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Viewpoint: Compromise is Key for Democrats in 2018

Doug Jones victory over Roy Moore earlier this month gives the Democratic Party hope for significant change in 2018.

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Democrat Doug Jones’ victory over Republican Roy Moore in an Alabama special Senate election on December 12 set off shock waves throughout the political world. As liberals and Democrats fight Trump and the GOP at every step, this win gives hope for a greater chance at change in 2018.

The success of Jones in the conservative state of Alabama is telling.

Doug Jones speaks to supporters after winning victory in an Alabama special Senate election. (Image: Real Clear Politics video screenshot)

If Democrats can steal a seat in the deep south, then it may mean that races once thought as locks for Republicans could be contested throughout the country. Through canvassing, activism and good old grassroots campaigning, the political left can begin to claim a majority in Congress.

But if this newly found optimism is to turn into further future success, compromise is essential to ensuring victory.

This is not a call to ignore the rights that Democrats have long fought for.

Earlier this year, some within the party called for blindness towards abortion policy so long as it would mean electing more Democrats to elected office. Many were rightfully enraged at this suggestion and it set off a fierce debate within the party about compromise and who the left should represent.

Abortion, along with many other key issues, is something that any successful Democrat should never compromise on. But it’s not solely this that continues to cause a rift within the left. It’s this same divide that left a bitter taste in the mouth of many in the 2016 elections.

Democrats must look forward with an open mind. No one candidate will be perfect. And to flip formerly conservative seats, the party will have to work to elect people that not everyone thinks are ideal.

It did not take long for Doug Jones to create controversy, for example.

Just days after defeating Moore — who was accused of preying on underage women during the campaign, but was still supported by the GOP — he ignited controversy by saying he doesn’t believe that President Trump should resign because of the sexual assault accusations levied against him.

While much of the Democratic base has been calling for the president’s impeachment or resignation for months, Jones’ refusal to do so left many wondering whether or not to trust him to always align to their interests. In separate comments, the incoming senator also said that he may not always vote across party lines.

While it is easy to disagree comments made by Jones, these matters must also be put into perspective. His defeat of Moore saved America from yet another moral collapse. The election of an alleged pedophile would only add to the utter embarrassment that has befallen the country for the past few years.

And regardless of the moral implications of Moore, he would have all but ensured that the Senate could pass legislation more easily. There’s no way to fully predict what Jones will do in office, but he will give the people of Alabama greater representation than the alternative.

The Democratic Party, as a whole, must refuse to count Doug Jones out before he even begins. While he will never be a true progressive, his presence will likely help combat GOP efforts.

Collectively, the diverse liberal party apparatus must unite for the common good of taking back Congress. These spirited discussions can certainly be helpful to emerge the new and old generations of like-minded liberals, but they must never get in the way of the ultimate goal.

The Doug Jones Democrats of the world must be welcomed by the party just as much as they welcome the Elizabeth Warrens. It is within this ability to compromise that the party will grow, learn and win.

Lauren Grimaldi is a senior political science student at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Roosevelt Torch, the school's student run newspaper. When she graduates in May, she hopes to find work in policy reform, political campaigns, or political writing. Follow her on Twitter @laurengrimaldi_.

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Campus Crime

Pennsylvania University Stunned by Child Pornography Allegations

Popular philosophy professor at Bloomsburg University charged with possessing child porn.

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Scott Lowe, a professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, was arrested late last week and charged with with four counts of possessing child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. The charges against the popular professor have left students and administration at the school of just over 9,000 students shocked.

The school’s newspaper, The Voice, reported:

Steve Hales, the head of the Philosophy department, expressed his disbelief for the situation, “It seemed like must be some kind of disturbing mistake which I couldn’t understand.” Hales was a friend to Lowe and, like many who knew him, could not understand what was happening. Lowe was known to be easy to get along with, reliable and was a very popular professor. Lowe enjoyed hanging out with his friends and playing pub trivia, according to Hales.

Bail for the 56-year-old Lowe was set at $250,000 and a preliminary hearing scheduled for February 28.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, a routine audit on the professor’s computer turned up “alarming malware associated with his internet usage of the Bloomsburg University network,” which led to a police investigation.

Several students told The Voice that they got no messages from the school about the situation and were surprised to find that classes were either cancelled or that other professors had stepped in to teach.

Miranda Jacobs told the paper that she had “heard a lot of stories about this guy about him being really nice and just very family oriented.”

 

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National News

Did the College Board Use Florida Shooting as Advertising Strategy?

A controversial mass email sent by the College Board on Wednesday has gone viral.

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A controversial mass email sent by the College Board on Wednesday has gone viral, eliciting a wave of public backlash against the organization’s alleged attempt to exploit last Wednesday’s Florida school shooting massacre to advertise the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

In his email to fellow colleagues and education administrators, College Board President David Coleman began his message by conveying College Board’s condolences to individuals and families affected by the tragedy. Coleman progressed to commend the efforts of student activist coalitions and draws upon Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez’s plea for gun control legislative reform.

He emphasized on how he felt “compelled to share the unadulterated, impassioned voice of a student,” whose exposure to AP Government has equipped her with necessary skills to identify evidence. However, Coleman expressed his conflicting perspective to Gonzalez’s position on gun control, asserting his belief that Gonzalez could have attempted “to better understand the positions of gun rights proponents.”

Coleman also references a published interview of another Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg, in which Hogg credits his AP History class for spurring his interest in the role of journalism in society, declaring that David Hogg’s words honor Advanced Placement teachers everywhere, for they reflect their power to open worlds and futures to students.”

Provoked by the contents of the email, several recipients have unleashed their ire on social media platforms. Andrew B. Palumbo, the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, tweeted his outrage in a reply to Jon Boesckenstedt, the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing at DePaul University, calling for College Board to immediately issue an apology to the public.

Former chairman of College Board’s science academic advisory committee, Jennifer Pfannerstill, tendered in her formal resignation on Thursday afternoon, citing that she is unable to “advocate for, and stand by, [an] organization that in one of our nation’s times of trial, would question the very students who allow them to exist and would promote itself as the only program to teach students how to use evidence”

The College Board has since broken its silence, publishing a public apology in an attempt to appease its angered social media followers and critics, exerting that they had no intention of diverting the attention away from the plights of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors and their community.

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National News

College Grants Scholarship Aid to Slain Police Officer’s Family

Eric Joering was fatally shot while on duty on February 10th.

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The children of slain Westerville Police officer have been awarded full-ride scholarships to attend Otterbein University.

The private four-year university first disclosed its decision to sponsor the daughters of Officer Eric Joering, who was fatally shot while on duty alongside Officer Anthony Morelli on February 10th, 2018, at a Westerville City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 20th. In a subsequent press release published on its website and social media accounts on Wednesday, the university expressed its hopes of providing a system of support for the Joering family as they transition through this difficult period by ensuring that each daughter “has sufficient support to complete an undergraduate degree at Otterbein.”

Otterbein University has also dedicated a Spotlight tribute in honor of the two officers, extending the university’s condolences to the families of the fallen officers as well as the Westerville Police Department.

Authorities have charged the 30-year-old perpetrator, Quentin Smith, with two counts of aggravated murder of Joering and Morelli. Officers Joering and Morelli were said to have arrived at Smith’s townhome residence after having received an urgent 911 domestic violence call where they were met with a hostile Smith. Former reports have indicated that there were several prior domestic violence incidences where police similarly had been called to Smith’s property, albeit without any arrests made.

Smith was reported to have been critically injured upon his arrest and was promptly hospitalized. Smith has since been discharged and is currently held without bail.

 

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