The Oberlin Review

Voters Must Be Patient

Booker C. Peek, Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies

February 14, 2020

 Four white men and two white women are now the leading Democratic candidates competing against each other to replace President Donald J. Trump in November. Many of America’s most respected and admired Black media commentators, especially those on liberal television channels, radio stations, and other media outlets, have instantly challenged all six to explain in full their questionable or checkered past of policies and actions that are clearly either racist or smell of racism. Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden cannot cavalierly dismiss so many beloved Black scholars, social workers, and leaders.  African Americans — indeed, all Americans — should want to hear in the minutest detail wh...

Warren’s Medicare for All Transition Plan Reveals Lack of Commitment

Christo Hays, Production Editor

November 22, 2019

 Policy and tactical differences matter in the health care debate.  Despite spending over $10,000 per capita on health care — more than any other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nation, and more than double most of them — the U.S. is only the 35th healthiest country in the world. The health care industry fleeces millions of Americans every year while making life-saving drugs, treatments, and care regimens effectively unattainable, and these same Americans are fed up.  This year, only improving the economy outranked improving health care on Americans’ list of priorities — and then only by one percentage point. Next year, health care should top the list if trends prevail. With the ...

Universal Health Care Requires Universal Sacrifice

Leo Lasdun, Contributing Writer

November 1, 2019

 Near the end of his rally with Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Queens, NY on Saturday, Nov. 19, presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders asked the crowd to look at the people standing near them and to consider how far they’d go to help a stranger: “Are you willing to fight for that person who you don’t even know as much as you’re willing to fight for yourself?” Bernie wondered if his supporters were ready to make sacrifices for their fellow Democrats and Americans. The sentiment was couched in a sort of polished, Twitter-ready catchphrase, but beyond that, I think Bernie was getting at something pretty basic that often gets overlooked in many liberal conversations: In order to ac...

Bernie Sanders: The 2020 Candidate Nobody Asked For

Henry Hicks, Contributing Writer

February 22, 2019

The 2020 presidential election cycle has officially begun, with upwards of ten candidates already declaring their bids for the Democratic nomination. This deep pool includes current U.S. senators, entrepreneurs, local-level politicians, and more. Newer faces of the Democratic Party, such as Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, have managed to generate much excitement, asserting themselves as candidates to be taken seriously despite claiming little name recognition. However, they’ll soon be tested by progressive powerhouse Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who announced his second presidential bid last Tuesday. Emerging into a majority of the public’s eye only a few years ago, Sanders positioned himself as...

Sanders’ Progressivism Offers Hope for 2020

Christo Hays, Production Editor

February 22, 2019

The Bern has returned. Millionaires and billionaires nationwide are on life support. Cory Booker is reportedly pleading with his Big Pharma donors to keep a low profile. Barack Obama has been spotted on a coffee date with Joe Biden, who looked close to tears as 44 told him his monopoly on the “favorite grandpa” title is over. Beto O’Rourke has been sighted at a skatepark, brooding and hitting kick-flips. And the president’s White House staffers tell us he may declare DEFCON 4. Hyperbole aside — though it wouldn’t be shocking if the nation’s 1 percent started seeing their doctors more frequently — Senator Bernie Sanders’ emergence in the 2020 presidential field is exciting. Thus far, left-wing presidential...

Americans Must Resist Russian Influence

Editorial Board

February 23, 2018

In May 2016, as Donald Trump’s campaign snowballed into a force of nature, a quiet conversation at the Kensington Wine Rooms between George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor to the campaign, and Australian diplomat Alexander Downer took on the distinct scent of a smoking gun. Having overindulged in the establishment’s titular offering, Papadopoulos mentioned to Downer that Joseph Mifsud — a professor with connections to Russia — had indicated that the foreign government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, instigating a push to connect Trump to Russian efforts to discredit the Democratic candidate. Downer was not the confidant Papadopoulos may have expected, and provided the tip that would kick off a clandes...

Medicare For All Represents Best Path Forward

Xander Kott, Contributing Writer

October 6, 2017

When the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act — the Graham-Cassidy bill — failed before reaching the Senate last week, many people were left wondering how the health care debate will move forward. If the past few months are any indication, the answer is nowhere. Congress is so divided on health care that the passage of meaningful legislation on the matter is becoming more and more of a pipe dream. Republicans have campaigned on the idea of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act since it was first implemented seven years ago. However, even upon winning the presidency and a majority in both chambers of Congress, they have been unable to fulfill this promise. They have made three repeal attempts...

Only One Candidate Stands for Progress

Ziya Smallens, Contributing Writer

September 23, 2016

It’s no secret that many Oberlin students voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary. Many remain skeptical of Hillary Clinton, citing an inability to trust her. I respect the instincts of my peers, but in today’s media climate, the facts struggle to break through the noise. In scrutinizing Hillary Clinton’s legacy and the state of the Democratic Party, a progressive record rings clear. Donald Trump stands as an affront to every value we aspire to as Americans, Obies, activists and allies. In facing such a threat, the easy answer is to grit your teeth and vote for the candidate who is perceived as the “lesser of two evils.” I could settle for this distinction, but it isn’t the reality of the deci...

New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down

Sean Para, Columnist

April 23, 2016

The 2016 presidential campaign has been nothing short of absurd, and Tuesday’s New York primary marks yet another twist in the road to the nominations. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won their respective primaries by about 60 percent each. Trump won in almost every district, with 60.5 percent total, and will receive 89 of New York’s 93 Republican delegates. Clinton’s victory was less stunning, but she still won 33 more Democratic delegates than Bernie Sanders, furthering her lead against him. She is now 246 pledged delegates ahead of Sanders, and the lion’s share of the party’s 540 superdelegates also support her. These results solidify the leads of Clinton and Trump after several weeks in which their cand...

Sanders’ Stance on Guns Hypocritical

Chloe Vassot, Contributing Writer

April 23, 2016

If there is one word I have been using with growing bitterness this semester, it is “systemic” — systemic harm, systemic injustice, systemic oppression. I feel disgust almost every time I hear the word because systemic injustice is so entrenched in our society. Another zealous user of the word “systemic” is Bernie Sanders. The Democratic presidential nominee is guilty of criticizing systems. He has explained at conventions and debates about how “the system is rigged” for those who are not billionaires. This rhetoric is something I can get behind, but I can’t support his policy positions that do not heed this rhetoric. Sanders’ stance on gun control is where the discrepancy between his defaming of a...

Media Reinforces Myth of Clinton’s Inevitable Win

Editorial Board

February 26, 2016

After polling neck and neck with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly won all six tie-breaker coin flips in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. Some called it the Miracle Six, as the probability of six heads or tails in a row is less than two percent. After fact checking revealed that the coin flips were negligible in the decision (Clinton would have needed 47 favorable flips, not six) and that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders had also won a handful of the dozen coin flips, Clinton clinching the nomination seemed like an increasingly probable outcome. At the Nevada Democratic caucuses this past Saturday, Clinton once again pulled ahead of Sanders by a tight margin, securing two out...

In 2000, Nation “Felt the Bern” for McCain

Riley Pearsall, Contributing Writer

February 19, 2016

His supporters love him for his character and candor while his rivals and opponents decry his extreme ideas. He is beloved by the youth and has energized them to a degree not seen in years. He has crushed mainstream opposition in the New Hampshire primary with a double-digit lead. He is John McCain circa 2000, a strong contender for — but ultimately the loser of — the Republican presidential primary. Readers can hardly be faulted for failing to remember a primary campaign that occurred when this writer was only three years old, but McCain’s first presidential bid, chronicled in David Foster Wallace’s fantastic essay “Up, Simba,” has so far eerily mirrored the recent ascent of Bernie Sanders. Both men a...

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