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President Barack Obama has been praised for being up-to-date with popular culture. He appeared on the travel and food show “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” for example, sharing beer and bun cha with the show’s host. He enjoys rap, especially Kendrick Lamar, and has sung with B.B. King. Nevertheless, the president’s purview on art remains rather limited, focusing on the mainstream rather than the avant-garde. Rather than celebrate boundary-pushing innovation, politicians tend to treat art as a mere subset of education policy or as a tool to prove their own relevance, not as its own political domain. We often overlook the political influence of art, especially that which lies outside of the mainstream.
In less than a week, voters will head to the polls to elect the next President of the United States and leader of the free world. Halloween may have been spooky, but for many the scare factor will increase exponentially on Nov. 8. Indeed, entrusting either a misogynist Muppet or a sleazy career politician with the nuclear codes is enough to give anyone nightmares, myself included. I am disappointed with our options on both sides of the aisle. In a country of over 300 million people, I am aghast that we’ve somehow narrowed it down to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Historical elections will take place this month, not only in the United States. In France, Les Républicains will choose the candidate to represent them in the 2017 presidential election. Barring any surprises, this candidate will likely be the next French president, especially considering the catastrophic ratings of current President François Hollande of the French Socialist Party and the fact that Marine Le Penn of the National Front’s extremism makes it difficult for her to win a general election. In Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has called for a constitutional referendum, which has been fiercely opposed by the Populist Party. The results of this referendum will decide the fate of his government. Since it is currently one of the few moderate and seemingly stable governments in Europe, a chaotic Italy, especially after the Brexit vote in Great Britain, could lead to increasing instability. And in the U.S. our presidential election is on Nov. 8.
In the third and final presidential debate, Clinton called Trump a puppet. He retaliated by telling her that he was not a puppet, but that she was one. In changing the definition of this word to strike at Clinton, Trump inadvertently gave viewers a glimpse into his strategy during the entire election.
For the last few weeks, I have been unable to open a YouTube video without seeing an attack advertisement for or against New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte. I can’t watch Buzzfeed in peace without seeing, yet again, why I should or should not vote for the Republican senator. If the purpose of those ads was to sway my opinion, they fell short by a wide margin. Regardless of where I stand on the political spectrum, being inundated with pointless ads isn’t going to make me more likely to vote in a certain direction — if anything, it will make me incredibly annoyed at hearing the same propaganda over and over again. Why are billions of dollars spent each election cycle on pointless ads that have been proven to only slightly, if at all, sway the election in a candidate’s favor?
Despite being here for three years now, the first and only time I have participated in making the Homecoming Bonfire was this past weekend, when the 2017 Class Council hosted a brunch for the senior class so we could all sign the Class of 2017 board. By the time I arrived — after taking advantage of having no classes on Friday and sleeping in — a sizeable crowd had already come and gone in Collis Common Ground. But as I signed my name, I noticed that my signature only added to maybe 30 or so others.
On Oct. 21, the Dartmouth Editorial Board voiced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. I do not share my colleagues’ enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee. I am instead among the plurality of Americans that reserves a deep skepticism for both major party candidates, and I cannot overlook the many questions surrounding Clinton’s credibility as a leader. No matter how innately flawed her Republican counterpart might be, I find Donald Trump’s failings an ill excuse for Clinton’s own shortcomings.
Yale University’s program covers for the 100th Yale-Dartmouth football game have received intense criticism for portraying Dartmouth’s former mascot, the Indian. Do you think the public backlash has been too much, just right or not enough? How should we reconcile accurate representation of history with perpetuating racism and other social issues?
I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been a shoddy friend.
Recently, when my friends and I mention who we plan to vote for in the current deplorable state of American politics, we consistently use the same rationale: although we don’t like one candidate, we prefer him or her to the other one. This reasoning can sometimes make sense. It’s not always about choosing a candidate who matches every belief you hold or even most of your beliefs.
Before the first leaf even hit the ground this fall, every pumpkin patch, apple tree and square foot of foliage became coveted backdrops for many Dartmouth students’ new Facebook profile photos. Fall brings the entire campus closer and provides a rare opportunity for many to interact with nature. Unfortunately, for most students much of that connection to nature is superficial and rooted in shallow aesthetics, which undermines the importance of caring for nature as more than just a pretty backdrop.
Dartmouth is known for its off-campus opportunities. We have over 40 Foreign Study Programs and Language Study Abroad opportunities that allow students to travel the globe, from Lima to Tokyo to Berlin. Students make use of these programs, with more than 50 percent of undergraduates participating in an FSP or LSA. One off-campus program is overlooked, however: the Twelve College Exchange.
There are so many different ways to lie. We may convey false information, withhold the truth or tell white lies, saying what we want people to hear. Other times, we only tell half the story, convolute the story or make a new one. When it comes to telling the truth, however, there’s only one way to do it, and that is to express what you want and what you mean as accurately as your words and body language allow you to.
At Dartmouth, it is practically impossible to escape the Greek system. If you’re hard at work in the Class of 1902 Room, you notice when new sorority sisters run through dressed in flair. On your walk home from the Stacks, you notice when a large group of brothers walk down Webster Avenue. Greek houses affect all Dartmouth students, whether or not they are affiliated.
Every four years, presidential candidates and their supporters stress the importance of the current election. Hyperbolic statements about the apocalyptic future that would be in store for us if the other person wins color every cycle. However, we can say, without a great deal of reservation, that this election is at least one of the most important in the last quarter century — or even in the last 80 years, according to some experts. Before us stand two candidates that seem to be diametrically opposed, if not on every single issue then at least in experience, values and demeanor. It is traditional for The Dartmouth to endorse a candidate for president. During this election in particular, we feel a responsibility to make the case to all of our readers, whatever their political affiliations, that there is only one choice to be made if our country’s prosperity, future and values are to be secured. That is why, after much deliberation, we the editorial staff have chosen to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.
If you’re a Donald Trump supporter at Dartmouth, you might as well be invisible. In visiting campus this past week, Bill Clinton continued the trend of liberal candidates speaking to liberal students on an overwhelmingly liberal campus. This trend implies that it’s acceptable if “you’re with her,” but there’s no place for you here if you want to “make America great again.”
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College has recently refined its mission statement. Along with the headline, “Tuck educates wise leaders to better the world of business,” Tuck has integrated a small paragraph explaining the meaning of wisdom:
I apologize in advance if this column comes across as a petulant plea from a hopelessly jaded senior. While yes, I am a member of the Class of 2017 graduating this spring, no, I am not jaded.
I don’t feel lonely at 2 a.m. when I hole myself up in King Arthur Flour with the musical compositions of Dmitri Shostakovich secretly blasting through my earphones. Many of my fellow crammers are unfamiliar with orchestral music’s power to soothe angst, so no, I don’t feel lonely then. Nor do I feel lonely when I embark across the long, cold walk back to my dorm in the Lodge (thank you, housing system) across a deathly silent campus. To be honest, my days are quite busy, and I get very little time to actually be alone. I welcome the peace and quiet as I walk home.
In my past three years at Dartmouth, my absolute favorite moments have been when I’ve failed. Let me explain.