March 21

RCL #2.4: Video Game Censorship – My Rebuttal

As you may know, I plan to write a persuasive essay in which I will argue to my readers the reasons why video games should not be censored or their sales be further restricted. To help build up a solid argument, I have decided to look at an article written with an opinion completely at odds with my libertarian perspective on the matter, and try to deconstruct the author’s argument. The article I am to critique can be found here:

The author, Eric Roberts, claims that the human race is naturally violent, essentially citing every war in history as an example. While I agree that people are not entirely peaceful beings, Roberts’ subsequent statement that violence in video games leads to violent behavior in the children that play them comes off as a sudden jump to an unwarranted conclusion.

Roberts then states that the reason children are so easily exposed to violent video games is because while they are not allowed to buy M-rated games without a parent present, they can still play them. Although the author is correct in stating a fact, the problem lies in that the M-rating restriction is intended to inform parents that a game may not be suitable for their children. It is ultimately a parent’s responsibility to regulate what a child is and is not exposed to, not a larger power, and children will not be able to play video games too inappropriate for them if parents keep this in check.

The author argues that the constant exposure to violence in their games desensitizes children to real-world violence. In my opinion, there may be some credence to this argument, but I think it really depends on the maturity level of each individual child. Again, parents should know how mature their child is, and keep a close, responsible eye on what their they are playing to prevent any supposed desensitization to begin with.

Eric Rodgers then proceeds to bring about the infamous “school shooter argument” in order to solidify his case. I have said this before, but I will say it again: we must remember that the perpetrators of these horrendous mass shootings make up an extremely small percentage of the population. True, at times, it may seem like an ever-increasing amount of people are shooting up schools, but this only feels like that because the 24/7 media constantly shows the criminals over and over again, artificially “inflating” how often these things actually happen. Unfortunately, what many people do not take into account are the millions upon millions of individuals who play violent video games, yet still turn out as productive, functioning members of society.

Overall, however, my main problem with Rodgers’ arguments lie in that he lacks real sources and statistics to back himself up. In a world where we are constantly exposed to negativity in the media all day, every day, I can understand where the author is coming from, but in the process, he is overly reliant on emotion over logic, jumping to conclusions excessively.

March 15

Civic Issues #3: Focus on Persuasive Essay

Question of Policy: Video games should not be further censored or restricted in the United States.

Violent video games should not be held responsible for acts of real-world crimes or violence, and therefore, attempts to censor them or further restrict the sales of them are heavily misguided.

Recent events have put the debate on gun control back onto the political forefront. However, legal restrictions on the sale of assault rifles are far from the only suggestion on how to resolve our nationwide dilemma. Specifically, some have pointed to violence in movies and video games as influencing our country’s infamous mass murderers. Even President Trump has weighed in on this issue, organizing a meeting with many top executives in the gaming industry to discuss it with them. As such, I would not be surprised if a similarly large debate on violence in our entertainment opens up in the near future.

Seeing as I write pieces on the civic issue of the restrictions on free speech, as well as the fact that I am a passionate gamer, the fact that the two are overlapping makes for an interesting opportunity for me to research the controversy on video game violence. Mainly, I want to create a solid argument on why video games should NOT be restricted by the government or any other public force, especially given my almost unabashedly libertarian stance on these kinds of issues.

Personally, I think that blaming video games for one’s real acts of violence is unfair to both a perpetrator of crime as well as law-abiding gamers. With every major mass shooter in recent memory, one very common denominator residing in all of them is that they all have struggled with mental health. Sure, some were known for their gaming habits, but the hole in this argument lies in the fact that millions of other people also play video games, but do no such heinous actions. We need to put in perspective that the horrible murderers our news feeds constantly, repeatedly show make up an extremely minuscule proportion of our population; is it really fair to collectively punish everyone? I sure do not think so!


Are video games REALLY the cause of all this recent violence?

Find statistics on amount of regular game-players.

Good Ben Shapiro article on this recently.

Should parents be fully responsible for what games their children are exposed to, as opposed to the government?

What about the ESRB rating system? Don’t they restrict the sales of M-rated games?

Should the government even be involved at all?

March 2

RCL #2.4: My Deliberation Experience

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I, alongside my classmates, was assigned by our English professor to attend a different class’s deliberation panel before we did ours. Seeing as all of our busy schedules varied from one another, we were able to individually pick which one we could go to. Almost immediately, one event in particular caught my eye: “Using the F-Word: Should Free Speech be Limited in the U.S.?” Seeing as this topic not only tied in perfectly with my Civic Issues blog, but was one I was particularly passionate about, I knew I had to attend this deliberation. Besides, given my unabashedly anti-censorship stances on the matter, I was naturally curious to hear different points of view on the issue.

As a guest to this class’s deliberation, I was admittedly expecting to play more of an observing role, simply being there to write a blog post about it. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a seat at the table alongside the host members. I eagerly joined the discussion, excited to share my views with the other students as well as to hear their perspectives. This deliberation contained three core approaches to the issue of free speech, them being:

  1. No limitations or restrictions on speech.
  2. Culture and society to set informal “boundaries” on speech considered threatening or hateful.
  3. Government intervention in what should be considered “free speech”.

As one may imagine, the first approach was my forte, and arguably the one I contributed the most talking points to overall. An interesting subtopic our group brought up here was that views that differ from the mainstream consensus can often be interpreted as “threatening”, citing the scrutiny that Nicolaus Copernicus came under when stating his then-unpopular idea that the Earth revolved around the sun. Many of us argued that the suppression of “risky” ideas can potentially hide the truth and, in turn, hold back societal progress that could be made expressing said idea, as is what could have easily happened with Copernicus.

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During the middle of Approach #1, one point that I proposed is that, at least to a certain extent, speech that is considered offensive is merely subjectively so; what may be off-putting to one person may be a compliment to another. As such, I stated my belief that one should not jump to conclusions when hearing something that may at first sound controversial, seeing as not everything said in this vein is intended to be an attack. If I were to describe my position on free speech incredibly briefly and to the point, it would most likely be along the lines of the previous sentence, so I am glad that I was able to contribute my beliefs in their “purest form” to the deliberation.

In my perfect world, I feel that the first approach would be ideal. However, I would argue that, in a democratic society such as the United States, Approach #2 is the most realistic proposal. This part of the deliberation states that boundaries on free speech should be set not by laws, but more “informally” by socio-cultural norms and standards. As an aspiring economics major, I personally likened this concept to the “invisible hand” of the market, the idea that things will eventually sort themselves out when left to their own devices, free from government intervention. For the most part, I believe that this is not a bad idea when it comes to dealing with what should be protected under free speech. However, I do see the flaws that my colleagues pointed out, such as society leaning too much in favor of a majority viewpoint, stifling less popular opinions. In our incredibly divided nation, the struggle to find a common ground on many issues may also make for a slow “sorting out” process.

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As I predicted, by far the most controversial approach was the third one, in which the government intervenes. True, there were positives to this ideology, such as the state having the ability to protect individuals from unfair slander, as well as stepping in when speech turns to violence. However, I recall the deliberation mostly turning against Approach #3 when someone pointed out that, in the worst-case scenario, a small elite could take advantage of the regulations and legally suppress speech that disagrees with their agenda.

All in all, I remember most of my group leaning toward Approach #2 by the end of our meeting, myself included. I will admit to being a little disappointed when seeing everyone have a similar opinion to me, but I was still satisfied when remembering how we went through the pros and cons of each individual approach. At the end of the day, I believe that just as long as I am exposed to the good and bad of each viewpoint, that is still more than enough, and in a way, I can very much respect the civil manner in which we discussed the less popular perspectives.

February 15

RCL #2.3: Two Deliberation Articles

Article 1: My Thoughts on Collective Punishment

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Back in the third grade, I vividly remember one morning in which several of my fellow classmates were loudly talking over the teacher. I was not involved in this rude behavior, instead trying to focus on my work. Regardless, our teacher had enough of our antics, and decided to give us extra homework as a punishment. We all went silent, and I was especially shocked when I saw that I was given the same worksheet that all of the “bad” kids were getting. I felt a sudden surge of disgust go through my mind, and my then nine-year-old self simply could not stand it. I remember breaking down in tears at this perceived injustice, but at that point, the teacher was at his limit, and sent me to the principal’s office for my reaction.

Even back then, I absolutely hated the idea of blanket discipline; the only reason I was given extra homework was due to simply being in that class full of loud kids, a classic case of guilt by basic association! In the decade since my personal experience, my philosophy on the matter has not changed a notch, and to put it bluntly, I believe collective punishment needs to die. This is why I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I read the above article, which stated that only seven Beta-Theta-Pi student members were ultimately charged for the hazing case of Tim Piazza. However, the “bigger-picture” outcome still remains to be seen: whether or not fraternities should be banned, if not highly-regulated. Obviously, I can only hope that individuals, not collective groups or organizations, are held responsibly in the grand scheme of things.

Article 2: The eventual backlash against backlash

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In this article, it is states that universities are unlikely to completely end fraternities, citing the revenue they brings in, the post-graduation opportunities they provide students, as well as the possibility of
“underground” organizations being established if school-sanctioned ones are banned. However, I feel that this article is missing one very simple, yet very key reason why a total shutdown of Greek life probably cannot happen: students will be pissed.

Going back to my personal experience in which I was punished with extra homework for behavior I was not involved in, I remember that this was a small classroom comprised of about fifteen little kids, and one “big and scary” teacher. As such, while many of my classmates back then may have been angry about it, there was not much we could do. However, if something on a much larger scale, such as the potential ban of Greek life, were to affect thousands of adult college students, there is no doubt in my mind that the backlash would be enormous. Protests of all sorts would likely erupt, making it more feasible to simply keep the status quo, rather than risk upsetting such a large amount of students and disrupting the university’s basic functions.


February 8

Civic Issues #2: Poland’s Controversial New Law


This past Thursday, the Polish Senate had passed a bill which would make any public speech suggesting that their nation was guilty of executing people as part of the Holocaust illegal. If their president, Andrzej Dula, agrees to sign this into law, even referring to the likes of Auschwitz as a “Polish death camp” could get one thrown in prison. While finding these terms offensive is a very popular opinion in modern-day Poland, as with many things deemed offensive, the debate lies within whether or not it should be labeled as “hate speech”, and in turn banned.

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Poland’s controversial proposal has not only sparked debate between supporters and those opposing of the bill, but has also put them at odds with other nations, namely the United States and Israel. The latter’s Prime Minister to Poland has spoken out against such a law, stating concerns that it could be a precursor to Holocaust denial. Israel has even delayed a diplomatic visit from a Polish official in response. Similarly, the U.S. has also denounced the legislation, believing it goes against the core principles of democracy.

My thoughts on all of this? Although I am non-practicing and admittedly a religious skeptic, I am ethnically Jewish. Naturally, as most others should be, I fully condemn the actions of the Nazis against not just my people, but many other innocent civilians as well, and can only hope that something as atrocious as the Holocaust never happens again. I am also an unabashed supporter of Israel, believing that the Jews have every right to their own state and territory. However, above all else, I am a proud American, and a strong believer in the Bill of Rights. As such, I cannot condone what the Polish government is currently trying to do.

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While I am aware that Poland was invaded and controlled by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, I will own up to being somewhat unsure on how much involvement the Polish themselves had on orchestrating the Holocaust, other than the fact that several concentration camps were stationed there. If others are similarly uncertain about who is truly guilty here, I can definitely understand why this would be an incredibly hot-button issue in Poland. However, regardless of how little or how much a role the Poles played in the extermination of Jews, it still does not change my mind on my staunch opposition to their President signing the Senate’s proposed bill.

From a practical standpoint, a law criminalizing this type of speech is simply incompatible with a twenty-first century democracy. When one looks at totalitarian nations such as North Korea, they often hear horrific stories of citizens being executed for stepping even slightly out of line. Although I am aware that “slippery slope logic” is fallacious, and that the signing of this legislation would not necessarily mean Poland will become the next crazy dictatorship, the idea of imprisoning someone over referring to Auschwitz as a “Polish death camp” is quite disconcerting to me. I mean, imagine if someone got in trouble for saying something like that by accident in a speech? Sure, people may be offended, but in my opinion, that is not nearly enough to warrant years of one’s life being taken away by a prison sentence.

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Even in the scenario that the Polish were indeed responsible in aiding the Nazis in the Holocaust, I would still oppose the proposal to ban speech suggesting their involvement. True, the government wants to protect the country’s reputation, but this may only be a short-term solution, quickly putting a band-aid over potential slander. In the long run, however, Poland could severely damage their relations with other countries for erasing any mention of their involvement in such a horrific event. This has already been seen with the responses of both Israel and the United States, and I can only imagine how much further things will be strained between Poland and those two if their President actually signs the bill.

Whether it be an individual or an entire country, no one likes to admit that they made a poor choice or involved in a wrongdoing, but the reality is, everyone makes mistakes, and nobody is perfect. The level of overall Polish involvement in the Holocaust may indeed be up for debate, but debate is a key component of a free, democratic society, even if it means disagreement. In discussing such a touchy topic, rather than suppressing it, Poland can better learn from their potential missteps, just as an individual grows from their mistakes.

January 31

RCL #2.2: “This I Believe” Final Podcast & Script!


Leap Frog Phonics Writing Desk

                 Yes, I know you talk, and you sound HIDEOUS!

This I Believe-v467ky


As a young boy, to put it lightly, I certainly had my quirks. While not a “bad” kid by any means, I was certainly rather offbeat; I said unusual things, had weird interests, and was afraid of stuff that no one else was. What was one of my odd phobias, you ask? A “LeapFrog” toy; you know, one of those educational, electronic toys that helps little kids to learn their letters. For whatever reason, possibly stemming from a nightmare I could’ve had, I was terrified of the toy when it shut off automatically and said “goodbye for now!” Call me crazy, but the mere thought of that pixelated frog waving at me from his little screen and saying those three words in his low-tech voice used to make my skin crawl. Once I developed the fear, I remember refusing to go anywhere near that toy, making sure I would never hear that oh-so-horrible phrase from it again.

Just about everyone has experienced a time in which they absolutely dread an upcoming event in their lives. Whether it be a major exam one needs to take, a speech one needs to deliver, or in my case, a “scary toy” saying something in a way that didn’t sit well with four-year-old me, many are petrified by the thought of something terrible happening, at the idea that one’s whole world will come crashing down should things go even slightly wrong. As such, our fears of the unknown are often irrational, as was especially the case with the letter toy, which I knew couldn’t hurt me, yet still had a panic attack if I were to hear it turn on, bolting out of the room with my ears covered tightly and trembling in utter terror while hiding in a safer space.

This particularly became an issue around the time my younger sister, seven years my junior, was about a year-and-a-half old. That’s right, I was afraid of a baby toy when I was eight!  Anyways, my parents gave the toy to my little sister as a hand-me-down in order for her to start learning the alphabet early. Obviously, I just wouldn’t have that, so I hid the thing in a deep, dark corner of our basement, where I hoped no one would ever find it. Deep down, however, I knew that it was only a matter of time before someone found it, and I would have to face my fear. Regardless, it definitely makes sense as to why I did what I did; delaying the inevitable is a common “knee-jerk reaction” amongst individuals forced to deal with an anxiety-inducing situation. It is seen when one procrastinates on studying for their midterm until the night before, when they let their classmates present their speeches before they do their’s, or when one tries to avoid hearing three simple words from a machine.

The thing is, however, what typically happens when a person puts something off until later? They end up regretting that decision. For example, because I kept running away from my fear, however silly it may have been, I didn’t actually end up overcoming it until I was eleven. Yes, ELEVEN! As one may expect at this point, my twin sister eventually found the toy’s hiding spot, and made sure I overcame my fear; by “made sure”, I mean she pinned me down against the floor in front of the toy, leaving it on and forcing me to hear it say those dreaded words. I recall struggling and screaming for help while she did this, and for the first time in years, I heard that 8-bit frog say “goodbye for now!” My initial reaction: “That was it? THAT’s what I was afraid of?!” I remember hugging my sister afterwards, thanking her for “torturing” me. It’s funny, I had spent so much time under anxiety for that moment, yet in a matter of seconds, the toy had lost all fear, and I remember wishing I had faced it sooner, much like, say, someone who bombed a test due to putting off studying.

I see this sort of phenomenon quite often, in which one worries intensely about an upcoming event, possibly avoiding anything having to do with it as a defense mechanism. However, once said occurrence has passed, regardless of how well it went overall, one thing many individuals often notice is that the event itself was not as bad as they had dreaded it would be, feeling as if a longstanding, giant weight on their shoulders has abruptly vanished into thin air. As one of my high school teachers once told me, “anticipation is always worse than realization”. Given past experiences, these words really resonated with me on a personal level, and I truly hope the same can be said for others. In most cases, excessive worrying about a situation before it actually happens is unproductive. It not only blows things way out of proportion, but I’ve also found it to actually ENCOURAGE procrastination on the matter, which in turn, will only make matters worse.

While I’m certainly not saying that one should be too laid back and not worry about anything, what I do wish to convey is that, if anything, most worrying should be done after the fact, when they have actually experienced the situation in reality, as opposed to in their minds. If a person learns to believe in themselves, take things in the moment, and not let doubt cloud their judgement, then I am certain that they can not only face their fears, but take great chances that will lead to exceptional outcomes!


January 25

RCL #2.1: “This I Believe” Rough Draft

As a young boy, I had my quirks, to put it lightly. While I was not a bad kid by any means, I was certainly rather offbeat; I said unusual things, had weird interests, and was afraid of stuff that no one else was. What was one of my odd phobias, you ask? An educational LeapFrog toy; yes, I know! For whatever reason, likely stemming from an early childhood nightmare I may have had, I was terrified of the toy when it shut off automatically and said “goodbye for now!” The mere thought of that pixelated frog waving at me from his little screen and saying that in his low-tech voice used to make my skin crawl. I vividly remember having panic attacks and bolting out of the room with my ears covered if the toy was turned on near me.

Years later, my twin sister found the toy after I had successfully kept it hidden in our basement for so long, and helped me overcome my fear; by “helped”, however, I mean she pinned me against the floor in front of the toy and made me watch it say those dreaded three words. I recall struggling and screaming for help while she did this, terrified to receive my “torture”.  For the first time in what seemed like forever, I heard the frog say “goodbye for now!” The moment after this happened, however, I realized that it was nowhere near as bad as I anticipated, and I remember actually hugging my sister afterwards, thanking her for “helping” me.

Whether it be a major exam one needs to take, a speech one needs to deliver, or in my case, a “scary toy”, just about everyone has experienced a time in which they nervously anticipate an upcoming event they are a part of, horrified at the supposed idea that their whole world will come crashing down should it go even slightly wrong. However, once it has passed, regardless of how well it went overall, one thing many individuals often notice is that the event itself was not as bad as they had dreaded it would be. As one of my teachers from high school once said, “anticipation is always worse than realization”.

Since my own unique personal experience, I have tried my best to live my life along the lines of that teacher’s quote.  True, the future is scary, and the fear of failure will always exist, but I believe that the key to overcoming fear of the unknown lies not in fixating on how to tackle the upcoming event itself, but rather taking things step-by-step, one day at a time in order to work towards conquering the longer-term fear.


January 18

Civic Issues #1: My Proposed Topic

Freedom of speech. It is said to be guaranteed to all Americans, written in the First Amendment of our nation’s Bill of Rights. At first glance, one may believe that since it is an amendment in the U.S. Constitution, everyone should be free to say what they want, expressing their beliefs without consequences. However, as with many things, the reality regarding our beloved right is not as black-and-white as it initially appears. Surely, unlike many countries, an American will not be arrested for publicly denouncing their president, but incidents still exist in which a citizen will be punished for an action deemed as heinous by some, but an expression of free speech by others.

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The idea for this as my “Civic Issues” topic actually came from a fairly recent event. For those who are internet-savvy, you probably know of the scandal revolving around YouTube star Logan Paul’s extremely controversial video, in which he joked around in Japan’s infamous “suicide forest”. The kicker: he even showed a dead, hanging body in his vlog, still laughing as he saw it! As a result, Logan was forced to remove the video, and took a break from posting. He was also fired from a YouTube-exclusive series. While I personally agree that Logan Paul crossed the line in what he did, and as such, consequences were to be expected, another part of me could not help but ponder the boundary between what should be considered free speech and what “going too far, and warranting of punishment” should mean.

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In a recent English RCL lecture, my classmates and I were discussing ideas on what topic to do our Civic Issues blogs on, and one student brought up the modern-day debate regarding free speech on university campuses. This intrigued me, as I have heard several stories of college professors being pressured to issue “trigger warnings” on lectures of controversial subject matter, the implementation of “safe spaces” for women, LGBT youth, and minorities, as well as students protesting right-wing guest speakers. This is when I ultimately decided on my blog topic: the supposed “boundaries” of free speech.

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This is not a pre-listed topic on my professor’s course website, but rather my own choice. However, if I had to place it in one of his four sub-categories of civic issues, I would not put it in “Education”, but instead “Identities and Rights”, as the free speech debate extends far beyond college campuses, into many other aspects of civic life. In the workforce, for example, similar to how Logan Paul got in trouble for his activities on YouTube, firms have fired employees for inappropriate use of social media. The question: should the employer be allowed to fire someone for something they likely posted outside of the workplace, even though the U.S. Bill of Rights says that employee is entitled to that right?

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I am very much looking forward to exploring this question in detail on this blog, alongside other similar issues, including (but not limited to) arrests at protests, unwarranted government wiretapping, and “zero tolerance” policies enforced in public schools. I also hope to provider readers with my own personal insights on said topics. See you all soon!

October 26

RCL #9: TED Talk Rough Draft

  1. Briefly go over Reagan paradigm shift
    1. Emphasis on low taxes, deregulation
    2. Nation generally shifted to right economically
    3. Deregulation also meant free trade/globalization
  2. Recent backlash to economic consensus
    1. Economic meltdown of 2008
    2. Increasing income inequality
    3. Jobs being outsourced to other countries
  3. Rise of populist candidates
    1. Is happening on both left and right
    2. Bernie Sanders, democratic socialism, popularity with millenials
    3. Donald Trump, differs from many GOP members on free trade policies
    4. Similar situation in Europe right now
  4. Possible NEW paradigm shift
    1. Discuss “horseshoe” political spectrum theory; how it differs from traditional political compass
    2. Both parties may end up moving far left and far right
    3. However, “extreme” ends may have more in common than more “centrist” versions of left/right
    4. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump both want to regulate trade, for examole
    5. “Horseshoe Theory” may become the future political compass
October 19

RCL #8: Paradigm Shift Essay Draft

  1. Introduction
    1. Discuss the current economic “culture” in the U.S.
    2. Low taxes, deregulation, free trade/globalization, etc.
    3. Much of this can be attributed to the actions of President Ronald Reagan
    4. General political shift to the right in the nation
    5. Predictably, people are divided on whether this has been good or bad, especially as of late
  2. Events Leading Up to Reagan
    1. More Keynesian economic policies in decades preceding
    2. FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society, higher taxes, stronger union rights, etc.
    3. So-called “Golden Age of Capitalism” where all socioeconomic classes benefited from growth
    4. Humiliations of 1970s cause Americans to lose faith in this system
    5. Vietnam War loss, recessions, energy crisis, Iran hostage crisis, Soviets invade Afghanistan, etc.
    6. Culminated in incumbent President Carter’s loss of 1980 election to Reagan
  3. How Reagan Won Election
    1. Made appeals to Americans’ then current frustrations with government’s handling of issues
    2. “Government is the problem”; cite specific source for this!
    3. Charm, positive attitude, and wit resonated with voters
    4. Also allied with Christian leaders, formed “Christian Right” coalition
    5. Discuss disillusioned Democrats who supported him (AKA: “Reagan Democrats”)
  4. Reagan’s Accomplishments
    1. President Reagan managed to restore confidence in much of the American populace
    2. “Reaganomics” often attributed to economic boom of the 1980s
    3. Slashed taxes and regulations, especially on big business
    4. Ended or reduced several government assistance programs
    5. Stood up to “Evil Empire” Soviet Union; ended detente of ’70s; involved in some proxy wars
    6. Relations with USSR improved greatly during Reagan’s second term, partially thanks to the more liberal Premier Gorbachev
  5. Reagan’s Impact on Future Politics
    1. Popularity rubbed off on his VP, George H.W. Bush, who won the presidency in 1988
    2. Destabilization of USSR under Reagan led to its subsequent collapse under Bush 41
    3. Bill Clinton was a “New Democrat”; more conservative than previous party presidents to appeal to Reaganites
    4. Republicans took Congress in 1994, showed conservative stronghold created by Reagan remained
    5. Bush 43 continued Reagan-esque policies such as tax breaks
    6. Obama’s victory hinted at reversing right-wing trend, but GOP control of Congress stated otherwise.
    7. When running for 2016, Trump may have attempted to brand himself as “The New Reagan”; “Make America Great Again” was actually used way back in 1980.
  6. Proponents of Reagan’s Impact Argue:
    1. Obviously, Reagan remains popular with modern conservatives and Republicans
    2. Tax cuts and deregulation have helped businesses and economy grow
    3. Collapse of communism led to U.S. as world’s sole superpower (for now, at least)
    4. Spread of democracy worldwide continued thanks to Reagan’s policies
    5. End of the Cold War set the stage for free trade and globalization
    6. Christian Right remains an influential part in many U.S. social issues
  7. Opponents of Reagan’s Impact Argue:
    1. Politics too heavily-dominated by the right nowadays
    2. “Trickle-down economics” has led to increased income inequality for past 30+ years
    3. Free trade led to loss of domestic jobs
    4. Christian Right’s influence a nuisance to some social liberals
    5. Discuss lack of attention to HIV/AIDS epidemic during Reagan era
    6. Policies sometimes blamed for the 2008 economic collapse
  8. Recent Backlash from Both Sides
    1. Recent events may indeed lead to another political paradigm shift in the near future
    2. Bernie Sanders on the left; wants to return to more controlled economics of New Deal era
    3. Despite making parallels to Reagan, President Trump is protectionist on trade; wants America to become less globally-involved
    4. Similar right-wing or populist movements to Trump in Europe; Brexit, France’s Le Pen, etc.
    5. Perhaps mention Obama’s possible attempt at “Change”
  9. Conclusion
    1. Reagan marked a shift in politics that is still seen today
    2. Has remained a stronghold despite some opposition
    3. His legacy is clear, but still up for debate whether good or bad