Friday, November 18, 2016

Russell Contreras: How to Fix America

Emily Cunningham 

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to go see Russell Contreras at Ohio University’s 90 Minute Series. Contreras is an AP reporter in the US Southwest. Over the past year and a half, he has been able to cover the presidential election. He spoke about the craziness that he saw during the election process, and gave his own opinions on “how to fix America,” which I found quite interesting.

To fix America, Russell believes that we need to get rid of political labels. The terms “republican” and “democrat” are tearing the American people apart. People feel like they need to pick a side and destroy the other. Which is not necessary.

His assumptions are not wrong. The article, “The two party system is destroying America,” by Michael Coblenz, also agrees. Coblenz states that “Partisans on both sides are so angry that they can barely speak with the other, much less work together.” Both parties seem to think that the other side is “misguided” and “believe that other side is more interested in partisan gain than the well-being of the nation.”  Getting rid of political labels may help these problems.

Russell Contreras believes that in order to fix America, we also need to get rid of politicians and political candidates that want to dominate. Instead, we need to find people who genuinely want to govern and make changes for the people of America. Contreras really did not go in to detail as to what we could do to fix this issue. In my opinion, I think the best way to do that is to get people more informed about political candidates. I think the American public could easily get rid of politicians who want to dominate, just by becoming more informed.

The League of Women Voters website has a step by step process of how to help people judge a candidate. The steps include deciding what you are looking for in a candidate, finding out about the candidate, gathering materials about the candidate, evaluating the candidate’s stance on issues, learning about the candidate’s leadership abilities, learning about how other peoples view on the candidate, and finally sorting it all out. I think if people use these steps to learn about the candidates, we can find candidates who genuinely want to help America, instead of just wanting to dominate.

Finally, Russell believes that to fix America, people need to become media literate and read material from both sides. Instead of closing their ears to their opposition and policies they do not believe in, people need to take the time to look at both sides of the spectrum. People can become more informed of the policies and candidates by taking the time to read material from both sides. Then, they can make better informed decisions on the policies and the candidates!

I thought Russell brought up some really great ideas as to how we can “fix America.” It made me think about things that I can do to become a better American citizen. If the American people can take time to reflect on some of these ideas, I think some serious positive changes could happen in this great nation!

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