Archive for September, 2012

Interview with Evan Draim, Youngest Delegate to the RNC

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

1) When did you first become interested in politics and why? Can you remember a specific incident?

I have been interested in politics for quite a long time. As a graduation present from middle school, I remember asking my dad to take me to the Virginia State Republican Convention. I attribute that interest in politics to my family background. Having grandparents who immigrated to the United States from Hungary as political refugees has allowed me to appreciate this great country and all the opportunities it has provided my family, and I want to work to preserve such opportunities for future generations of immigrants.

2) What elements of conservative Republicanism appeal to you specifically – do you have any favorite hot-button issues, or pet policies?

For me, conservatism is about returning America to her traditional, Constitutional foundations. As a second-generation American, this resonates with me because I view it as my duty to preserve the uniquely American principles of economic freedom and individual liberty for which my ancestors came to this country. Although those principles were established long ago, I feel that preserving our limited form of government is still relevant and beneficial for young Americans like myself today who want more independence and autonomy as we grow up, rather than having more decisions centralized for us in Washington, D.C. Finally, I feel that conservatism’s emphasis on localizing government enables student voters to have more of a voice, because with our busy schedules, students can usually only afford to influence our politics on a local level.

Education is a major issue for me, and I apply my Constitutional conservative views to find solutions to that problem. For instance, I oppose the existence of a federal Department of Education, which I feel has taken control of the school system out of the hands of local communities, where students and parents have the most control, and shipped that authority to a board of unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. All school districts have different needs and abilities, and their one-size-fits-all approach to governing has forced many school districts to cancel their well-rounded curricula in order to fit the edicts of that federal agency. This President [Obama] has bragged about his support for federal assistance to aid students going to college. However, those same students would not require federal assistance if this administration’s actions did not drive up tuition costs so high. The President has kept states from utilizing their energy resources, the revenue from which could be put towards lowering college tuition costs.

3) Do you find that you get confronted a lot by other kids for having such strong beliefs? How do you respond?

Originally, yes. I think many of my friends thought that it was stupid for me to have such strong opinions as a student since they doubted the ability of young Americans to influence politics. However, after witnessing me win election as a RNC delegate, many of them have realized that younger voters can have an impact in shaping our national debate and political dialogue. That has motivated more of my peers to get involved: knowing that their voice can count. Seeing that happen, I think, is the most positive aspect of this entire experience for me.

The Dark Knight Rises – Film Review

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Aaron Stagoff-Belfort + Nic Harris

When we went to go see “The Dark Knight Rises,” expectations could not have been higher.  Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has become the quintessential movie series of the decade; tickets sold out months in advance of its July 20th premiere.

We settled into our seats 45 minutes before show time. As soon as the movie began, a rowdy crowd fell into dead silence.  Our hopes for a satisfying finale to the series were fulfilled during the next 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Eight years after Bruce Wayne hangs up his cape, he is a shell of his former self, hidden away in Wayne Manor, needing crutches to walk and depending upon his loyal butler Alfred for support.  Alfred’s one hope for Wayne is that he can find happiness and move past the death of his love Rachel.  However, it seems that Wayne has not found peace since he last quelled fears in Gotham.  Unfortunately, darkness rises again in the form of the mysterious terrorist Bane, and Wayne is forced put on his cape for what could be the final time.

“The Dark Knight Rises” provides a host of characters intriguing new characters.  Anne Hathaway steals every scene as Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, with startling sneakiness and ferocity.  Constantly keeping both the Batman and the audience on their toes, there’s no telling what the seemingly bipolar Kyle will do next.

While no villain can duplicate the terrifying performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker, Bane (Tom Hardy) wreaks his own havoc.  Where the Joker’s terror is derived from the mind games he plays, Bane strikes fear by simply crushing everything in his path.  While Batman’s sabbatical might cause him to lose a step, he is aided by the emergence of John Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his old ally Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman).

“The Dark Knight Rises” is as thought-provoking as its predecessors, and it culminates with an ending that leaves the series’ legacy untarnished and no questions unanswered.