The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi Jinping is steadily solidifying and consolidating state power into the hands of the sitting President. Xi’s power grab is best illustrated by attempts to amend the Chinese Constitution in order to eliminate term-limits on the Presidency and remold Communist Party ideology with the addition of Xi’s own manifesto, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” to the Constitution. Xi’s escalating efforts to seize power for himself has sparked a great deal of alarm while squashing hopes for a future China that is both liberal and democratic. Xi’s moves are not, however, surprising. They are completely predicable. In the context of today’s apparent geopolitical trend away from democracy, they are just upsetting.
Political Division and Dysfunction: The Illiberalization of the Right and Left Toward Libertarianism and Libertinism
Bad government, e.g. unresponsive, special-interest governance, in the United States, as well as elsewhere, is fueled by political division and dysfunction. Not only do the political parties and ideological extremes of the American political system pressure elected officials to cater to their interests with untenable public policies, they impede the representation of the majority in middle. Those on the far Right and the far Left have the right to have their views and interests represented in government and addressed by government, but their representatives do not have a right to deny others representation by hijacking the political process and the legislative process.
Denver, Colorado resident Aaron Stark wrote a letter to his local news station in which he admitted “I was almost a school shooter.” The heartfelt letter was written in response to the Parkland School Shooting after Stark’s wife and daughter kept saying they could not understand why the shooter lashed out with violence. Stark recognized the role guns play in violent outbursts and how a lack of access to guns prevented him from acting on his feelings. He also recognized the role mental health issues, bullying, and abuse played in his thinking. Above all, however, he emphasized the impact of kindness on his decision not to act. It was, in fact, small acts of kindness and love that ultimately steered Aaron away from violence and helped him triumph over his troubling circumstances.
President Donald Trump, like all Presidents since the 1999 Columbine School Shooting, has been forced to confront the issues of mass killings and gun violence in the wake of the Parkland School Shooting. To Trump’s credit, he has reached out to victims of violence through a public forum labeled a "listening session." Unfortunately, he reacted as an intuition-driven thinker, who practices an emotion-based reactionary leadership style, would be expected to react. Already instructing Attorney General Jess Sessions to regulate the use of so-called “bump stocks,” without analyzing the effectiveness, Constitutionality, or practicality of the policy shift, Mr. Trump is considering increasing the minimum age to buy an assault rifle to twenty-one, conducting more active shooter drills, and toughening background checks with mental health screenings.
President’s Day is an America holiday honoring the service and contributions of US Presidents. It is officially known as Washington’s Birthday, because it originally commemorated the birthday of George Washington, the First US President. Due to the fact Abraham Lincoln, who was the Sixteenth US President and is considered one of the greatest US Presidents in history, was also born in the month of February, the celebration of George Washington’s contributions to the birth of the US also became the celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s contributions to the preservation of the United States. As more and more State governments have officially renamed Washington’s Birthday to President’s Day as part of an effort to honor Lincoln, the holiday has come to encompass the legacies of all US Presidents.
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