The Way It Iz

A Tale Of Two Stories

 Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing two major allegations that have the potential to be the catalysts...

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 With the first COVID vaccine having been approved this week, and with a few more on the way, the end of the COVID pandemic is within view. However, there are still several areas of concern surrounding the vaccine. Many of the more high-profile concerns are already being discussed throughout the medical community and the media. The availability of the vaccines to enough Americans to achieve herd immunity likely will not be here until the summer, at the earliest. The United States opted not to order more than 100 million doses from Pfizer - which won the race for FDA approval - even when offered the opportunity to do so as recently as November. Additionally, the willingness of the general public to take the vaccine is hovering at only about 50% nationally, and we could honestly spend the entirety of this column analyzing whose fault that is.

In the past few weeks, there have been heavy discussions around two topics related to education. The more prominent is the closure of public schools in New York City, and with the recent rise in COVID cases nationwide, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that there will be more cities across the country to follow suit. The second discussion has been regarding student loan forgiveness. This one is based on a suggestion from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, that President-Elect Joe Biden can issue an executive order to cancel student loans up to $50,000. While these two issues seem to only be connected as far as they both relate to education, they are actually very much comparable when you look at who they benefit and who they leave in the dust.

Earlier this year, I wrote about Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s classic, Les Misérables. I made the assertion that although we see Valjean as the hero of the story, in real life he would not be given the same level of respect: We are not as quick to forgive the sins of past transgressions to people in the real world as we are in works of fiction. This doesn’t only apply to criminals, but social transgressions as well. For example, the public still hasn’t forgiven comedian Kevin Hart for his comments from ten years ago. And that’s just one example. Any comment can be dug up from an individual in the past and used against him or her today, whether it be a legal, moral, or social wrongdoing.

 “This week 82 years ago, Kristallnacht happened. Kristallnacht, also known as the ‘Night of Broken Glass,’ occurred the night of November 9-10, 1938, when Nazis killed nearly 100 people and vandalized thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues. It was the Nazis’ warning shot across the bow of our human civilization that led to genocide against a whole identity and, in that tower of burning books, it led to an attack on fact, knowledge, history and proof. After four years of a modern-day assault on those same values by Donald Trump, the Biden-Harris team pledges a return to normal.”

Ever since Donald Trump took office, a term has been floating around the mainstream media to describe how the President presents his arguments: “without evidence.” It seems as though whenever the President makes an assertion, the media is quick to point out how there is no actual evidence to support his claims. The most notable events that received this disclaimer were the reports surrounding the two elections involving him. In 2016, Trump issued an unsubstantiated claim that he had actually won the popular vote despite not having any factual basis for making such a statement. He then took it a step further this year when he made claims about rampant voter fraud across the nation (but of course only in the states he lost).

 The 2020 election has come and gone, and at the time of writing, Joe Biden has won the presidency. While the House and Senate are still not officially called, it looks like the Republicans will hold the Senate, keeping about the same advantage they held until now, while the Democrats will hold the House, losing a number of seats. Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go before we see the actual final results for the next two years. President Trump is beginning his lawsuits, many races have yet to be officially called, and we will be watching not one, but two Senate seats up for grabs in a Georgia runoff. Until all that dust settles, we won’t be able to really begin to comprehend the policy changes that we can expect over the next two years, and for now, I am going to hold off on those predictions. For now, I want to focus on what the two major political parties should take away from the 2020 elections, and why they will both fail to do so.