“If you do not fight like hell, you are not going to have a country anymore” – President Donald Trump

The certification of an Electoral College was on Wednesday suddenly interrupted by Pro – Trump members. They stormed the U.S capitol, arguing that the 2020 Presidential election was fraudulent. 

Traditionally state electoral votes are reported to congress, counted and declared at a joint session of Congress held on January 6 of the year after the election. A majority of electoral votes (270 of 538) is required to win. However the results submitted by any state can challenge the joint session. Shortly after everything is settled, the winner is announced. 

On January 6th, this year, the Congress began the process of counting the Electoral College votes. On many press sites – such as CNN, BBC and The Telegraph this was recorded, and reported live. However, suddenly these live recordings stopped. 

The process was interrupted for about six hours by a mob storming the capitol. Pro Trump members were obviously filled by fury, and breeched the capitol buildings in anger over Trump not winning the election, and moreover the belief that he was the victim of a ballot fraud. Some attackers interviewed claimed that Trump had “encouraged them to be here”. Thousands were lead to believe that the 2020 election was stolen by “bold and radical left democrats”. 

It is hard, and terrifying really, to consider exactly how this attack was possible. But what is certain, is that it should not have been. 

For weeks President Donald Trump have neglected Joe Bidens win in the 2020 election and future presidency; “does anybody believe that Joe Biden had 80 million votes? …Third world countries have more honest elections than this.” 

The irony of it all, is that this event more or less portrays the Trump-supporters and republicans as radicals themselves:

“If you do not fight like hell, you are not going to have a country anymore… So we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue… and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give… them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country,” -Trump said in his speech hours before the Capitol was stormed. 

This tragic happening is without doubt an assault on the American democracy. As Joe Biden himself says, an attack on “democracy, on justice and on the press.” Trump’s staff, and many of the republicans who once supported Trump, are now distancing themselves from the president. With the 25th amendment to support it, there are growing calls for President Trump to be removed from office (just 13 days before the end of his term). 

The 25th amendment does not, initially, require a vote of congress to remove Donald Trump. It requires the Vice President and the majority of the cabinet to certify that the President is unfit, or unable to serve. Whether this will be possible or not, is yet unclear. 

Has Covid-19 impacted the nomination processes and the outcome so far in the 2020 US presidential election?

Ever since 1789 presidential elections have been held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The election begins with primary elections and caucuses, which are methods that the different states use to select a potential presidential nominee. The primary elections use ballots for the voting. Caucuses however, are local gatherings of voters who at the end of the meeting vote for a particular candidate. 

After the primary elections and caucuses, the election process moves on to the political party conventions. During these conventions, the presidential nominee selects and announces a vice president running mate. The rest of the presidential election revolve around the candidates campaigning across the country to explain their views and plans to voters. Lastly the general election is held and the electoral votes are counted. 

The 2016 presidential election was held this exact way. 

The 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries and caucuses took place within all 50 U.S states as well as the district of Columbia and five U.S territories. The elections began on February 1 2016. By June 7 the elections had selected 2472 delegates, and later these were sent to the Republican national convention. Eventually a total of 17 major candidates entered the race – being the largest presidential primary field in American history thus far. 

Trump was declared the presumptive Republican nominee on May 3, 2016. Eventually Trump received 14 010 177 votes in the primary. He decided on Mike Pence as his vice president running mate, and fronted his campaign with “Make America Great Again”. 

The 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses did, as well as the Republican Party, take place within all 50 U.S states, the district of Columbia, five U.S territories in addition to Democrats abroad. These occurred between February 1 and June 14, 2016, selecting 4051 delegates. 

On June 6, 2016, the Association Press and NBC news reported that Clinton was selected as the presumptive nominee. Clinton received a total of 16 849 779 votes in the primary. She chose Tim Kaine as her vice president running mate. 

During the 2016 general election Clinton early established a significant lead over Trump in national polls. From September 26 to October 19, Clinton and Trump faced their presidential debates. Here Trump focused on defending his record against charges of racism, sexism and tax avoidance. He also repeatedly drew attention to Clinton’s political record and issues that had helped him draw level in polls. However, his arguments were often describes as “thin-skinned”, “under-prepared”, “non-factual” and harsh. 

Even though Clinton had lead in nearly every pre-election nationwide poll and in most swing-state polls, Trump won the 58th presidential election on Tuesday November 8, 2016. While Clinton received 2.87 million more votes than Trump did, Trump received the majority in the Electoral College. Trump took office as the 45th president, and pence as the 48th vice president, on January 20, 2017.  

The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020 and will be the 59th presidential election. The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses were held from February to August 2020. 

Incumbent president Trump did secure the Republican nomination along with vice president Pence, this without any serious opposition. Politician Joe Biden secured the democratic nomination and on August 11, 2020, he announced lawyer and politician Kamala Harris as his vice president running mate. 

However, what makes the 2020 presidential election different from the 2016 presidential election (and presidential elections in general), is that we throughout this year have faced some unique issues that can seriously impact the outcome.

Several events related to the 2020 presidential election have been altered or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the pandemics serious spread in the United States, and the subsequent effects such as the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, the 2020 presidential candidates are unable to hold campaign rallies and public gatherings. 

It is safe to say that this crisis will collide with the 2020 presidential election cycle. A US national survey, conducted early in April, found that two-thirds of Americans surveyed worry that it is very or somewhat likely that the coronavirus outbreak will significantly disrupt people’s ability to vote in the presidential election. Additionally the survey reported that over 50% favour conducting all 2020 elections by email. However this has also been strongly attacked, as many argue that not every citizen then would have the ability to vote. 

During the election, numerous articles published suggest that Trump may not, or will not accept the election results, arguing that it will be “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history”.  However, his claims will not be accepted, as such decisions must be undertaken by the Congress. 

In addition to this, many believe that Trump’s performance as a president during the crisis of the covid-19 pandemic will be uppermost in the minds of millions of voters. Countless judge Trump’s and the federal government’s response to the pandemic for being far too slow and incompetent. Many argue that people have started to evaluate and question Trump’s leadership, and that this could strongly impact the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 

Politics to me is…

As I search the word “politics” in oxford dictionary numerous definitions occur: “Activities associated with the governance of a country or other area”, “a particular set of political beliefs or principles”, “the academic study of government and the state”, so on and so forth.

However none of these definitions really seem to fit with what I believe to be politics. To me, the word is far too complex to rely on just any of these short definitions. Ironically enough “politics” is considered to be one of the most ambiguous terms in political science. A Greek philosopher, for example, would possibly have argued that politics is “the exercise of control within society through making and forcing collective decisions.” Yet, a philosopher such as Karl Marx from the 19th century, described politics as “the organized power of one class for oppressing the other”. The British theorist and socialist Bernard Crick explained politics as “a matter based on conflict resolution.” Meanwhile, feminists throughout history have said that defining politics obfuscates and institutionalizes systemic oppression, arguing that “politics is personal”. 

Evidently the word might mean something different to everyone. There are millions of variables that support these different definitions. My point being; there really are no right or wrong answers. Nevertheless, this makes sense. If everyone where to have the same interpretation of what politics is, and if no one where to argue on it – the totality of politics would not exist. Because having different views and opinions is one of the most profound principles of politics, right?

I find it hard to point out just one, short definition as to what politics is. Because, politics to me is a lot of things. It is power, control, structure, government, parliament, beliefs, debates, conflict, friends, enemies, nationalities and cultures. Politics is something local, national, global, nearby and far away. It is injustice, justice, freedom, peace, defending, silence and speech. Politics to me, is in many ways what makes society. 

Throughout this year of English Social Studies I hope to learn more about just how different societies are, and all of their different principles, values, cultures, people as well as how all of their different interpretations of politics work. I genuinely hope I will broaden my horizons. This way, maybe I will be more prepared as I meet a world constantly becoming more and more universal and inclusive. 

Education is crucial – it is a privilege that should not be taken for granted

In our contemporary time we are exposed to a vast variety of challenges. Challenges, that now, more than ever reach people all over the world. Thus we are constantly reminded of the dreadful, unfair and discriminatory happenings that we, wo live in the western world, never really comprehend. However, in later times people all over the world have started realizing that education and the vital role it could play in helping to solve many of these challenges, should not be taken for granted. 

Increasing access to education can improve the overall health and evolvement of societies, grow economies, better quality of life and even combat climate change. Acquiring a quality education is the foundation for creating a sustainable development. Yet, one in five adults lack written communication skills they need to progress in life, and an additional 57 million people do not know what it is like to step inside a classroom. More than 265 million children and adolescents do not have the opportunity to enter nor complete school. 

As children and young adults, especially in developing countries, it is of vital importance for them to evolve and fulfil their potentials. By introducing them to education they have the ability to do so. Additionally focusing on providing education for children and young adults does not only supply a better future as an individual, but the growth these educated people could bring to their societies is immense. Moreover, by being educated they can be introduced to new ideas as well as foreign concepts of life, other social norms or evolvements that betters the quality of their surroundings. Education is overall fundamental to break from the cycle of undeveloped countries. 

Secondly, by educating people on the detrimental and unfair consequences of discrimination, it might help decrease the world inequality. By being educated, the gender roles of many developing countries could demolish, resulting in more girls being able to practice their education rights. Built in prejudices, social norms and destructive ethnocentric views would, as every generation evolved, vanish. People all over the world, of all genders and from a vast variety of ethnicities, could feel included and appreciated within all societies.

Thirdly, world peace could be accomplished. Throughout the past 2500 years the world has had peace in only one year out of twelve. This, much because children growing up in countries that are at war, envision this as the only way to resolve conflicts. However, by educating children that this, in fact is not the case, the rate of peace might increase. 

Lastly, education is an essential element for global response to climate change. It helps people understand and address the force of global warming. Eventually education will encourage change in our behaviour and attitude, leading us to adapt to climate change related trends as well as making significant changes to better our future.

Furthermore, children that are taken out of school are more likely to be exposed to violence, child labour and child marriages on the basic reasoning that they are noteducated. They are deprived from their basic rightto education and the chance to fulfil their true potential. 

To conclude; the importance of education on development, evolvement, peace, inequality and moreover climate change is clearly established. It is of great importance that we invest significantly more effort and recourses to make education accessible for all. Education is crucial, it has the striking ability to change lives and societies for the better. 

Why is education so important?

By giving people the opportunity to educate themselves there are a great matter of things that could be improved. Studies show that more than 420 million people can be lifted out of poverty if given the chance of secondary education, thus reducing the number of poor worldwide by half. As well as this by educating people, we give them the opportunity to develop an analytic mind that will seek reasoning behind all actions. In many ways this might help promote peace and foster development. 

Studies also show that by increasing the number of girls educated, this evolvement would be faster: “If we educate a boy, we educate one person. If we educate a girl, we educate a family – and a whole nation.” 

Education is a vital human right for both boys and girls. However, despite great progress in later years, millions of children, especially girls, are denied their right to education. Education is one of the most powerful tools to encourage change, improve health and livelihoods, contribute to social stability and to drive long-term economic growth.

In other words education is a vital tool to enhance progress and make the world a better place.

Gender equality and education

The state in which the access to rights and opportunities is unaffected by gender is yet to be accomplished. While we have achieved exceeding progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millenium Development Goals, girls and women are continually exposed to discrimination and violence in every part of the world. 

The gender equality development gold argues that every human being deserves to reach her or his full potential. However, the problem is, girls and boys become acquainted to the idea of gender inequality from the very beginning. They experience it in their homes and communities every day – in textbooks, in media and among men and women who provide their support. This leads girls and boyis into thinking that particular duties are women’s and others men’s, thereby curtailing generational change and narrowing girls’ ambitions. 

To change this attitude, it is important to provide education to all. This can help educate boys and girls on the rightful manner towards both genders, as well as how to improve gender equality.

U.S World Press Freedom- fallen to ranks of countries whose treatment of the press is considered “problematic.”

Freedom of the press in the United States is legally protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the freedom of the press in the United States has certain restrictions, such as deformation law, a lack of protection of whistleblowers, barriers to information access and constrains caused by public hostility to journalists. The United States is ranked below most other Western nations.

The World Press Freedom Index has ranked the United States 48th among the 180 nations and territories it surveyed. Since 2018 the U.S ranking has fallen by two spots, continuing a downward trend that started in 2016 – the same year Donald Trump was elected. Press freedom has continued to decline in USA, as well as rhetorical attacks from the government have been increasing. Through several media platforms and public speeches, president Trump discredits critical reporting, continuing to declare the press as the “enemy of the American people”  and “fake news”. The Trump administration has also repeatedly attempted to deny journalists access to events of public interest, denying reporters access to open-press White House events and even revoking several reporters press-passes. The United States has fallen to the ranks of countries whose treatment of the press is considered “problematic.”