March 3 to make up our minds. If you are still undecided, I suggest you pick the one (or two) most important issues to you and read the policy positions on each candidate’s website. Which candidate’s analysis of the plan resonates with you? Which candidate presents a comprehensive solution that has specific objectives, a reasonable timeline for implementation and a sustainable way to cover the cost?
We have an important decision to make in 2020. I hope your research will encourage you to be “all in for Warren.”
Vermont cellphone bill is quite the leap
In response to the Vermont bill proposing an under-21 ban for cellular phones: Wow. What a leap to jump from demonstrating the negative effects of gun violence to preventing youth from access to cellphones. What about their access to call 911 if an emergency occurs? What about their ability to connect with their peers and parents which teaches them about their right to be individuals? And these sacrifices are being made for what?
Suggesting cellphones are as dangerous as guns is like saying we should ban bananas because there’s a chance people might slip on them in the case they’re dropped on the ground. It’s like saying knives should be banned because they are capable of being used as a weapon.
The difference is, guns are created for violence. Violence is the reason guns exist. Cellphones are a form of communication that allow people to connect to a wide range of media across the globe.
In America specifically, they are a staple of relevance. They were developed to allow for individuals to communicate to their peers and to the rest of the planet without censorship or physical restriction. While the point is argued that some forms of this social media may lead to suicide in youth, blaming the technology itself for these issues will not resolve anything.
Instead, we should blame our lack of ability to adapt to said technology, and should do a better job teaching youth how to use it.
The Constitution states that Congress has the responsibility for declaring and funding war. Accepting this responsibility prevents the corruption of overly centralized power and provides the opportunity for public debate.
In an attempt to assume its responsibility, in 1973 Congress enacted a War Powers Act designed to limit the president’s ability to conduct overseas military actions without Congressional debate.
It has been difficult to use the act to prevent the unauthorized use of military force because some members of Congress do not seem to want to risk the political consequences of making a wrong or unpopular decision. Although this reluctance is understandable, we ask those who serve in the military to risk their lives and it would seem that our elected representatives should be willing to risk their reputations in order to fulfill their responsibility for using military force.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is using the War Powers Act to ask Congress to take that responsibility. His bill, S.J. Res. 68, directs the president to terminate the use of U.S. armed forces for hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military, unless there is explicit authorization for use of military force against Iran.
Both Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are to be congratulated for co-sponsoring this resolution. Hopefully, we may soon have the opportunity for a debate on whether we should be involved in a war with Iran.
Joseph de Rivera