Back to blogging: my future as a writer

Well, the election season is officially over, and I took a break from writing. But after biting the lip these past couple of months I’ve decided this is a great time to pick back up again. Being a journalism student, this is the one of the worst and best times to be in the industry, a paradox that makes my head spin ultimately questioning the worthiness of a future as a reporter.

Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and although I can sit in this coffee shop for hours on end writing and dissecting his policy over the past few weeks, I’ll save my audience the headache for today.

Today is a day for a philosophical discussion about my life and future as a journalist. Some politics, but mostly philosophy.

For those that know me, I try to stay very objective with my line of thought. Naturally as an aspiring journalist, I try my best to not let political bias control or hinder the quality of my writing.

So without any more hesitation, let us begin.

Today, I want to discuss the first amendment, particularly the freedom of speech and the press. I want to discuss the importance of this and dig into some philosophical context to allow my audience to understand why I am hesitant about my future as a writer, predominantly in regards to our newly elected President.

As James Madison once said, if people we angels, then the function of government wouldn’t be necessary. But isn’t that what makes our world so beautiful and fascinating at the same time? Political discrepancy is only a natural part of our political system. Understanding each other’s viewpoints and decision making is how democracy flourishes and thrives. After all, in order to fix an issue, you must know what is wrong in the first place. I will always preach political moderation—equilibrium if you will. I firmly believe that Democracy fails when there is a lack of understanding from both sides of the political spectrum. Political or not, I try everyday to understand people’s needs and ideas, regardless of what I may personally believe.

The constitution is the law of the land and the foundational doctrine that governs our decision making as a united people. Regardless of your political identification, this document in particular must be the foundation of our decision making. Whether or not you believe in original intent or original understanding, the Constitution of this country is still the foundation—the starting point of our lawmaking, ethics, and social structure.

After all, good laws must satisfy three common factors: equality, eradicate pre-established notions, and form a social contract.

Equality: Law must be clear, precise and treat every citizen of equal standard no matter the authority.

Pre-established: No law that is made today can punish an action that was committed yesterday, before it existed.

Social contract: Bad laws can have a chilling effect on speech, limiting people’s access to an equilibrium of ideas and thoughts. Good law is well tailored, and applies to all individuals without hindering freedom.

The pinnacle of American ethics and law, the first amendment does exactly what law should do. It gives people the freedom of expression, an idea that was not the standard of practice around the world when it was written. At only 45 words, the first amendment is the source of our freedom.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

So how does this apply to my life as a writer? Well, under the first amendment I am granted the freedom of speech, and the press. There are 16 words that allow me to sit here and write about whatever the hell I want, guaranteeing that I will not be punished for the content I produce, regardless of what you think (as long as I don’t violate libel or slander). 16 words. 16 words gives me the freedom to express myself in the fashion I feel fits suit. Yet within those 16 words, are a billion ideas of what that freedom can mean. There are over 200 years of debate circulating on what those 16 words mean by definition, yet our morale code as a people help govern what those freedoms entail. The words are on paper, but we define by our philosophy what those words mean. Beautiful isn’t it?

The media is here to stay. It is a source for people to gather information and learn about the world around us. Historically, the media has played a huge role in the progression of our country. Providing people with information about British taxation, spreading ideas of revolution and freedom, informing individuals about government policy and war; some form of media is what keeps people in the loop at all times.

This is where I have issues. It pains me and ultimately hurts to see our President say journalist are “among the most dishonest people on Earth,” while stating he is at war with the media.

The President has also restricted certain publications from entering national briefings, an unprecedented restriction that according the historical interpretation to those 16 words, is unconstitutional. Yet the President has chosen to allow a specific handful of publications to report inside the walls of the White House, particularly those who write content supporting the rhetoric and policy of President Trump. This unfair treatment of the press has only fueled his support to follow in his rhetoric, as trust with the media has dwindled.

This is inherently dangerous to those who consume news on a daily basis. Just like our government, the media is not ran by angels. Both biases MUST be shown in the news. It allows educated individuals the opportunity to dissect and absorb all angles in politics. Democracy requires the most attentiveness of its people compared to other forms of government, relying on political attentiveness to move the country forward. Voting is just a small engagement that people must have. Consuming news is part of our democracy, and more importantly the foundation of how people base their political identification.

The President’s suppression and negative rhetoric of the press is not only inherently dangerous to our democracy, but it also moves our nation into a state where media is controlled.

I just came back from Nicaragua, and during my visit I was told I could not write about the politics of the country based on the law. The media, for the most part, is controlled and funded by the government. This allows the majority of the population to only consume news that benefits the impression of the government. Without criticism, the government can continue to influence what people think, often hindering progress and freedom of thought.

No, the United States is most likely not heading into this direction, but it does make me wonder how the suppression of the press by this administration is comparable to other nations that control the media.

It is, constitutionally speaking on behalf of those 16 words, un-American to control what media is allowed to report on the President’s behalf. It not only violates the first amendment, but the fundamental values that makes America so great to begin with.

If you are mad with the media, then as consumer, you should absorb more news from multiple sources, not engage yourself in what makes you happy.

Remember, democracy requires the most attentiveness from its people to thrive, and that includes the consumption of news. Equilibrium. Open your mind, and hear both sides of the argument in order to formulate an objective opinion. Never stop engaging and reading.

So although the words of the President do make me hesitant in my future as a writer, I will allows hold dear those 16 words that help make this country the greatest place on the planet. I will continue to write no matter the circumstance. I will always be critical, no matter who is in power. It is my job to do so. And although I do have my own political opinions, I will always try my best to stay objective. I’m sure there will be things President Trump does that I will agree with, and I’ll write when that opportunity comes. Positive or negative, I will continue to write until the day I die.

~

Thank you for reading everyone! I will try my best to post twice a week from here on out.

Until next time, stay engaged.

God bless,

Exsar Misael

 

 

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March for Free Education

Hello everyone!

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but being a college student in  April is probably one of the most stressful times of my life. My blog has been written with no restrictions since I started, but, my professor wants us to make a post using only pictures to convey a story to my audience. Since I’m writing a political blog, this is a little harder to do, but hopefully you enjoy what I came up with.

Two days ago, on April 13, 2016, a group of students held a march for free education here at Texas State. This is a perfect example of a peaceful protest used to get ones message across to the masses. I had a lot of fun hearing what these people had to say and witnessing first hand how these demonstrations happen. Hope you all enjoy the pictures! God bless, and see you soon.

 

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Students started their protest at the Vaquero statue on campus, in front of Old Main. 
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One protestor takes a jab at Texas State’s President Denise Trauth about the student debt crisis.
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As protestors rally, Texas State’s very own “Donald Trump” dances and waves his sign in an attempt to bring attention to the organized protest. 
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As children visiting the university pass by, “Donald Trump” tells them to “keep capitalism alive,” and “think before you come to college.” 
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The march finally begins, taking a path down towards the Texas State quad. 
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As the journey through the quad continues, protestors shout, “College is for education, not for private corporations.” 
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“Show me what Democracy looks like? This is what Democracy looks like.” 
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The protest makes its way past the quad and into the Alkek Library before taking a close. Student chant “Banks got bailed out, students got sold out.” 

So there it is everyone. Like I said, I had a great time covering this and I got to hear a lot of interesting ideas from students. I hope the pictures truly represent exactly what can, and does happen on a college campus very frequently.

And remember, always stay involved in the politics and movements that go on all around us. Until next time, cheers!

I voted! My first experience

Today is Super Tuesday and for the first time in my life I was able to participate in the most important practice a U.S. citizen can do. After almost eight years of patiently waiting, at the age of 20, I finally got the opportunity to vote in a Presidential election.

For those wondering what Super Tuesday is, I’ll link an extremely good article explaining exactly what goes on during this historic day. But for now, let me share with you my experience.

I can vividly remember Obama being elected back in 2008. My family was gathered around in the living room watching the news, patiently waiting for the big moment where the next president of the United States would be elected. From that moment, at 12 years old, I knew I wanted to vote one day and influence who is elected to run this country.

Today was an experience I know I’ll never forget. After I chose my candidates for the President and for local political offices, I ran my fingers over the “cast ballot” icon and thought to myself: “this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.” As I filled out my ballot in the little electronic cubical at the elementary school I was voting in today, I couldn’t help but smile. Once I walked out of the room I put on my “I voted” sticker right above my chest, and felt a wave of confidence over me.

This was the moment I’ve dreamed of for so long, and it was finally becoming a reality. As a college student I couldn’t feel more proud of myself. Voting shows maturity and responsibility as a citizen. I’ve always been a firm believer that if you do not get involved with public policy in this country, you don’t have the right to complain about the laws and policies implemented by our government.

image1-4Being able to vote on Super Tuesday, especially in the state of Texas, is a big deal. I will be following up with a post about the results tonight. In the meantime, I hope you all went out and voted! There are millions of people around the world who dream of coming to the United States, so let us not take advantage of the beautiful representative democracy we live in.

Bernie Sanders’ visit to Austin: My Thoughts

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Photo Credits to Daryl Ontiveros. Check out his Instagram: @Casually_Revis

Vermont Senator and democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a last minute rally in the heart of Texas’ most liberal and democratic city, Austin. This is a very unusual but respectable move by Senator Sanders as he tries to pull in some last minute undecided voters before Super Tuesday on March 1.

The Senator rallied a total of 10,000 people on a hot Saturday morning in Austin, Texas. The numbers he attracted are impressive to say the least, especially for being such a last minute event.

It’s no secret that Austin, Texas is the states democratic and liberal hotspot, holding some merit to why Sanders came to the Hill Country. KVUE ABC reported democratic frontrunner Hilary Clinton is leading the polls in Texas 61 percent to Sanders’ 32 percent. Seven percent is undecided, and that is exactly what the Vermont Senator was hoping to accomplish in the primarily republican state of Texas.

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Photo Credits to Daryl Ontiveros. Check out his Instagram: @Casually_Revis

Closing the gap on Clinton’s lead is pivotal if Sanders wants a chance for the nomination. Although statistically, it is impossible to come up ahead in Texas, seven percent is still something, and at this point, Sanders will take any votes he can get.

The Senator took jabs at Clinton during his Austin visit, highlighting the former Secretary of States’ position changes on gay marriage and the Iraq War. For the Senator’s sake, hopefully these small but aggressive political jabs are enough to flip voters.

Geography is also a key component to Sanders’ visit to Austin. As a student at Texas State, I see such a diverse pool of political ideologies. The Hill Country area, which spans from San Antonio to Austin, is the most liberal area of Texas. The underground music scene of Austin, the universities that span throughout this corridor, and the technology the bigger cities have to offer string together a very diverse area of the state. People from around the world come study at the universities throughout this area. The technology boom in Austin is also bringing a wide variety of people from across the country and world. People from the Silicon Valley in California are moving out to Austin for technological jobs as California is getting too expensive to live in. This area is Texas’ future of progress towards a Democratic state, and Bernie Sanders’ campaign knows exactly that.

 

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The rally in Austin to snatch last minute undecided voters was a successful move from the Senator, and it will be interesting to see how much this will help him once the votes are tallied from Super Tuesday.