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Friday, October 15, 2021

Metro | Politics


Darts and Laurels: Oct 5, 2018

“This is Ground Control to Major Tom,” David Bowie sings to you through your earbuds. As you peer through the tinted window of an RTS bus, the twinkling lights floating around campus buildings seem a thousand miles away. The constellation of lamps hovering above Turlington Plaza shine like lighthouses welcoming early morning visitors like yourself. Campus feels as if it were Mars, desolate and complete with the red brick terrain. You are the only passenger in the large tin can of a bus rolling slowly up Newell Drive. You can barely see anything in the dark, but the bus calls out the stops autonomously and seems to know which way to go. The air is cool and inviting as the bus slows to a stop and the doors part to let you out. Standing in the silence, you see UF in a new light, quarantined from the usual activity and bustle — in a cosmic bubble without distraction or noise. Soon campus will wake, but for now, the stars still twinkle in the soft daylight peeking over the horizon. The obelisk of Century Tower looms like a dark monument from another world.


Why politics tend to lean toward debate

The day after Donald Trump became president, I was walking near Turlington Plaza and heard a commotion. There was a large group of people, somewhere between 100 and 150, circled around a few individuals wielding megaphones near the Turlington Potato. One megaphoned man wore a “Make America Great Again” cap, and the other three or four who stood on the opposite side of the circle were evidently anti-Trumpers. Some people in the crowd held posters with witty political jabs or slogans. The rest were recording the spectacle for Snapchat or Instagram.

Florida Alligator

Marriage in the age of Trump and TV

National politics in the U.S. tend to drive people to different ends of the political spectrum. We can’t help but be drawn into the cyclone of outrage. It draws in everyone with a connection to TV or Twitter with a siren song — the talking heads on cable news essentially say, “Don’t worry. Don’t re-examine your position on immigration. Your instincts are right. Instead, get mad at these other guys.” What you may realize is that your associates and loved ones have radically different views. Stick to your position, but know that making a political point isn’t worth a ruined friendship.

Florida Alligator

Never was my president

On Monday, President Donald Trump denied that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. What Trump did Monday flies in the face of U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump went against the CIA, FBI and NSA to side with the authoritarian ruler of a geopolitical foe. This begs the question: Is he really still acting like our president?

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