The Oberlin Review

What Does A Trump Victory Really Mean?

Booker C. Peek

October 21, 2020

"Trump Has Won A Second Term!" will read the headlines in America and throughout the entire world some time after Nov. 3. If that becomes our world, all Americans should rejoice over the fact Trump won’t task our National Guard, police forces, and, above all, our armed forces to face off against or kill American citizens. Yes, if Trump is elected there might be a challenge in our courts, as there was in 2000 with the eventual election of George W. Bush, but we can be sure that throughout the process, peace will reign everywhere. Trump's victory will ensure that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, will be abolished. The act does have many flaws, but it is perfect compared to nothing. And meanwhile, Cong...

Toxic Masculinity and the 2020 Election

Walter Thomas-Patterson

October 9, 2020

The most recent presidential debate was a case study in the desperation of a losing president and the perils of toxic masculinity. The debate was roundly and rightfully criticized for having little substance — yet it provided the American people with an unvarnished and relatively unbiased look at what happens when an alpha-male mentality clashes with the realities of the year 2020. Trump’s ability to promote his distinctly alpha-male personality was an asset while he operated as an outsider candidate in 2016. He was not constrained by the general sense of decorum and emotional restraint that defined successful American presidents. Trump had spent decades developing a mix of narcissism, recklessness, and impuls...

First Presidential Debate Favored Spectacle Over Substance

Kate Fishman, Managing Editor

October 2, 2020

We’ve all learned a lot about spatial relations this year — I think, by now, most of us can measure six feet by sight. During Tuesday night’s trainwreck of a debate, though, I was thinking about spatial relations in a new way. There was just so much to see — Joe Biden continuing to turn to speak directly to YOU, the American people, his gaze trained on the camera; Donald Trump squared off against Biden, or pouting down into his podium. And of course, moderator Chris Wallace, seated many feet away from the candidates standing and fighting far above him.  Most people who have done any sort of teaching or mentoring work know the importance of spatial orientation in communication — literally getting on someo...

Politicians Need to Fix Healthcare Systems

Booker C. Peek

October 2, 2020

Millions of Americans have to suffer through nightmares only to awaken and be tormented throughout the day because President Trump has a lawsuit and a Supreme Court primed to destroy the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The president is not an evil, mean, or heartless person — nor is our congressman, Jim Jordan. They believe that they have a better plan. But where is their plan? Obamacare has been in existence for more than 10 years, and Trump has been president for almost four. Still, no better plan has been proposed in the richest, most advanced, and most welcoming country the world has ever known. With time running out for him to offer something, the president rushed to sign an executive order protecting those...

Jim Jordan Should Distance Himself from Trump

Booker Peek

September 25, 2020

Our congressman, Jim Jordan, is our president’s staunchest supporter, besting Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham. As a former wrestler and coach at The Ohio State University, Jordan demonstrates an unparalleled physical defense of Trump’s positions; some of which are particularly problematic. Trump claimed for more than five years that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Trump has never apologized clearly to him. About the “Central Park Five” — five black and Latino teenagers now known to be innocent of a most heinous crime of rape and assault of a white woman in New York many years ago — Trump paid, in today’s terms, almost $200,000 for full-page ads in several New York news...

Radical Politics as an Approach to the November Election

Julia Guenther

September 25, 2020

The unexpected wins of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Presley in 2018 are evidence of growing support for democratic socialism. Support for policies like Medicare for All and free college is on the rise as left-leaning, so-called “radical” politicians gain popularity. All of this begs the question: What does it mean to be “radical”? In mathematics, the word “radical” refers to getting to the root of a number, and in the case of radical politics, the root of a problem.  Radicals attempt to understand the root of a problem, the complexity of social phenomena and beliefs. When Bernie Sanders was criticized for not being proactive on the issues that mattered to Black people, it was because he was pre...

Trump’s Strike Against Iranian General Has Proven Ineffective

Leo Hochberg, Columnist

February 14, 2020

 You’ve doubtlessly heard that on Jan. 3, President Trump ordered an execution strike, killing Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, along with Iranian politician and commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and several others at the Baghdad airport. In the following days, many speculated: Are we headed towards another undesirable Middle East conflict? Is this the beginning of a dangerous and illegal shadow war between Iran and the U.S., rife with rebounding political assassinations? Have years of growing tensions between the two countries now triggered an irreversible wave of violence that will kill and maim countless Iraqi and Iranian civilians? Thankfully, for the time being, the answer appears to be “no.” When Iran r...

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...

Colonial Hangover, Right-Wing Populism Define Indian Democracy

Kushagra Kar, Production Editor

November 1, 2019

 History testifies that the single most influential construct in the postmodern world is imperialism. The remnants of colonial structures still loom over integral aspects of society in what we know today as ‘the third world’. India, for example, is still reeling from the consequences of the blind partition of the country that birthed modern-day Pakistan. Caught in the crosshairs of the newly-formed nations was the Kingdom of Kashmir. After a brief and bloody guerilla struggle between India and Pakistan, India absorbed the Kingdom on the condition that it be granted regional autonomy, provisional under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.  The partition began a 72-year-long tussle between India and Pakistan that — even after ...

Fiscal Attack on Special Olympics Opens Dialogue About Impact of Sports

Jane Agler, Sports Editor

April 5, 2019

Due to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2020 fiscal year, the Department of Education is facing a potential 10 percent budget reduction and is looking for ways to effectively subsidize the loss. This is the third year in a row the President has prioritized the military and the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border over education, putting pressure on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to make up the difference. However, her resulting proposal was yet another ill-informed and ludicrous step in her long history of errors as education secretary. Last week, DeVos proposed a $17.6 million cut in funding for the Special Olympics, a move that has garnered widespread criticism from colleag...

Nation Would Benefit More From Political Unity Than Division

Booker C. Peek

April 20, 2018

To the Editors: Most of us in this part of Ohio root for the Cavs, Browns, or the Cleveland baseball team. Most people in New York, California, Texas, Boston, etc. root for their local teams. All year long there is a healthy exchange among sports fans from various parts of our nation. Occasionally, each area has its moments to brag, though some areas seem to be a lot more favored than others. The division of opinions or the rooting for this or that team has many advantages to a thriving nation. However, there should never be any division among us as a people, a nation, as far as ensuring that the poor, especially, and others receive excellent healthcare, get a fine education, have good jobs, decent homes, feel saf...

Students Should Engage in Secretary of State Race

Nathan Carpenter, Columnist

April 20, 2018

Almost immediately following President Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, political commentators and activists — particularly those on the left — turned their attention toward the 2018 elections. We now find ourselves just six months out from those elections, in which every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, several key seats in the Senate, and many vital state-level offices will be fiercely contested. As usual, Ohioans find themselves in the thick of the political fray. Many key elections will take place in the state this November, including those for the governor’s mansion, where term-limited Governor John Kasich cannot seek reelection, and for progressive Senator Sherrod Brown’s seat, w...

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