The UWIRE Forum


Youth react to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor
May 31, 2009, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Student columnists — one conservative and one progressive — respond to President Barack Obama’s choice of Sonia Sotomayor to be a Supreme Court justice.

Click more for “Obama’s pick shows the triumph of politics” and “Overlooking truth and “Overlooking truth and judicial record, young people will embrace Sotomayor.”

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From youth perspective, credit card bill a suitable start to reform
May 31, 2009, 1:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Michael Warren

Michael Warren

Just as a broken clock is correct twice a day, populist politics sometimes get it right.

Take one of the latest initiatives taken up by Barack Obama: credit card reform. Both the House and Senate chambers passed similar versions of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, and President Obama is pushing for the legislation to be resolved quickly so he can sign it before Memorial Day.

Obama spoke about the problem credit card companies pose to unwitting customers in one of his recent weekly addresses.

“You shouldn’t have to fear that any new credit card is going to come with strings attached, nor should you need a magnifying glass and a reference book to read a credit card application. And the abuses in our credit card industry have only multiplied in the midst of this recession, when Americans can least afford to bear an extra burden,” the president said on May 9, according to the Associated Press.
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The pitfalls of Obama's national service expansion
May 31, 2009, 1:36 pm
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Elise Liu

Elise Liu

As he concluded his first 100 days in office, President Barack Obama could easily claim significant victories in domestic policy, demonstrate a notable shift in our foreign affairs, and assume credit for a remarkable shift in the politics of this country in a more progressive and pragmatic direction.

But the expansion of national service — a policy he carried within his platform for the duration of the campaign — cannot be unequivocally hailed as a success.

The bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch was signed on April 21 to little fanfare, having overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate with 275-149 and 79-19 margins, respectively, after hardly any debate at all. No toothless or symbolic law, it more than tripled the size of AmeriCorps from its current 75,000 to 250,000 by fiscal year 2017. It also created additional public-private partnerships through a “Social Innovation Fund.” For low-income students considering federal aid, it tied such awards to a record of community service.
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GOP should embrace real hip-hop-ification of platform
May 31, 2009, 1:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Matt Cavedon

Matt Cavedon

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele made headlines earlier this year when he said that “we want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”

Steele seems to be on the same vibe that Rep. Jack Kemp was on when he described himself as a “bleeding-heart conservative.” As we look back on Kemp’s life of service and vision in light of his passing away on May 2, we would do well to answer Steele with our own tune of hope and change to urban Americans.

The best hip-hop speaks to the downtrodden in our cities. 2Pac, Talib Kweli, and Common don’t sell millions of records and become urban legends because they are able to promote sociological theories for the difficulties of urban American life. They are popular because they offer a morally compelling message of struggle and hope to a people who long to hear it.

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We Millennials support an empathetic Justice
May 31, 2009, 1:08 pm
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Chris Burks

Chris Burks

President Obama proclaims he wants “empathy.”  Senate Republicans say they want “no activists.” But what do young people want in the next Supreme Court Justice?

Well, it’s pretty clear what this generation doesn’t want President Obama to do. Millennials aren’t going to stomach any more Alitos. Or Scalias. Or Thomasas.  This generation, which sees President Obama as a reflection of their pluralistic values, simply isn’t conservative, polls and attitudes show.

As much is clear to the Obama vetting team, but the lasting impact of his decision can’t be understated. The Millennial generation will live with the consequences of this judicial nomination for some time on cases that will profoundly impact our lives.

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Specter's defection will help GOP win young voters
May 31, 2009, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Michael Warren

Michael Warren

The reaction from conservative pundits to Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter’s decision last week to become a Democrat would lead some to believe that this was the final nail in the Republican Party’s coffin. The implication is that the GOP’s stock with voters will sink further as it becomes more ideological. For Republicans to succeed in the future, people like David Frum at NewMajority.com tell us that the party must stop mistreating its moderate members. They say this sort of purging of the impure turns off moderate voters, that desirable cohort Bush split in 2000 and 2004 and Obama won handily last November.

What is worse is the youth vote went decidedly for Obama in 2008, a fact that naturally horrifies Republicans. Supposed voices for young Republicans like Meghan McCain continue to sound the alarm that the GOP is losing ground with the youth of America because the party is not inclusive enough.

Here’s how the narrative usually goes: Young voters find this sort of ideological rigidity especially distasteful. The GOP now has to play catch up on the middle-of-the-road rhetoric that delivered the next generation of voters for Obama and the Democrats. Specter’s switch reinforces the idea that the Republican Party is not a big tent but an exclusive club for only the true believers.

But there are problems with this argument on its assumptions alone.
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Opening The Youth Forum
May 31, 2009, 11:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The youth generation is at the forefront of political, economic and social discourse

They are credited for energizing Barack Obama’s campaign, cited as inheriting the nation’s massive debt, and known for challenging cultural norms with new technology and a progressive social outlook.

But they are largely being spoken about by those decades older than them. Those who may not understand how they view the world and the new tools they use to interact with it.

It’s time for young people to speak for youth causes.  Especially as they continue to loom over the national discourse as we emerge out of the economic recession and move toward the 2010 elections.

UWIRE solicited columnists from our more than 850 affiliate papers to find three conservative and three progressive columnists to become the leading voices of the youth generation.

The columnists are “thinkers” in every sense of the word. These are their musings.

— Steve Veres, editor of The Youth Forum and Opinions Editor for UWIRE.