Latest thoughts of S.E on "Back to school" during Covid times. As a parent herself, she reflects the thoughts of many parents which we all can relate to:
Source: NY daily news
August is usually when we try to get one final vacation in, find fun ways to beat the heat, and take our last licks of summer. But this year, August is different. For those of us who have school-aged children, the potential return to class hangs over us; we count down the hours before the realities of a viral pandemic test us where it matters most.
The month feels both too long and too short — at once a giant chasm of unknowns during which everything can change, and an insufficient amount of time to prepare for such a daunting enterprise.
Since schools closed in March where I live, life has been a giant adjustment for my 5-year-old. It marked the end of classrooms, playgrounds, recess, singalongs, field trips, swim lessons, sports, fairs, camps, playdates and almost every other great thing that kids look forward to doing together.
Learning continued at home, but it was different, difficult and far less fun. We managed some responsible outdoor get-togethers with family and close friends that, because of distancing, proved more frustrating for him than enjoyable. He misses his friends and his teachers and is desperate to return to school.
But he won’t be returning to school as he knew it. And as I contemplate what life will be like for him if he does, I’m not so sure it will actually be better for him.
Schools around the country are putting in place their plans for reopening, many of which include things like daily temperature-taking, hourly handwashing, all-day mask-wearing, six-foot distancing, “isolation rooms” for kids who appear symptomatic, social interactions through plexiglass and teacher-led anxiety management exercises.
While all of that is well-intended and likely necessary to keep schools COVID-safe, it also frankly sounds like a dystopian hellscape that will make learning a terrifying if not wholly un-fun experience for my soon-to-be kindergartener.
Right now, we don’t talk much about COVID at home. My son knows people are sick and that’s why things are closed, but he’s never once feared that he or we will get sick. The virus is still very much, in his mind, a faraway villain.
But I worry that school, and its attentiveness to symptoms and safe practices, will bring fears about catching coronavirus right to his mental and psychological doorstep, where every interaction he has is fraught with awful possibilities.
Weighing that against the well-known psychological benefits to going to school (as well as the economic and social upsides) is an impossible and unanswerable exercise. While the CDC advises, “Important social interactions that facilitate the development of critical social and emotional skills are greatly curtailed or limited when students are not physically in school,” the school experience they are advocating now is one no school-aged child in America has ever been through.
Those unknowns are why some psychologists are worried.
Anne Glowinski, professor of child psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, is less concerned about kids navigating the new rules than she is the adults adding to their anxieties.
“Kids can find games in everything,” she said of wearing masks and social distancing rules. “But what kids are most sensitive to is whether the adults around them are uncertain and scared. So when teachers get sick, or if some feel forced to be there, or when parents are overly worried, and adults just aren’t at their best, kids can react to that. All they want to know is that they will be okay and their family will be okay — and we aren’t sure about that.”
As hard as we’ve worked to physically keep COVID away, we’ve worked equally hard to keep it away from our kiddo’s psyche, which seems an impossible task once he goes back to school and it’s everywhere.
It’s good that states and school districts are implementing rigorous health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID spread in the fall. But what we just don’t know is whether keeping kids safe at school will actually make some of them unhealthy.
Great column about having a family (or expanding) during a pandemic. S.E. expressing aspects of feminity. A very personal and emotional subject, elegantly written.
Enjoyed reading the article
"There's never a good time to start a family," as the saying goes.
It's meant to reassure anxious would-be parents that there's rarely a feeling of confident preparedness that precedes having children -- and there isn't. But the aphorism takes on a new meaning in the age of a pandemic, in which life has radically changed and the future is uncertain.
The questions are weighty and limitless: How would coronavirus and the strain on hospitals affect my pregnancy? Will we have enough money to afford kids when this is over? Will we have jobs? Would growing a family add to or alleviate some of the anxieties of life in the time of corona? Is loneliness a good enough reason to have a child?
There are also less existential, but nonetheless important, questions, like: Will adding a screaming baby to a 900-square-foot apartment just ensure my marriage's untimely demise?
Family planning in the time of a pandemic is a complicated, unmanageable Pandora's box, an endless stream of unanswerable what-ifs and worst-case scenarios. And with so many unknowns and a continual stream of unsettling coronavirus news, it's hard to imagine why anyone would choose to have a child now.
And yet, these things are hard to rationalize.
I have a 5-year-old, and after wrestling for years, practically since the day he was born, with whether or not we'd have another, we decided just this past summer that our family felt complete.
We came up with all the good reasons not to do it. The time when adding to our family would have given our son a playdate had passed -- they'd be a full six years apart, and what 10-year-old wants to play with a 4-year-old?
I am also approaching an increasingly risky age to have a healthy child, not to mention an age when the prospect of 2 a.m. feedings, potty training, and nap battles feel no less challenging than climbing Mt. Everest, and no more rewarding than eating a cat hair casserole.
And finally, we like our work-life balance. We both enjoy working full-time, and still get to spend plenty of quality time together and with our son. Why would we disrupt this admittedly enviable situation?
Being stuck at home (I know, I know ... "safe at home") with my husband and son has been challenging in the predictable ways. Working from home with a five-year-old requires a lot of discipline, creativity and, as it turns out, bribery.
A longing sneaks up
My husband and I are learning fun new things about each other. He's handier at building projects than I knew. I'm better at cleaning than he knew. And conversely, there are new questions. Have I always been this impatient? Has he always breathed this loudly? And, whom did he delight with 1,000 questions a day before all this started?
But despite these adjustments, all this family time has had one unexpected consequence. I find myself suddenly longing for a second child.
I shared this alarming thought with a friend, who also has one child a little older than ours. And he said that he too, for the first time ever, questioned whether they should have had another.
I've decided that this could be due to a unique and unprecedented set of circumstances that's physiologically influencing my biological clock -- I'm calling them corona hormones -- in ways only this moment in time could.
For one, fear can make a mother preternaturally focused. When confronting the reality that some, perhaps many, people around us will die, procreating becomes an evolutionarily appealing act of rebellion. While the smallness of our family feels thrifty and well-suited to hunkering down in a pandemic, it also somehow feels too small for the scope of it. Strength in numbers seems the better biological approach.
That primal rationalizing is coupled with a more emotional sense of urgency. I've loved stripping away the non-essential and indulgent concerns of pre-corona life to the immediate concerns of right now. We always said nothing's more important than family, but this experience has practically turned that into a dare. I find myself mentally bargaining with coronavirus, saying, "Take anything you want from me -- money, comfort, convenience -- just leave my boys alone." If family is everything, why wouldn't I want more of it?
Oddly, the obstacles that we routinely cited earlier feel less important now, even though their validity hasn't diminished at all. Can we afford another kid? Are we physically up to the challenge? Can we cut back on work? Can we do it all again? Pre-corona me was worried sick about these questions. Post-corona me feels unrealistically and undeservedly brave.
I wonder if I'm alone. In the early weeks of coronavirus spread, a rash of headlines about an inevitable baby boom infected the internet. Some experts suggested that the increase in forced intimacy would naturally lead to actual intimacy.
Dr. Sheri Jacobson, clinical director at Harley Therapy, a clinic in London, told The Times, "Lack of sex is a common problem between overworked couples, and remote working often has the benefits of accommodating other activities. In this early period, staying home might feel like a break from the norm, creating a short holiday effect. Couples could also be bonding over the unfolding trauma."
But sex out of boredom or opportunity isn't necessarily the same thing as desire for a bigger family. And in fact, others are predicting the coming baby boom will only look like a small blip.
In The Washington Post, Richard W. Evans, director of the Open Source Economics Laboratory, suggests that the highly contagious nature of coronavirus could stifle intimacy urges in many cases, leading to no more than a 2% increase in births this winter. Hardly a boom.
It's unlikely we can predict how coronavirus will impact family planning on a global or even national scale. So much of what is happening now is unprecedented.
So, I spoke to some of my friends to get a sense of where they were, mentally and emotionally.
Alyssa is a 34-year-old, single PR and marketing executive in Washington, DC. When we were younger, we often talked about our ambivalence toward marriage and family, but now she says the pandemic has "made me feel my desire to start a family more acutely."
Don't you feel relieved, though, that you're not dealing with kids on top of everything else right now, I ask?
"I have had plenty of moments of gratitude that I'm the only person I have to worry about ... it makes things relatively simple that way," she says. "But the flip side of that has also been something I've had to process; the isolation can feel extra isolating as a single person who lives alone, and it's hard not to notice the space that could be filled with a family."
Tim, a single, gay 41-year-old tech professional in Palo Alto, CA, echoed the conflicting sentiments. "I feel exhausted taking care of myself and calming myself down during this time of pandemic," he admits, and "I worry about the responsibility of having to do it for others. But I also understand that having to care for someone other than oneself can be mentally beneficial. I do find myself yearning for my own crew during this lock-down."
Urgency ... and worry
While fear and anxiety have prompted an urgency in me to have another child, it's also an understandable impediment for others. Pamela, a 30-year-old unmarried communications professional in New York City, had hoped to start a family soon.
Now, she says, she has new fears. "I'm scared of the unknown and what this means for us all weeks, months or even years from now. I can't imagine starting a family in the midst of all this, considering the financial responsibilities." When I ask how she'd feel if she found out she was pregnant right now, she says "bittersweet" -- "blessed, but concerned." She feels connected to her nieces and nephew more than ever.
Others didn't have the luxury of planning around coronavirus. One friend who has a child already and another on the way, says she would like to have waited to have her second kid until after there was a readily available coronavirus vaccine.
For others, the road to pregnancy hasn't been easy to begin with, and coronavirus is another complicating layer.
Meghan McCain, a co-host of The View, is expecting her first child at age 35. Last year she suffered a painful miscarriage and admits that the path to motherhood "was by no means a straight line -- physically, emotionally, in all ways."
Now, the stress is even more acute, she told me. "I have had to bump back scans and appointments because they were scheduled at a big hospital in the city and I didn't feel comfortable going there right now," she says. "I don't know when I will be able to shop for anything baby-related, let alone get a nursery ready. I was really worried about the pharmacy running out of prenatal vitamins. Things like that make it very difficult."
But being pregnant during a pandemic has also awakened a maternal instinct in Meghan, when it came time to decide to work from home instead of going into a New York City studio every day for her show. "I had to think of the health implications, not only for me but my child. It really is the first time I have made a career choice thinking of someone other than myself."
And for some, still, coronavirus has had little impact on family planning. Brooks and his husband already have the two young children they always wanted. While the challenges of the pandemic have made them feel more connected to and grateful for the community of Sunday school teachers, pre-school teachers, and friends that they relied on as parents before social distancing, he says they feel "blessed where we are," and have no plans to add to their family.
As for me, I'm still assessing. It's hard to trust my feelings right now.
It seems like the rule about not making big decisions while hormonal and pregnant probably applies during the emotionally charged and mentally fraught time of corona.
To that end, we are leaning toward expanding our family at least in one way -- we've applied to adopt a shelter dog.
Elizabeth Warren is making the promises she cannot keep, writes S.E. Cupp.
Analyzing from 3C's perspective (Cost, Constitution, and Congress), S.E. further gives details on why Warren's plans will probably never come to life.
Source: NY Daily News
Back in September 2018, as the Massachusetts junior senator was still mulling a 2020 bid, a new poll out of her home state sent shock waves through political circles. Fifty-eight percent of Massachusetts voters did not want Elizabeth Warren to run for president.
That was the start of a rocky few months for Warren. In October, in response to complaints about her having referred to herself years ago as Native American, she released her DNA results to catastrophic effect. In November, the Boston Globe ran an editorial imploring her not to run, saying she’d missed her window. In February of this year, just a week before formally announcing her bid for president, she issued an apology to Cherokee Nation for the DNA test fiasco, to mixed results. This was not a great start.
Flash forward 10 months and Warren has managed to leap over nearly all of her competitors in a very crowded and competitive field of Democrats, to sit, according to latest polls, just behind former Vice President Joe Biden as the first choice in many early states.
How far she’s come.
At this point in the 2016 election, one year out, Trump was also a frontrunner, topping Ben Carson in a November 2015 Quinnipiac poll. Then, there were 15 Republican candidates still in that race, as there are 18 Democratic candidates still in this one.
At this stage in 2016, however, few took Trump’s candidacy as seriously as many take Warren’s, despite his polling. It didn’t matter that the wild and, in some cases offensive policy proposals he was making to voters weren’t ever going to be implementable even if he did win. But win, he did. And though his base is still firmly with him, they’ve been stiffed on a number of big promises.
While they loved him for his border-wall promises — mainly, that there would be one and that Mexico would pay for it — he’s not been able to make good on either. Many of his campaign boasts were wildly unrealistic, like denuclearizing North Korea and bringing back coal and steel jobs that were long gone.
Others were always going to face constitutional and judicial resistance, from ending birthright citizenship to bringing back torture and opening up libel laws against the press.
I remember asking his supporters as the election neared if it bothered them that most of what Trump was promising he could never deliver.
“Nope,” they said. The promises were seemingly enough.
Warren may be banking on the same calculation from Democratic voters — because most of what she is promising will never happen either.
For all of her plans, there are three main categories explaining why each will probably never come to life.
First, there’s the cost.
When you tally up the cost of her unprecedented expansion of government — universal health care; increasing Social Security benefits; free public college; canceling student debt; free childcare; environmental justice programs; a commitment to 100% clean energy — Warren’s price tag will add trillions in debt and require trillions in taxpayer funding. We’d likely go bankrupt before she could achieve a fraction of what she is promising.
Second, there’s the Constitution.
It’s a little thing, but our founding document would likely be a major hindrance to Warren’s agenda. The constitutionality of her proposed tax on net worth (along with her signature Obama-era achievement, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) has already come under significant scrutiny.
Additionally, her proposed ban on fracking and some of her proposed gun legislation won’t likely survive the courts either.
Finally, there’s Congress.
Few believe Democrats will control both Houses of Congress in 2021, and even if they manage to, Republicans will still be around to play spoiler on plenty of big agenda items. (Just ask Trump how pesky Democrats proved to be despite Republicans controlling Congress for two years.)
A President Warren would have to work not only with Republicans, who have successfully flushed most open-minded moderates out of the party to appease Trump, but with Democrats, most of whom won their own House elections in 2018 by resisting the very things she’s proposing. That makes her agenda a huge uphill battle.
Warren’s bold plans have clearly excited the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Whether they are underpinned by reality should matter. But she’s betting her voters, like Trump’s, care more about what’s imaginable than what’s achievable.
This is easily one of the top notch articles from S.E. Cupp. A very detailed article objectively discussing tribalism. A must read. Simply brilliant!!
It's become the political buzzword over the past few years, increasingly used to describe the root cause of our divisions and our resentments: tribalism.
The idea that Americans are more divided than ever, entrenched in ideological camps and unwilling to meet in the middle, is so pervasive that one hardly goes a single hour without hearing about it on a cable news show.
Since 2016, numerous books by very smart people, including Jonah Goldberg, Amy Chua, Steve Kornacki, Stevan E. Hobfoll, Sarah Rose Cavanagh and others have been devoted to tracing, explaining or solving America's tribalism.
But is tribalism really to blame? It's more complicated than that. Tribalism, after all, is part of our evolutionary DNA. The need to identify with a group, to belong and commune with like-minded people is not only biological, it's what has helped motivate our desire for and devotion to all kinds of important cultural institutions, from organized religion to sports fandom.
What isn't natural, however, is the oversized importance we're increasingly putting on politics.
A popular exercise
Tribalism, of course, is a compelling argument, considering that we've reduced our political beliefs to untenable absolutisms, have sacrificed compromise and comity for purity and are subjecting each other to increasingly unproductive tests of loyalty.
We are more and more defined not by our friends but our political enemies — collecting them like badges of honor. It was actually a question at a 2015 Democratic debate: "Which enemy are you most proud of?" None of the five candidates batted an eyelash, eagerly rattling off their political hit lists. Hillary Clinton was practically giddy: "Well, in addition to the NRA," she said, "the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians. Probably the Republicans."
This election feels somehow even worse. Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden has been harassed by people in his own party for complimenting Republican lawmakers, for seeming to be congenial, for vowing to work across the aisle if elected. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders insist if you're not as far to the left as they are, you're lacking intestinal fortitude.
And on the right, we all know how that goes. President Donald Trump and Republicans have decided that anyone not fully behind them is an enemy, and maybe isn't even an American — the latter of which Trump alluded to in a series of racist tweets targeting four women lawmakers of color.
That is tribalism by definition. But we can't throw it completely under the bus or out with the bathwater. After all, we literally can't live without it.
Forming communities — even and especially ones based on strong loyalties and allegiances — is in our DNA. It's what's kept us alive for millions of years.
As UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman wrote in his 2013 book, "Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect," "Mammals are more socially connected than reptiles, primates more than other mammals, and humans more than other primates. What this suggests is that becoming more socially connected is essential to our survival. In a sense, evolution has made bets at each step that the best way to make us more successful is to make us more social."
Tribalism isn't just political
The need for community, to belong to something, is one important reason two very powerful communities have thrived: organized religion and professional sports.
Both communities are organized around intense allegiances, often with the explicit requirement that adherents reject and disavow competing entities. Few worshipers believe equally in the major tenets of Christianity and Judaism — that Jesus is both the Messiah and that he's not. Almost no baseball fans root equally for the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. That would be, well, sacrilegious.
The "us vs. them" structure demanded of many religious and sports faithful is not only accepted within those contexts, but it's used to justify some patently bad behavior, from taunting rivals and hooliganism at sports events, to bigotry, hate crimes and even wars in the name of religion.
The tribalism in both, however, has inarguably helped their success in creating vast global communities across generations and geography; becoming important agents of change in breaking down civil rights, race and gender boundaries; and providing purpose and a sense of family for billions of people.
The tribalism in today's politics is similarly double-edged. On the plus side, one could argue political engagement has benefited from an intensified political environment. 2018 was the first year that more than 100 million Americans voted in a midterm election, for example.
On the minus, it feels impossible to civilly discuss politics — or avoid it altogether — when tensions are so high. It infects every aspect of our culture, from award shows to football games, our favorite coffee and fast food. Political "teams" may build enthusiasm and loyalty, but they inherently pit American against American, citizen against immigrant, young against old, and so on. That, as we've seen, can lead some to vengeance and violence in defense of their political tribe.
It seems like politics has surpassed sports and organized religion as the most defining part of our identity. Our politics has become synonymous with our values and our organizing life principle. Instead, politics really should merely be a mechanism to govern.
It's not just tribalism in politics that's the problem — it's our outsized belief in its significance in our lives. We're spending more on political campaigns, moving to places where our political views are popular and, according to a new study in the American Journal of Political Science, our politics may even be overriding our morals. As Peter Hatemi, one of the study's authors, explains: "We will switch our moral compass depending on how it fits with what we believe politically."
Our obsession with the presidency
Partly to blame is our increasing obsession with the American presidency as an embodiment of hope and change, to borrow a phrase.
Long before former President Barack Obama was supposed to save the country from its many suffering ills, so too were Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush. These were merely men — politicians, at that — but onto each of them was foisted a heavy mantle of expectation that was never going to be fully realized.
The paternalism of the presidency was baked in from the get-go. George Washington recoiled at the notion of being called "the father of his country" in newspapers, and, as Thomas Fleming writes in "The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers," Washington did "his utmost to avoid acknowledging this tendency to view him as a demigod." But our view of the chief executive as a fatherly figure who is there to guide us and care for us only grew.
In conservative columnist George Will's weighty new book, "The Conservative Sensibility," he describes this as the "infantilization of the public."
He recalls a 1992 town hall-style debate featuring Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot, where an audience member asked, "How can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect ... you to meet our needs, the needs in housing and in crime and you name it?"
The American president, it is believed, must solve all our problems, both complex and mundane. He or she must reflect to us our idealized best selves and represent all we hope to become as a nation over the next four years. Whether we seek a Republican or a Democrat, a strong man or a caretaker, a traditionalist or a progressive, we truly believe we can find and deserve the Aaron Sorkin version of a president — a leader who is omnipresent in our lives and reflective of our values.
Demystifying the persona of the presidency
In reality, the president has very little to do with our day-to-day challenges. The most influential people in our daily lives likely run our schools, our municipalities, our health, safety and sanitation boards. Most of us couldn't name any one of those people.
The election of President Donald Trump amped up our presidential cult of personality to 11. With no political record and a campaign of personal attacks and fear-mongering, Trump wasn't elected to "do politics" or solve problems, but to mirror to his supporters the image of a forgotten man and all his grievances.
How we unwind our long obsession with the presidency is complicated, and in some ways, like putting toothpaste back in the tube. But an essential part of deemphasizing the role of politics in our private lives is demystifying the persona of the president.
A pretty good year to be alive
Now, I know it might feel like we're at a crisis point in America — we are, among other things, contemplating impeaching our president. But while you might not know it from watching the news or reading the headlines, 2019 is a pretty good time to be alive.
By nearly every metric of human well-being, the world around us is a much better place than it was a century or two ago. As Max Roser, an Oxford University economist, writes in "The Short History of Global Living Conditions and Why It Matters That We Know It," we're freer, more democratic, healthier, richer, better educated and more literate than we ever have been.
And yet, especially in high-income Western countries like the United States, we've never been more stressed or felt more anxious.
According to a recent survey, a scant 6% of people in the United States said things were getting better when asked, "All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse?" It's no wonder, under those conditions, that we've become more divided, angry at our neighbors and resentful of others.
Investing in our communities
But there's reason to believe change is possible. And it's important that we start looking inward, to our own communities. Over the past half-century, we dreamed big, looking outward to the horizons to expand our global opportunities and connectivity. That was a good thing, but in doing so we often ignored our own backyards. Instead of marching on Washington, imagine marching on your town square for smaller class rooms, cleaner water, less crime. Instead of tweeting about Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, what about doing some community service or volunteer work. Instead of teaching our kids to parrot our political views, let's teach them civic engagement and how to make small differences in their own communities.
If our political identities are how we build our own individual community, how we weed out friends from foes, how we judge each other above all other things, the logical conclusion is an America that sees politics as religion, that justifies intolerance and exclusion as virtue and righteousness, that rationalizes patently bad behavior in the name of a cause.
We can continue to blame tribalism for our anger and division, but it's an important part of our evolutionary makeup and a survival skill we're not likely to ditch any time soon. The problem isn't that we're too tribal — it's that we've let politics replace community.
SE Cupp is a CNN political commentator and the host of "SE Cupp Unfiltered." This piece has been adapted from her Saturday evening show monologue. The views expressed in this commentary are solely hers.
Oh, the arrogance.
I was recently talking to one of my friends, a former Bill Clinton operative, about the unique properties a special category of people have in common. The category is Humans Who Run for President of the United States. The unique properties are, in a word, an outsized sense of self.
A level of arrogance is, by definition, required. Imagine believing you can solve unwieldy, complex, centuries-old, systemic problems that others heretofore have not, that your singular genetic and experiential alchemy makes you the best person to lead a nation, that you can in fact defeat dozens of other capable and qualified candidates to be the last man or woman standing.
Then imagine thinking all that, while being one of the most divisive politicians to run for president -- and fail twice, once to a member of your own party and once to Donald J. Trump. Welcome to Hillary Clinton's mind.Clinton, once again, refused this week to rule out a 2020 presidential bid, insisting she was hearing from plenty of people who wanted her to jump in.
"I, as I say, never, never, never say never," she said in a radio interview Tuesday. "I will certainly tell you, I'm under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it." This echoes other flirtations, including a tweet warning Trump, "Don't tempt me."
This Democratic field of candidates is the most diverse in the history of the presidency. There's not only a racial and ethnic diversity of backgrounds, but a diversity of experience -- there are senators, congressional members, past and current mayors, governors, businessmen and even a self-help guru. There's also a diversity of ideas, from far-left progressive policies to more moderate and incremental views of how to fix broken systems. There's a diversity of age and geographical appeal.
If voters can't find something they like from this field, it likely doesn't exist.
And it's finally begun to consolidate, with voters lining up behind a handful of frontrunner candidates. This is the way it's supposed to go -- the process is working just fine, despite the anxieties of Democratic donors who believe a late entrant like Hillary Clinton or Michael Bloomberg is needed to save Democratic voters from themselves.
But Clinton, especially, isn't the answer. While she won the popular vote in 2016, she's hardly popular. According to an October Fox News poll, 54% of registered voters have a negative opinion of her. Only 41% have a positive opinion.
Over the course of the yearlong election, her unfavorable ratings went up -- starting at 51% unfavorable in November 2015, and ending at 54.4% unfavorable in November 2016, according to Real Clear Politics' poll average. In short, the more people saw, the less they liked.
As polarizing as Trump was and is, so too was Clinton. In May of 2016, as FiveThirtyEight noted, both Clinton and Trump were more strongly disliked than any nominee at that point in the past 10 presidential cycles.
You'd think that nearly three years of Trump's divisive rhetoric, his utter incompetence, his embarrassing foibles on the world stage, would have put a fresh coat of paint on Clinton's reputation. You'd think wrong.
Even now, she is outpolled by her fellow Democrats in the primary, all of whom are more popular now than she was in 2016. If this doesn't sound like a recipe for success in 2020, well, you must be people not named Hillary Clinton, who still seems to think she could be what the nation is clamoring for. But that's not because the nation is thinking -- a whopping 75% of Democratic voters are satisfied with the current field.
More likely, nostalgia for what could have been is clouding the judgment of those who wish she were running now, including, perhaps, Clinton herself:
"Look, I think all the time about what kind of president I would've been and what I would've done differently and what I think it would've meant to our country and our world," she said Tuesday.
Imagine wondering what you would have meant to our country and our world -- and then you won't have a hard time imagining Hillary Clinton imagining herself running for president again.
Article Courtesy: Tribune Content Agency
S.E. CUPP NOVEMBER 7, 2019
While Democrats are celebrating a number of significant local electoral victories in unlikely places this week, Republicans are left struggling to keep the political shrapnel from grazing their cult commander, President Trump.
And not doing it particularly well, either.
Don Trump Jr. was on Fox News Tuesday night working hard to insist that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s loss to Democrat Andy Beshear wasn’t related at all to his father, who just this week had tweeted that he is a “GREAT” governor.”
Trump also delivered one of his signature 11th-hour rallies in Kentucky to push Bevin over the edge, calling him “maybe the greatest (governor) in the history of this state.” The president put no finer a point on its importance than this: “If you lose … it sends a really bad message … you can’t let that happen to me.”
Despite this, Don Jr was adamant: “Matt Bevin has picked some fights, but this has nothing to do with Trump. (Republicans) swept the rest of the ticket, did great in Mississippi … the two don’t really have that much to do with each other.”
That, apparently, wasn’t approved messaging, however. Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale released a statement explicitly tying the president to Bevin: “The President just about dragged Gov. Matt Bevin across the finish line, helping him run stronger than expected in what turned out to be a very close race at the end.”
He shouldn’t be surprised if Republicans don’t see the silver lining in Bevin’s loss.
And that wasn’t the only alarming contest for Republicans. In Virginia, Democrats turned the swing state blue, winning majorities in the commonwealth’s House and Senate, giving full control to Democrats for the first time in two decades.
And a blue wave took over a number of longtime Republican strongholds in Pennsylvania, including all five seats of the Delaware County Council.
This is all very bad news for the Republican Party.
And Democrats are absolutely right to tie these losses to Trump. It’s impossible to extricate him from even the most local election when he was personally involved in some of them and has singularly remade the GOP in his image. There’s little left of the Republican Party that Trump hasn’t torn down and rebuilt like one of his garish hotels.
Further, when historically Republican strongholds turn blue for the first time in years, it’s a good idea to ask why. It’s natural to look at the guy who has inserted himself into our daily lives in some unprecedented ways, from his obnoxiously invasive social media presence, to wading into NFL race politics and televised dance competitions, to imposing anti-farmer tariffs and punitive policies for minorities and immigrants.
When the goal has been a cultural takeover, its failure in even the friendliest of places is more than noteworthy. The Republican Party could lose big in elections all across the country in 2020.
With all that said, a final word of caution to Democrats who also believe all this is proof the president will lose his own race next year.
Trump was philosophically on the ballot in Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, but not actually. When it’s Trump versus a Democratic nominee who may support truly unpopular, radical, impractical policies, who is telling the very people who considered Trump the last time that they’re backward and racist, and who says anyone who disagrees with their progressive agenda just doesn’t get it, Trump will look a lot more appealing to a lot more people.
Trump’s campaign adviser, perhaps unintentionally, spelled it out in clear language last night on Twitter, in attempting to re-explain why a Democrat managed to win in a state Trump won by nearly 30 points in 2016, the largest margin of any Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972.
“The Democrats nominated a moderate, who’s (sic) dad was a moderate, who didn’t talk about impeachment of Trump, and who acts like a Republican,” wrote Parscale.
Talk about giving Democrats the 2020 blueprint for how to beat Trump.
(S.E. Cupp is the host of “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.)
Source: NY Daily News
Whichever side you are on, this is a refreshing perspective from S.E.
S.E. Cupp Quote:
For aspiring presidential candidates, local and state office is often just a springboard to national politics. But those stops can and should tell us a lot about them. If a candidate is despised back home, maybe that should be disqualifying.
With 24 Democrats running for president, there’s an unending inundation of polls, platforms, policies and platitudes to keep track of.
National polls tell one picture, but not the whole picture or even a useful one this early. We learn a little through national press coverage — increasingly less about a candidate’s authenticity or policy proposals and more about his or her ability to stay on message and not actually answer questions.
Town halls on the major cable networks are a fuller glimpse into the candidate’s positions, and a test of their stamina. And of course, the debates will pit them all against one another to see who has the best zingers and take-downs.
But as we try to measure them all against these varying backdrops, I have a better idea. Why not judge them by those who know them best? I don’t mean their families, although those testimonials can be revealing.
And I don’t mean endorsements — those are often less about the candidates themselves and more about what it can buy the endorsers.
I mean the candidates’ hometown voters, their newspapers and the reporters who’ve covered them. Shouldn’t we care whether they were good at their last jobs before we award them a new one?
Sure, you and I are just getting to know Pete Buttigieg, for example, but what about the South Bend, Ind., voters who’ve known him for years? Or conversely, we’ve all known Joe Biden for decades — what do Delawareans say about him, though?
By this metric, some would and should be immediately disqualified.
There might not be a more contentious relationship between a politician and his constituents than that of Bill de Blasio and New York City. He’s loathed both by voters -- he's underwater 44% disapproval to 42% approval -- and the press, the latter of which is likely a mutual feeling.
New York Magazine has made a cottage industry of mocking de Blasio’s run for president. Eve Peyser recently wrote a column with the following premise: “I Tried to Find a New Yorker Who Wants de Blasio to Be President. It Wasn’t Easy.” Another recent headline read: “Bill de Blasio Tries to Find Someone, Somewhere, Who Wants to Vote for Him.”
Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who’s seen a recent boost in her national polls, doesn’t have the best hometown report card either.
While she’s somewhat popular at home, two recent polls of Massachusetts Democratic primary voters — one by Emerson College and the other by Suffolk University/Boston Globe — ranked Warren as those voters’ third and second choice, respectively, for president behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
Her hometown paper, the Boston Globe, implored her not to run, the editorial board calling her “too divisive” and saying she’d missed her moment. That’s not what you want to hear.
What about Bernie Sanders’s relationship with Vermont voters? It’s complicated.
Vermont loves Bernie for consistently voting their interests on issues like guns and pot. But increasingly voters are second-guessing his economic agenda.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “enacting just a portion of the Sanders agenda has been a crushing failure for Vermont,” calling particular attention to the Tax Foundation’s rating of the state as one of the 10 worst business tax climates and an alarming flight of residents to neighboring states.
Delegate-rich California’s earlier primary makes it an important state in the Democratic primary, and Sen. Kamala Harris has some competition from Biden, Sanders and Warren in polls of likely Democratic primary voters in the state. But in good news, 40% of voters there say she’d make a good president, versus 38% who say she wouldn’t, according to Quinnipiac, and she enjoys a 53-32% approval rating among all voters.
As for the upstart Buttigieg, a We Ask America survey of 800 registered voters in Indiana found 35% have a favorable opinion and 25% have an unfavorable opinion. Among Democrats, he does much better — 60% to 9%.
Former Newark Mayor and current Sen. Cory Booker may have the best hometown report card. Despite complaints that he spent too much time building his national platform, he left office with a 70% favorability rating among likely voters in Newark. Since becoming a senator and now presidential candidate, his approval has slipped to 48% among New Jersey residents recently polled by Monmouth University; he’s still above water, with 36% disapproval.
For Biden, it’s tougher to tell. He’s been a national figure for decades, and his last real job representing Delaware ended back in 2008. Of course the state loves its favorite son, and Delaware political leaders are largely lined up behind him, but Delaware Twitter — yes, that’s a thing — was more mixed on his presidential announcement.
For aspiring presidential candidates, local and state office is often just a springboard to national politics. But those stops can and should tell us a lot about them. If a candidate is despised back home, maybe that should be disqualifying.
Reacting to Howard Schultz who was floating the idea of running for President as an independent S.E. writes that it is not established parties that get to decide if Schultz deserve to make a case, instead it should be us "We the People"
Source: NY Daily News
All of this is meant to say to you, the voter, that only Democrats — or, on the other side, Republicans — have the answers to your problems.
Schultz may not be a good candidate. He may prove to be wholly unqualified to be President. But the other two parties shouldn’t get to decide that — you should.
Over the past week, it’s fair to say Democrats have seemed, well, overly-caffeinated.
Howard Schultz, the billionaire former CEO of Starbucks, has the left apoplectic since floating the idea that he is seriously considering running for President — as an independent.
Since embarking on his media tour, Democrats from all corners have come out to torpedo the political newcomer, and self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat.
With visions of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and Jill Stein dancing maniacally in their heads, no doubt, the fear that Schultz will take votes away from their party nominee in 2020 aren’t unfounded. That’s usually the way a third-party candidacy goes: They don’t just appeal to first-time voters, they cut into another party’s pie as well.
Just ask Hillary Clinton, if you can get her to stop seething. In her book, “What Happened,” the 2016 Democratic nominee said Stein “wouldn’t be worth mentioning” if not for the important votes she got in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Clinton blamed a “small but significant number of left-wing voters” who “may well have thrown the election to Trump.”
The Democrats’ reaction to Schultz, though, doesn’t just reveal their angst over what could have been in 2016 (and indeed in 2000), or their paranoia over what should be in 2020. It’s illustrative of a larger problem both parties are facing: Voters are sick of them, and they know it.
Faith in most American institutions is down, but in particular, voters don’t believe our two-party system is working.
According to a 2018 Gallup poll, 57% of Americans say our two parties do such a poor job that a third party is needed. Only 38% say the two parties do an adequate job. That’s almost the mirror opposite of what the results were in 2003, when Gallup first started polling the question and 56% said the two-party system was good enough and 40% disagreed.
It’s not surprising, then, that we’re decreasingly aligning with the far left and right. In a Pew poll from 2018, Americans on average put themselves near the midpoint on an ideological scale. If 0 is “very liberal” and 10 is “very conservative,” most put themselves at around a 5.
Naturally, the parties’ response to this disaffection is to quite literally force American voters into picking one or the other — and, typically, to drag their candidates further to the extremes during their primaries.
The Democrats’ all-out assault against Schultz, who has yet to officially announce, is already underway. Influential groups like American Bridge, Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Priorities USA have already publicly threatened to make Schultz a target and oppose him with full force.
Democratic candidates like Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren wasted no time in attacking Schultz, with Warren tweeting, “What’s ‘ridiculous’ is billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else.”
And some in the liberal press are also working overtime to smear the would-be candidate. In a bizarre hit piece, Timothy Burke in The Daily Beast revealed that Starbucks, under Schultz, “which sold music alongside coffee from 1994 to 2015, had, what could only be described as, a flat and white selection of tunes to offer.”
Of course, if Schultz runs, he won’t likely make the debate stage, and that’s by design of both parties. Since 2000, the Commission on Presidential Debates has required candidates to appear on enough state ballots to win and register at 15% in five national polls.
All of this is meant to say to you, the voter, that only Democrats — or, on the other side, Republicans — have the answers to your problems. And if someone wants entrée into the political arena, picking among these two embattled, ill-fitting, under-performing parties is the price of admission. How is that good for us?
Schultz may not be a good candidate. He may prove to be wholly unqualified to be President. But the other two parties shouldn’t get to decide that — you should.
Source: Tribune Content Agency
In this article, S.E. writes that social media mob rule should not determine Kavanaugh's fate.
Citing slippery slope statements from Senators Chuck Schumer and Mazie Hirono ignoring traditional right of presumption of innocence or guilt, S.E. tries to instill sanity with her compelling arguments.
Thus far, he’s been judged rather harshly, with many willing to forgo due process and the presumption of innocence in favor of social media mob rule and activist juries.
As Democrats should be well aware, the presumption of innocence is considered by most to be a basic human right. Just ask the United Nations. In Article 11 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.”
The pervasive and historic presumption of guilt by law enforcement of African-Americans, in particular black youths, has endangered, incarcerated and disadvantaged generations of American families for centuries.
In one of the rare occasions where she wrote about a peer journalist, S.E. Cupp says to Megyn Kelly
"Walking away from this mess (politics) is a luxury Megyn Kelly cannot afford if she wants viewers to trust her and continue to watch her on a new platform.
Nor should she want to. She’s uniquely skilled at skimming through partisan talking points to get to the heart of a matter. She’s preternaturally unafraid of powerful people. And she’s tough without being mean-spirited or smug."
Now looking back this quote in a hindsight in 2019, how prophetic those words were. Megyn's strength is in covering politics. Her soft-political show at NBC fell short of her potential
Full article below:
Source: Chicago Sun Times
On a day dominated by political headlines — President Trump’s continued war on the NFL anthem protests, the Republicans’ failing health-care efforts, a new travel ban, saber-rattling from North Korea, an important election looming in Alabama, and I could go on and on — Megyn Kelly launched her much-hyped eponymous fourth hour of the “Today” show on NBC Monday by explaining, “The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now.”
It’s a nice thought — I have it daily. But unfortunately it isn’t reality. If she wants to succeed at the peacock network — and I sincerely hope she does — she’ll need to reconsider.
If you caught Kelly’s 9 a.m. debut, you might find yourself nodding along with the critical consensus that the former Fox News anchor known for sparring with liberal opponents and asking then-candidate Donald Trump tough debate questions seemed out of place in the new hug-plagued environs where tears are heartily shed and celebrity guests are heartily cajoled.
I have no desire to join the pile-on of Kelly. So I’ll be the first to point out that this isn’t totally fair.
For one, left-leaning media and industry critics were never going to be truly objective. While each may acknowledge she’s a talented broadcaster, they still see her as tainted by Fox and all that represents to them — the “fanatical” far right, a bevvy of unserious “anchor babes,” unchecked office sexism, and a culture of sexual harassment.
While that perception of Fox is arguably unshakable at the moment, it also isn’t fair to Kelly, an eagle-eyed former defense attorney whose rigorous journalism and willingness to hit back against powerful Republican men like Trump, Newt Gingrich and even her boss Roger Ailes set her apart from others at the network.
Meantime, NBC viewers, and in particular “Today” show viewers, are fiercely protective of the brand and, thanks in large part to the current popularity of its cable arm MSNBC, of its left-leaning bona fides. Giving the former Fox News host a chance is a tough ask of people who were told nightly by MSNBC’s primetime stars that Fox News viewers were backwards, racist conspiracy theorists.
It also didn’t help that in the run-up to Kelly’s debut, the network gave her a Sunday night show in which she interviewed big-name political figures, from Alex Jones to J.D. Vance to Vladimir Putin, and covered topics like Russian collusion and coal miners-turned-computer-programmers. This was hardly the way to prepare 9 a.m. audiences for her new off-politics morning-show endeavor.Much of this is out of Kelly’s control. But what isn’t is what she chooses to cover. And here’s where I’ll be brutally honest with Kelly, precisely because I think we need her more than ever and I want her show to thrive.
Believe me, I get up every morning hoping that I won’t have to spend the full hour of my own show covering politics. But as this weekend illustrated, politics is now in everything, from football to hurricanes to the Emmys to the opioid epidemic. To ask an audience to put politics aside for an hour a day is downright nostalgic.
It’s also kind of irresponsible. In some part because of cable news and those of us who’ve made it our home these past years, the country is more polarized than ever. Walking away from this mess is a luxury Megyn Kelly cannot afford if she wants viewers to trust her and continue to watch her on a new platform.
Nor should she want to. She’s uniquely skilled at skimming through partisan talking points to get to the heart of a matter. She’s preternaturally unafraid of powerful people. And she’s tough without being mean-spirited or smug.
In addition to adding some lighter fare, Kelly can cover politics and the important stories that matter differently than she did at Fox, and even differently than her new colleagues do in primetime. But she can’t not cover them at all.
Calmly guiding her new viewers through this frenetic, chaotic and often unsettling political reality we’re living in isn’t just her talent, it’s her duty.
Cupp is host of “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” on HLN.
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