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Ben Rudgley

RUDGLEY: Ethical reasoning courses, an answer to the mental health crisis

The project of the liberal arts is less about gaining skills necessary for the workplace but rather integrating lessons from all disciplines into a positive, balanced mindset. As students, our success can’t be found in the next thing — getting into that major or getting that job — but from daily actions which form the foundation of a life well-lived, a life of happiness and excellence.

​RUDGLEY: Christianity and the GOP in opposition

Christianity is less about negative morality (what we shouldn’t do) and more about what we should do: love each other, protect our natural environment and help the poor. Unfortunately, the Republican Party focuses far less on the evils of poverty than it does about the perceived dangers of gay marriage.

Economic elite citizens' policy preferences compared with the probability of adoption of those policies.

​RUDGLEY: The need for campaign finance reform

The absorption of both wealth and political power by the few has, by definition, propelled the country down the road to oligarchy. The promise of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is under threat. When both the economy and political process are rigged to favor those at the top, change has to come from outside our governing institutions — from the grassroots.

​RUDGLEY: Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul and media bias

This litany of appalling media biases has corrupted journalism to the point where fair coverage of presidential elections is a luxury among mainstream media outlets. The political union of the Washington establishment, corporate interests and the media has created an environment in which it is political suicide for a candidate to so much as question the status quo in foreign policy or income inequality. As both Pauls have learned, criticizing disastrous Middle East policy will place you squarely in the crosshairs of the kingmaker of American elections — the mainstream media.

​RUDGLEY: Clinton should move a little left

There is cause for hope among progressives as they look to 2016. It is very possible that if Clinton’s competitors for the nomination all level concerted, persistent policy criticisms her way then she could be forced to adopt a more liberal, populist platform in several key areas. Clinton’s challengers can successfully push her to the left if they focus on issues that play well with the Democratic base, like income inequality, a cautious foreign policy and climate change.

​RUDGLEY: Rand Paul and the future of the GOP

Paul, more than any other candidate, has tried to reach out to disaffected voting blocs that when they do vote, vote blue, like African-Americans and college-age voters. His bold ideas, like scaling back surveillance programs or criminal justice reform, represent a departure from establishment Republicans who appear intent on adding to their party’s litany of failures and embarrassments (that range from George W. Bush’s costly, disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to Todd Akin’s cringe-inducing comments on rape and pregnancy).

​RUDGLEY: Policy is more powerful than dialogue

If we want something to change we need more than social media activism; we should pursue paths of action that will directly impact our governing institutions. In short, emailing, writing and calling state and federal legislators to advocate on behalf of concrete policy proposals is a far more direct, substantial and powerful way to enact real change. There are four realistic policy proposals that, if campaigned for and implemented into law, would achieve far more than nebulous dialogues.

​RUDGLEY: Looking back on “Examining Women’s Studies”

Not only was WGS not what I wrote it was, but it also proved to be a wellspring of expansive and insightful critical debate. Thanks to the class, I am now far better equipped to understand and deconstruct both forms of explicit patriarchal oppression and the subtler implicit biases that continually erode at the possibility of equal opportunity for women and minorities in all spheres of personal, work and civic life.

RUDGLEY: The GOP and the politics of fear

Congressional Republicans have been desperately trying to prove they can govern as well as obstruct, though their recent actions have done little to change their perception. Republicans’ rabid opposition to President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration has led to their latest exercise in brinkmanship: failing to fund the Department of Homeland Security while at the same time bemoaning the national security threats of ISIL and terrorist plots in Europe.

RUDGLEY: Six years, not four

A six-year term would promote continuity and harmony in executive leadership while retaining democratic accountability and legitimacy.

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