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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Leonardi

My New Year's Wish: Make Rationality Great Again

Waking up to 2018, I see that America has led the charge against the human rights violations happening in Iran. In the early hours of New Years Day, President Trump tweeted:

Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!

This situation is one of several global crises that are increasing in severity with each day. It is complicated situations like these that our commander-in-chief must analyze to properly support liberty, freedom, and democracy across the globe. So when individuals on the left, like Joy Behar, say they don’t want our President to succeed, they don’t realize that they are rooting for these problems to remain unsolved.

Renowned Astronomer, Neil deGrasse Tyson, also addressed the world through Twitter on New Years’ Day tweeting:

“Not that anybody’s asked, but New Years Day

on the Gregorian Calendar is a cosmically arbitrary event,

carrying no Astronomical significance at all.”

I’m not one for New Years Resolutions. I believe that when we set a goal, we should follow through on it, wherever the earth happens to be positioned around the sun. However, it is important for us to strive towards something, to wish for an ideal. This year will potentially be one of the most consequential in modern American history. And I have three long-term wishes so this year can go down as one of our favorites.

1.) A Fair, Analytical Media

Freedom of the Press is an integral component of the First Amendment to the Constitution. America’s Founding Fathers crafted this amendment to hold our government accountable, creating a permanently tensional, symbiotic relationship between our elected officials and the media.

2017 was a year where the press felt the constant urge to convey their frustration with President Trump, and some of these frustrations amounted to major developments of Fake News. Stories that Melania Trump had a body double, that Trump ordered the execution of turkeys pardoned by Obama, or that Palestine recognized Texas as a state of Mexico in response to the Trump administration’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were perpetuated throughout the media. These stories are so ludicrous it’s truly laughable. But others have been more serious.

In February of 2017, President Trump tweeted out the following:

“The FAKE NEWS media

(failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN)

is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

Trump’s strong rebuke of the press was primarily a response to the ongoing theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Time and time again, we have seen both Democrats and Republicans confirm that there is zero evidence to support this claim.

I have a serious problem with our media perpetuating the notion that our President colluded with the Russian government without any evidence. In 2018, I’m not asking for political pundits to change their conclusions or opinions. I firmly believe that diversity of thought and political belief is essential in preserving our republic, but it is my wish that our media becomes more analytical and bases their conclusions off of actual fact.

2.) Unsubscribe from Systems of Cynicism

In 2017, we saw a resurgence of the alt-right. As I’ve previously stated, the alt-right is a fundamentally un-American movement. It advocates for the abolition of the Constitution and the institution of a racial hierarchy. Richard Spencer said as much when he came to my campus at the University of Florida. The entire student body pushed for solidarity on social media against Spencer’s message by creating the hashtag #TogetherUF.

I believe the reaction of UF’s student body better encapsulates the spirit of America than the bigotry of Spencer. Time after time, we’ve seen the United States stand in solidarity to condemn racism and bigotry.

Following the Charlottesville riots in October 2017, Barack Obama tweeted:

“No one is born hating another person

because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…”

His tweet became the most liked tweet of all time. It wasn’t partisan. It wasn’t even political. It was the truth about human nature. The fact that it became the most liked tweet on Twitter fills me with hope for one reason: It shows that most people possess an inherent dignity towards other people.

My wish for 2018 is that everyone not assumes every act someone takes is a political action. My wish is that we as a people can give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt if he says or does something we disagree with. My wish is that we don’t assume everyone has a nefarious motive behind a policy position they take. My hope is that, although we may feel passionate about an issue, we react with rationality and respond knowing that the other person means well.

3.) My Role at Think Outside Politics

In 2018, in both my articles and podcasts, I will objectively analyze the actions taken by both Democrats and Republicans to make logical, evidence-based conclusions. I also plan to improve and expand upon the work of Think Outside Politics. We have recently expanded to Facebook, with plans to create a conducive environment for respectful debate. We are new, but we’re growing.

By embracing rationality and understanding, I believe we can make 2018 the best year of the new millennium.

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