Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office Thursday, Jan 28 2021 

By Riley Vance–

After less than one full week in office, the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has made numerous changes, including 33 executive actions.  

When asked about Biden’s swift actions during his short time in office, students and instructors on the University of Louisville’s campus had differing opinions. 

U of L College Republicans Chairman Isaac Oettle voiced some concern about the policies Biden has enacted. 

“I was encouraged by President Biden’s call for unity in his inaugural address at noon,” said Oettle recalling Biden’s inauguration. “Although the words began to ring hollow by 3 p.m. when he cancelled production of the Keystone XL pipeline and the media reported that he intends to send an immigration bill to Congress that would provide blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants without even an offer for increased border security in exchange. President Biden’s administration also placed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling, breaking his campaign pledge to not ban fracking.”

Among Biden’s executive actions are those that relate to the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased manufacturing and quicker delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, tests, and Personal Protective Equipment as well as a mask mandate on federal property. 

Biden has also made strides to mend environmental issues by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Although the economy is typically not the main priority of many Democrats, after only a few days in office Biden has posted on Instagram claiming to extend a moratorium on evictions and student loan relief.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly supports Biden, but she also expresses her concern about his use of executive orders.

“As much as I support the vast majority of President Biden’s executive orders, such as re-committing the U.S. to the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and reversing the Muslim travel ban, I also believe it is wrong for him to legislate simply by pen and paper,” said Mattingly.

“If he plans to hold true to the promises he made on the campaign trail and genuinely unite this country, he must work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to ensure his legislative priorities. It is important that we as Democrats hold President Biden accountable in the same way we did the former President Trump, and discourage President Biden from being overly reliant on executive action.”

Biden has also made it clear that he cares about fixing racial and gender inequalities in America. 

Since he has taken office, Biden has repealed the transgender military ban allowing transgender men and women to serve in the U.S. military. He has also reversed former President Trump’s policy that did not allow transgender athletes to participate in sports as their identified gender. Biden appointed Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health—the first openly transgender federal official. 

Additionally, he has launched a federal initiative to advance racial equity nationwide by reallocating resources. 

U of L Political Communications professor Bill Brantley thinks Biden’s transition will come with many obstacles. 

“President Biden needs to reframe the policy debates with the new unity perspective,” said Brantley. 

“President Trump framed his policies in an “us versus them” perspective because he didn’t see the need to reach out to the Congressional Democrats. Establishing a new framing perspective is always difficult against an entrenched narrative frame.” 

There is no denying that President Biden is ready to start taking action on promises he made during his campaign, however, it seems that most believe his largest obstacle is uniting the country after a messy election. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky needs a change. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

Senator Mitch McConnell does not deserve a place in office anymore. It’s up to us to vote for Democrat Amy McGrath for Senate.

On Sept. 30, McGrath spoke to University of Louisville students at the Red Barn on the Belknap Campus. In her speech, she discussed the corruption of individuals in the government such as Sen. McConnell and President Donald Trump.

McGrath spoke to students about matters like registering to vote, racial injustice and preserving democracy.

“Kentucky has never made it easier to vote than this year,” McGrath said. “Your vote matters just as much as Mitch McConnell’s or Donald Trump’s or anybody else’s. They only get one vote, too.” 

McConnell has been in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. If he wins on Election Day, it could become 42. 

Over his 36 years in office, McConnell has left over 250 bills sitting on his desk, unread. This includes bills on gun control reform, health care and shielding survivors of domestic abuse.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly plans to vote for Amy McGrath on Election Day.

“It’s about time we get Mitch McConnell out of office,” Mattingly said. “Considering the cards she’s been dealt, McGrath and her team have done their best to campaign throughout the state and promote her platform.”

Mattingly further explained that McGrath’s safe and socially-distanced campaign events are effective in promoting her platform. McGrath’s campaign also offers volunteer sign-ups after her speeches, where students can volunteer to make calls or canvass on her behalf.

Certainly, the young voters that she looks to appeal to appreciate her choice to take COVID-19 safety seriously.

Furthermore, McGrath and McConnell took part in the first Senate debate on Oct. 12. The candidates were questioned on multiple topics including whether Breonna Taylor received justice, Supreme Court nominations and handling of COVID-19.

Neither candidate actually answered whether they believe Breonna Taylor received justice. This is problematic because two white politicians can easily avoid talking about this, as it doesn’t directly affect them. Avoiding the actual question doesn’t do much to show that they care about this particular topic, so each politician needs to do better with their answer.

Both candidates denied wanting to defund the police and condemned the acts of looting and violent protests.

“We have to follow the laws that were written,” McConnell said. McGrath responded saying that she believes “leaders have to take a step back and recognize that we need change in this country.”

Sen. McConnell doesn’t want to bring change to a system that he doesn’t lose against.

Election Day is Nov. 3 and all eligible students, faculty and staff are encouraged to register to vote. 

Absentee ballots must be mailed by Nov. 3 at 6:00 p.m. Early voting started Oct. 13.

Don’t miss out on Election Day. Do your part as a voter.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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KY Senate Race 2020: Kentucky is already in good hands. Tuesday, Oct 20 2020 

By Zachary Baker-

In less than one month, a very critical election to determine the path of the country will take place. Several important races are happening, one of which is for Kentucky’s seat to the U.S Senate. The Republican incumbent, Mitch McConnell, is running against Democrat Amy McGrath and there are high stakes, which is why many Kentuckians are fighting hard for their candidate. 

Despite what others would say, there are benefits for keeping Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate and it is very important to acknowledge them. 

For starters, Mitch McConnell is one of the most powerful men in the U.S Senate.

McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader, a position that holds a significant amount of influence over the path that the country takes. As Kentucky doesn’t hold a lot of power, it is important for the state to find its heroes wherever it can—anyone that gives Kentucky an advantage is vital to protect. It would be foolish to ignore that influence and throw away a significant seat at the national level in exchange for a first term senator entering the national political game.

Caleb Childers, senior history and political science double major, plans to vote for McConnell.

“I’m voting for Senator McConnell because he’s the most powerful man in Washington, his experience and connections matter. His role in transforming the federal judiciary has earned him a spot as the most influential American politician, that’s not a president, since Henry Clay,” Childers said. “He’s shepherded millions of dollars into Kentucky that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. So, voting against Senator McConnell is like benching LeBron in the 4th quarter when it’s a tied game.”

That opinion is invaluable for also understanding that McConnell has done well for Kentucky during his time in office. There is a reason that McConnell has continued to hold his senate seat for decades, besting his opponent every time an election comes up.

McConnell expresses the values of many Kentuckians while also changing the national conversation to fit those values. 

On top of protecting values, McConnell has helped Kentucky receive better funding for Kentucky businesses and industries. He’s holding Kentucky up in a country that wouldn’t ordinarily look after a state like ours. 

McConnell’s power extends beyond the U.S Senate as well. His power reaches all the way to the executive branch.

McConnell is the man to please in the Senate but also the man guiding along the President of the United States. Regardless of anyone’s opinions of President Donald Trump, it is valuable that Kentucky has a seat so close to one of the most powerful men in the world. That seat is McConnell’s and it would be devastating to Kentucky’s interests to lose all that influence. 

While many people across the country are arguing against Mitch McConnell and telling Kentucky to choose their best option, it doesn’t seem like they actually care about Kentucky.

There are only a few times that people will mention Kentucky in a good light. The few times that people consider Kentucky is from the influence it has through McConnell. Yet they often still insult Kentuckians when doing so.

Only Kentuckians have the ability to decide what is best for Kentucky, so it isn’t hard for me to admit that Mitch McConnell brings opportunity with him. Mitch McConnell is leading in the polls and is likely to be reelected, so it is important for everyone to look at the benefits that he brings to Kentucky.

Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal

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Get involved to politics and take control of the future Sunday, Feb 16 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

With the Iowa caucus Feb. 3 and the New Hampshire primary election Feb. 11, the presidential race heats up even more. Candidates are increasing their social media presence, continuing their efforts to fundraise and speaking at rallies to gain a strong base before the democratic presidential candidate is selected on June 13.

The presidential election is less than nine months away now, and while that may seem super far away,  it is important that everyone is educated on the candidates as early as possible. 

Many people shy away from politics, not wanting to start a fight with whomever they are speaking to.

But being involved with politics is extremely important for any citizen, especially college age students who will soon go into the real world and deal with the policies put in place by government legislators. 

I think, for anyone, it is important to get informed and involved in any way with politics,” says freshman political science major Ivy Stites.

“Politics are what leads up to the policies that police one’s life. Students should pay attention and fight against any policy that may hinder their success as a student and continue that attentiveness and fight when they leave school,” Stites said.

Politics are the engine that fuels this country. All of the laws and regulations that affect every aspect of life are linked to some level of politics. From speed limits on roads to how much college costs, politicians are the ones making the calls. 

Anyone who has ever taken out a federal loan for anything, student loans for example, are directly affected by the decisions made by government officials. 

This may seem like everything is out of civilians’ control with all the power laying in the hands of government officials. But regular citizens are the ones who control who is able to make those decisions. 

By being involved in politics, people are taking their future into their own hands. Being involved can look different for every person, whether that is just discussing beliefs with others, canvassing for a favorite candidate or researching policies and candidates on the ballot before voting. 

Even something as small as following government officials on social media will go a long way in keeping one up to date with new policies being passed. By following politicians on social media, citizens learn what policies and issues are important to them, therefore allowing the citizens to find a politician that cares about the same issues. 

Downloading an app for a news source is also an easy way to stay up to date with current events around the country and the world. Almost all of the major news sites have mobile apps for phones, such as CNN, Fox News and BBC News. 

Try to find the least biased news site to get the most reliable information. 

Other ways to get involved that include higher time commitments include contacting representatives about issues, volunteering with campaigns to call voters, going door-to-door representing candidates or volunteering at voting centers on election days. 

For those looking to get involved in politics on campus, Stites recommends joining party-affiliated Registered Student Organizations or Student Government Association.

Stites also explained that even simple things like watching the debates are a great way to become politically informed and get involved on a personal level.

Everyone should be involved in politics, no matter how they choose to do so. Government is where the country is molded into the form of America that citizens have to experience every day.

Whether by downloading an app, tuning into the debates or volunteering for campaigns, one is taking a huge step to taking their future, and the future of everyone around them, into their own hands. 

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