Unless you’ve been isolating yourself in an underground bunker for the past year (wouldn’t blame you if you have), you’ve almost certainly heard about the Black Lives Matter protests. In every county, district, and city across the United States, people of all creeds have come together to protest police violence and advocate reform for the criminal justice system. The protests were instigated by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, but in a larger sense, they were a response to a legacy of systemic racism in the American Justice system.
Throughout high school, I never placed much priority on my mental health. I would always rather ignore stress and anxiety rather than address it, and I would certainly never ask someone else for help. But, what’s scary about the effects of mental health deterioration is that they’re not immediately noticeable. Unlike physical health, there are more subtle signs of degradation. You only really notice it after the healing process begins and you begin to fix the issues in your life. You only really notice when damage has already been done.
Initially, 13 Reasons Why was praised for bringing attention to issues of mental health among adolescents. The show was characterized as “daring” for addressing such a controversial and complicated subject. However, many mental health professionals have criticized the show for misrepresenting depression and suicide. While there are certainly come aspects of the show that beneficially portray issues of mental health, as a whole, it fails in this respect.
On February 3, America looked on in horror as the dumpster fire known as “The 2020 Iowa Caucus” burned itself into the annals of American history. It was undoubtedly one of the sketchiest elections in US history. From delays in reporting the results to inconsistencies in voting tallies, the Iowa Caucus was a disaster in almost every way possible.
Do you hate yourself? Well, of course you do, you’re reading the paper. In that case, I have the perfect show for you: Bojack Horseman. This Netflix original follows the story of Bojack, a washed-up sitcom actor who has failed to accomplish anything meaningful since his show’s cancellation. Throughout the show, he attempts to recapture his fame and improve his character. Also, the world of Bojack is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, but don’t let its happy exterior fool you: Bojack Horseman is one of the darkest shows on Netflix. It frequently explores topics like existentialism, mental illness, and substance abuse; the perfect show for people who enjoy seeing their hopes and dreams crumble before their eyes.
On Tuesday, January 14, CNN and the Democratic National Convention hosted the 7th Democratic presidential debate. The event took place in the desolate wastes of Des Moines, Iowa; America’s favorite place to watch old, white people duke it out. Of the six candidates that participated in the debate, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were by far the most heavily featured. However, it wasn’t their policies or rhetoric that resonated with the audience, it was the uncomfortable tension that arose between them. In fact, the only memorable thing to come from this two hour circlejerk was the forced confrontation between their differing progressive ideologies.
For many, the conflict between the two came as a complete surprise. Historically speaking, the relationship between Sanders and Warren has been nothing but cordial. Ideologically, they appear quite similar, both occupying the progressive wing of the democratic party. Even when the two candidates have disagreed on a specific course of action to take, they’ve found ways to compromise. They’ve routinely cooperated on legislation and supported each other politically. For example, in 2013 when Warren attempted to pass the Student Loans Fairness Act, Sanders endorsed the bill saying, “The only thing wrong with this bill is that [she] thought of it and I didn’t”. Warren even welcomed Bernie into the 2016 presidential race by saying, “I’m glad to see him get out there and give his version of what leadership in this country should be”. Warren and Sanders were like a geriatric version of Bonnie and Clyde, an iconic partnership in Washington.
Warren and Sanders should be natural allies. Both candidates have championed grassroots campaigns, primarily obtaining funds from individual donors rather than cyphoning them from corporations and billionaire donors. Additionally, both have consistently attempted to implement a wealth tax and have worked to combat climate change. Although Bernie is decisively more progressive than Warren, both have been classified as extremists in the Democratic party, making them the perfect duo to fight the establishment. So what happened? How did these two ideologues of progressivism fall out of love?
It seems that the intensity of the presidential race took its toll on their relationship. The tension originated from a private conversation between Sanders and Warren back in 2018 where he allegedly expressed concerns that a woman would be unable to win the presidency. While the validity of these allegations are spurious considering there are countless videos of Sanders literally arguing the opposite of the claims dating back more than 30 years ago, they were treated with the utmost seriousness during Tuesday’s debate. About halfway through, CNN correspondent Abby Phillip called attention to the allegations, asking Sanders, “In 2018 you told [Warren] that you believed that a woman could not win the election, why did you say that?” Sanders responded with, “As a matter of fact, I didn’t …”. Immediately after finishing his response, Phillips turned to Warren and asked, “what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?” prompting an uproar of laughter from the audience. The whole exchange reads like a joke from The Office, but with better timing.
While admittedly hilarious, the incident highlights the fundamental difference that lies at the heart of the Warren-Sanders divide. Warren harbors the support of affluent and powerful individuals while Sanders’ supporters are primarily working-class. This means that Warren maintains the support of the media while Sanders is often vilified or blatantly ignored. In particular, MSNBC has consistently left Sanders out of their media coverage. This trend seems to indicate that the wealthy individuals who own the media outlets would prefer that Sanders be left out of the conversation. For many, Bernie’s campaign represents a radical break from establishment politics which lies in stark contrast to Warren’s comparatively moderate views. For the casual onlooker, it may appear that Warren and Sanders are ideologically similar, but their differences are tough to ignore.
Ideally, Sanders and Warren would be on the same team, but January’s debate indicates that this is no longer possible. At the end of the event, Warren approached Sanders and said, “I think you called me a liar on national TV.” to which he responded with, “Let’s not do it right now. You want to have that discussion, we’ll have that discussion. You called me a liar.” Basically, the politcian equivalent of “Go fuck yourself”. For many on the moderate left, the conflict between Sanders and Warren feels like watching your friend’s parents argue, uncomfortable and wholly unnecessary. However, just like your friends parents, it might be best for them to split up. The irreconcilable differences between the campaigns make compromise improbable, a campaign centered around the working class can not reconcile with a campaign sympathetic to wealthy elites and the establishment. It doesn’t seem as though their relationship will improve anytime soon. But, if maintaining their partnership means compromising their respective campaign goals, they may just have to go it alone.