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Obama On Why Its Important To Vote In This Midterm Election

The Democratic and Republican parties have traditionally experienced sharp declines in voter turnout in non-presidential elections.

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MIdterm Elections
Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Urbana, Illinois. VOA

Former U.S. president Barack Obama, who has maintained a low public profile since leaving office, entered the midterm election battle Friday with a simple message to America’s youth: “You need to vote because our democracy depends on it.”

“A glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different. The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire,” Obama told students at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, where he accepted an ethics in government award.

In keeping with tradition, Obama has been reluctant to publicly comment on his successor, U.S. President Donald Trump, despite the fact Trump was a frequent critic of Obama.

Barack_Obama
Barack Obama, Wikimedia

The former president said the current state of Washington politics “did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years. A fear and anger that’s rooted in our past but is also born out of the enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.”

Obama implored the students “to show up” at the polls in November, noting that only one in five young eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 presidential election.

“This whole project of self-government only works if everybody’s doing their part. Don’t tell me your vote doesn’t matter,” he declared.

President Trump was dismissive of Obama’s speech.

“I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping,” Trump told a crowd of supporters at a fundraiser in North Dakota.

 Barack Obama
In keeping with tradition, Obama has been reluctant to publicly comment on his successor, U.S. President Donald Trump, despite the fact Trump was a frequent critic of Obama.

Obama’s appearance at the central Illinois university campus was the first of several campaign events in the coming weeks at which he will urge Democratic voters to cast ballots in November’s midterm elections to take control of Congress from Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

The former president also will attend a Southern California event for seven Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives in Republican-controlled districts that supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump two years ago.

Obama will campaign in Ohio next week for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, a former Obama administration official.

Obama
Trump has made his Twitter account — with more than 53 million followers — an integral and controversial part of his presidency. Pixabay.

He will return to Illinois later this month and then appear in Pennsylvania, a key state that Democrats hope will help deliver the 23 seats needed to regain control of the House and stop the advancement of Trump’s agenda.

Also Read: Twitter CEO Reacts To Criticism Given By Donald Trump

The Democratic and Republican parties have traditionally experienced sharp declines in voter turnout in non-presidential elections. But the November 6 election is widely perceived as a referendum on Trump, who regularly touts his accomplishments such as tax cuts and deregulation. However, a widening investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election that Trump won and more frequent questions about his fitness for office have cast a pall over his presidency. (VOA)

Next Story

The Great U.S. Government Shutdown

The Senate stands at an impasse while the nation collapses around it.

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U.S., Shutdown
The dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen beyond a chain fence during the partial government shutdown in Washington, Jan. 8, 2019. VOA

By Vishvi Gupta

The partial shutdown of the Government of the United States has now entered Day 31. With as many as 800,000 federal employees furloughed, the entire nation remains in a turmoil due to the longest government shutdown in the history of United States.

The shutdown which started on December 22 of 2018, due to the disagreement of United States Congress and the President Of United States on ‘Border Security Funding’  has followed us well into 2019 and still has bleak chances of ending.

President Donald Trump remains undeterred in his conquest to get the funding for wall, no matter who pays for it, it seems. In a tweet and several different speeches, during the presidential election race of 2016, the then presidential candidate Donald Trump promised that “Mexico will pay for the wall”. However, he now demands almost $5Bn from the taxpayers of the country.

The country’s senate remains at an impasse and the only ones affected? The people.

Thousands of federal employees joined hands in protests and social media to share their stories of how exactly the shutdown is affecting them. Many employees have had to set up Gofundme donation websites to get by or to meet their basic needs. The shutdown led the hastag, ‘#ShutdownStories’ trend on twitter. Even students who rely on free or reduced fee meals at school are impacted. The lunch menus at schools are being revised so as to conserve food and funding.

As the shutdown drags on, it sees many businesses also take a hit. Mohammad Badah, a local falafel street vendors who saw a steep fall in his sales said,” Usually I do in this area, like 60-70 customers, so far I did like 19 customers today.” Badah can now afford to operate only one of his two trucks.

Also Read: U.S. Senate Stays Divided Over Trump’s Immigration Deal

Meanwhile, there is no budging on the democratic or republican side. President Donald Trump proposed a deal to the democrats in which he backs away from a simple demand for border funding and now offers a 3 year extension of the program for refugees and immigrants who came to America illegally as minors, also called ‘Dreamers.’ Democrats, however rejected this deal saying that Donald Trump’s proposal is “unacceptable” and said the president’s proposal was “not a good-faith effort.”

The Senate stands at an impasse while the nation collapses around it.