Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thoughts on the Recent Republican Debate

This past Tuesday, I watched the debate in Las Vegas of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates, and it was one of the most disheartening experiences I have had of late. The debate, which featured Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry seemed more like a bunch of self-righteous adolescents bickering over petty issues than an open dialogue on the problems the United States is facing at the present. The rudeness, ad hominem personal attacks, and disturbing views expressed at the event made a mockery of political discourse and showed how out of control partisan rhetoric has become.

The most obvious childish fighting happened between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, who spent most of the debate sniping at one another and making ridiculous claims about their policies and personal lives. Perry also refused to answer questions asked of him by moderator Anderson Cooper, stating that he would instead talk about what he wanted. Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, spent an inordinate amount of time interrupting people, and her constant refrains of "Anderson" in attempts to get his attention really distracted from the conversation and showed how little respect is given to political courtesies in this day and age. Gingrich made comments about how atheists cannot be trusted in political office, while Rick Santorum rambled on about how the decay of the American family structure was responsible for the nation's problems. All in all, the petty squabbling was embarrassing to watch and it seemed stunning that in a short amount of time one of these people would be a major contender for the presidency.

However, the most upsetting portion of the evening was the audience's reactions to certain statements made by candidates. When Herman Cain reiterated his belief that the Occupy Wall Street protestors have no one to blame but themselves for not being rich and successful, the audience roared with approval. The amount of time spent focused on "illegals" and what to do to stop them also showed a fundamental lack of compassion and understanding of the topic, and the fact that the audience responded so favorably to outrageous statements on undocumented workers reminded me of how far we have to go to ensure a better future (And present) for our country. People are struggling to make a better life for themselves and their families in a broken system, whether it is down on Wall Street or in low-wage labor with the constant threat of deportation, and the Republican presidential candidates made it clear that these people have no place in their vision of the United States.

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