Elizabeth Warren makes history at OWU’s Mock Convention

Connor Severino and Hailey de la Vara

Transcript correspondents



Ohio Wesleyan students elected the first-ever woman president Saturday at their Democratic Mock Convention.

Voters elected Elizabeth Warren as president and Stacey Abrams as vice president. Warren secured the election after a run-off vote with Bernie Sanders and was the first woman president elected since the beginning of the convention in 1884.

Abrams secured the vice presidency following a passionate endorsement from Sally Leber, OWU’s director of Service Learning, who highlighted her record defending voter’s rights and racial equality.

OWU alumna Valorie Schwarzmann, permanent chair of the convention’s committee, said, “Hoping as a country we have a sense of whom to be and who we want to lead us, I hope we can figure it out.”

The convention, begun Friday, always focuses on a political party and this year’s event simulated a Democratic Party nominating convention, with the theme “The Future is Ours.”

William Louthan, a politics and government professor, led the invocation for the event, animating the crowd with his introduction of “Welcome to the party of the people.”

David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, presented the opening message, encouraging students to get involved in the upcoming presidential election and to register to vote.

Alaina Shearer, a candidate from Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, rallied the crowd by stressing the importance of this year’s election. Proceeding her speech was a performance by the acapella group OWtsiders, who set the mood for the remainder of the convention.

Also speaking was Alex Moscou, a senior and survivor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018, addressed the crowd about gun violence, earning enthusiastic recognition for his courageousness and leadership.

The convention’s atmosphere was filled with energy and optimism throughout both days and seemed to unify students.

“There was a higher level of energy and a deeper engagement of issues, compared to the last Mock Convention,” OWU President Rock Jones said.

Drama was on hand, too, when security escorted out sophomore Hamzah Malik, the state chair for Ohio, after he refused to leave the microphone in defense of Vermin Supreme for vice president. Supreme is a performance artist and perennial Democratic candidate.

Malik had collected enough signatures to nominate Supreme, but the executive committee ruled the move invalid on the grounds Supreme is actually an Independent candidate.

Throughout, students delivered addresses about issues such as climate change, student loan debt, equality and healthcare. A vision for an equal and ecological friendly economy coincides with the interests of Warren and runner up Sanders.

Students represented their home states and with their votes, Warren surpassed runner up Sanders 111-to-52. The remaining candidates came in a close third place, with each having around 30 votes.

“It was so exciting because not only is this OWU history but country history being the first time we’ve had all women,” junior Alexis Greene said.

The convention concluded with scores of balloons and cheers.

Transcript correspondent Meg Edwards contributed to this report.

Mock Convention Kicks Off

By Anna Edmiston

Staff Reporter


Planning started Thursday for Ohio Wesleyan’s long-time tradition of holding a political convention leading to the presidential election in November 2020.

Next year, Mock Conventioneers will play the role of Democrats deciding on a candidate to represent the party in the general election. The Mock Convention always assumes the role of the party that doesn’t occupy the White House. It started in 1884.

Attendees meeting in Crider Lounge in Hamilton-Williams Student Center watched the third debate of Democratic candidates while eating catered food and learning about the roles students and the Delaware community will play in the Mock Convention, which will occur Feb. 21 and 22.

There were tables set up to help students register to vote, play interactive games, and ask questions of student leaders of the program.

“I’m pretty excited for the fact that (politics) will be in an attainable level and it will help with my understanding of how politics works,” said freshman S.K. Bulander.

Freshman Josie Fornara agreed. “I am excited about learning more about politics and participating in the American tradition,” said Fornara.

“Being able to be a part of something that only happens every four years and being able to work alongside such amazing people,” said sophomore ZannaLee Carling-Sprewell.

Danielle Black, vice president of Mock Convention, said, “I am most excited to be involved in the planning of it, to allow people to learn more about the politics of our country and expand their horizon.”

There is still time to sign up for Mock Convention. Also, if any person on campus is interested in registering to vote, contact Franchesca Nestor, an assistant professor of politics and government (fvnestor@owu.edu).

Opinion: Political exhaustion

By Liz Hardaway, Arts & Entertainment Editor

I’m tired of hearing about politics.

Since early 2015, when liberals “felt the Bern” and someone from the Internet figured out Ted Cruz looked like the Zodiac Killer, I subscribed to a few political magazines, receiving updates daily about the proceedings in Washington.

During the election, I eagerly opened these emails, excited to see what would happen next. The emails gave updates on Clinton and Trump’s proposed policies, briefings on the debates and other pertinent political news.

I wanted to be informed. Even after Trump was announced president, I wanted to keep up with what was happening in the White House. I watched as Trump announced his cabinet, and SNL hilariously parodied Steve Bannon with the Grimm Reaper and an ominous theme song.

I listened as the Muslim ban took effect, and the Supreme Court blocked the executive order. Even on Tuesday, there was an update from The Hill about Trump signing an executive order that “aims to overhaul the H1-B visa program used by tech companies to bring high-skilled workers to the U.S.”

So much is happening in the political realm and it’s exhausting.

And yes, this exhaustion probably stems from the fact that I am a Democrat. Yes, I’m one of those special snowflakes who did not get what they want, and sure, this is probably my temper tantrum.

But even on the brink of a possible World War III, the messy foreign relations (who knows what’s going on with Russia) and don’t even get me started on our problems here at home, I’m tired of hearing about it.

All day, I hear people from every background and ideology talking about how they either love or hate what is happening in Washington. Even when posting a Snapchat story about ducks in a pond (literal ducks), I get a message from an avid Republican. Despite not talking to him in more than a year, he tells me that Trump’s strong immigration tactics will stop “letting the scum of the earth walk straight through from South America to the Land of Opportunity.” Though I am disgusted and angry, right now I am just too tired to fight.

I’m making like an ostrich and sticking my head in the sand. Hopefully one day I can become a humble potato farmer in Switzerland, and all I ask is for you to please not nuke my beloved potatoes with your politics.

Political pendulum shifts in Latin America

By Gopika Nair, Editor-in-Chief

By many indicators, Latin America has the most unequal distribution of wealth in the world.

Some have termed Latin America’s uneven distribution “the birth defect of in- equality because it dates back to at least colonization,” said James Franklin, professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Franklin discussed Latin America’s political pendulum as part of the Great Decisions lecture series March 10. He used the analogy of a pendulum to explain the back and forth trends of the recent political shifts in Latin America. Because of the legacy of inequal- ity in Latin America, political systems were weak. When Latin America countries gained independence, the region experienced “cha- os without centralized control,” Franklin said. He compared Latin America’s post-in- dependence era to that of Afghanistan’s and Congo’s current situations.

Later, as Latin America became more stable and urbanized, large groups of people remained unrepresented and inequality persisted. From the 1930s to the 1950s, a new type of leader, the populist, emerged, Franklin said.

“They carried some of the characteristics of the caudillo, the forceful man in charge who would come in and set everything right,” Franklin said.

Populists were nationalistic and decried foreign powers, especially the U.S., and foreign businesses, arguing they were trying to manipulate Latin America, according to Franklin. Populists believed in an activ- ist government, promising to work for the people.

The Cold War era, in particular, was important in Latin American history. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, who led the Cuban revolution, promised that revolution would put an end to region-wide inequality.

But the revolution as the solution for inequality proved false, Franklin said. In most cases, plans to overthrow the elite failed and poor peasants were caught in the cross re of civil wars.

The 1980s and 1990s saw major changes in Latin America, including the rise of democracy. More recently the pendulum swung toward neo-liberalism.

Chile and Brazil are examples of a successful shift to neo-liberalism, where growing economies followed a market-oriented approach. But in many other countries, neo-liberalism led to unemployment. The poor continued to believe they weren’t being represented by anyone in the capital, Franklin said.

Populist leftist leaders, such as Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador), came into power with the inten- tion of helping the poor.

These leaders railed against corrupt elites, neo-liberalism and the opposition, Franklin said. They were also critical of the news media. The public had concerns about corrup- tion, growing signs of authoritarianism and weakening of checks and balances within the populist leaders’ countries. But the leaders lowered poverty and inequality rates while in power.

“Research in comparative politics shows that people with a more stable economic environment … tend to put more emphasis on things like honest government and rights and freedom,” Franklin said.

Ken Doane, of Delaware, said he learned a lot about the countries in Latin America from Franklin’s talk and it made him curious to learn more.

“The difference between the neoliberal left and ultra-left and how some countries have gone back and forth between the two [was interesting],” Doane said.

State representative inspires at talk

By Evan Walsh, Chief Copy Editor

On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald J. Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American woman and follower of Islam, was elected to her state’s legislature that same day.

As part of the Butler A. Jones Lecture Series, Omar shared her story as an immigrant and a public servant with the Ohio Wesleyan community and friends of the uni- versity this past Tuesday.

Fleeing the violence of a civil war in her native Somalia, Omar and her family came to the United States in 1995.

Like so many people who come to America in search of a better life, Omar imagined that she, too, would be afforded those opportunities necessary to make her dreams and her family’s vision a reality. But as she grew up, her faith in an “American Dream” would be tested.

Omar said that most of the time she felt welcome and accepted as she made a new home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. However, there were times where people did not respect her because they were intolerant of her religious identity, ethnic identity or gender.

She recalled one experience where she had her hand raised to answer a math problem on the board at the front of her class. She was the only one who knew it, yet her teacher was unwilling to let her answer.

That did not stop her. Rather than remain silent and let the class continue, Omar got up and made her way to the board where she wrote out the answer to the problem.

She said she believes that that kind of strong, independent attitude has made it possible for her to face the injustices she sees and experiences everyday as a minority.

In addition to all that she has accomplished in her public and private lives, Omar’s example has inspired and given hope to so many that identify with her and the message of a more equal America that she is fighting for.

Quoting the ancient Greek philosopher Solon, Omar said, “Wrongdoing can only be avoided if those who are not wronged feel the same indignation at it as those who are.”

That message resonated with Omar Hashi, a Columbus resident with degrees from Ohio State University in both political science and international studies

“As Somalis, and as immigrants in the Trump era we look at Ilhan Omar and see a beacon of hope,” Hashi said.

Election results discussed by Professor Jenny Holland

By Evan Walsh, Transcript Reporter

Whether you supported Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, the election results likely came as a surprise to you if you were paying attention to the polls.

Every major news network, from the conservative Fox to the more left-leaning MSNBC, predicted the Democratic nominee would win.

They were wrong.

Helping to make sense of the seemingly irreconcilable story the polls told leading up to the election and the election result was Jenny Holland, Ohio Wesleyan professor of politics and government.

Her lecture focused primarily on the distinction between the electoral and popular votes within certain states, voting demographics and potential aws in the polling methodology.

Senior Kevin Rossi said the topic piqued his interest.

“It was very stimulating and [Holland] made a lot of points that I have not heard talked about,” Rossi said.

Using a number of different exit polls from several different swing states, primarily in the Great Lakes region, she said the media failed in its predictions.

Of particular importance was the Clinton campaign’s failure to get former Obama voters from those states to vote for her.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign bene ted from only a marginal decrease and, in some cases, even an increase over Mitt Romney in those same places and among those same people from four years ago.

News networks, too, focused on data that had been collected, while data from 2012 did not consider that that voting trend might not come to fruition.

Senior Caroline Hamilton, a politics and government major who helped organize the talk, said she was impressed with how thorough Holland’s research was.

“It was interesting to hear the comparison between Obama to Hillary and Romney to Trump and that Trump actually kept a lot of Romney supporters from abandoning him,” Hamilton said.

Considering Trump’s position as a self-proclaimed “anti-establishment” Republican such support was unexpected.

On five separate occasions, and twice in the last 16 years, a candidate has won the popular vote but not the electoral college.

“Some may feel that ‘five out of 45 times is doing a good job,’” Holland said. “Others may feel that, ‘no, five times is just too many’ and we should make a change. The reality is that the process to amend is very difficult.”

But Holland said her major concern was with the media’s poll prediction problems she addressed in her talk.

“It is probably going to be difficult for people to trust those numbers in the future when most polls did not make the accurate prediction between just two candidates,” she said.

Farewell, Obama

By Shamayeta Rahman, Transcript Reporter

When he entered the Oval Office, Barack Obama, 47, the junior senator from Illinois had made history as the United States’ first African-American President. He was inaugurated into office on Jan. 29, 2008 with an economy on the verge of a recession, skyrocketing unemployment rates and two wars that were nowhere near ending.

Now, after eight years and two terms served in office, as he grows closer to the end of his presidency, it is time for a retrospective analysis of his successes and failures, and what he will be leaving behind for his successor.

When campaigning in 2008, Obama defeated then Republican nominee John McCain with a majority of 365 electoral votes. A media sensation and a symbol of hope and change, Obama spoke loudly of his opposition to the war in Iraq and his intentions to end it, eradicating weapons of mass destruction around the world, and strengthening ties with allies to finish the fight with the al-Qaida and the Taliban.

He has always been a spokesperson on equality and LGBTQA+ rights and has been clear about promoting equal rights for men and women. His tech-savviness and progressiveness made him well-liked among the younger generation, and his charismatic personality did the rest.

Within the first 100 days of his inauguration, Obama put out an order to shut down Guantanamo Bay, but the Congress did not let it go through and started developing plans to deploy the troops from Iraq. He was awarded a Noble Prize for his promise to end the war in Iraq.

Having been elected in the midst of the subprime mortgage crisis, Obama acted soon to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus geared to helping the economy recover from the terrible recession. By the end of his first term, the unemployment rate had come down from 10 percent to 7.7 percent. And today, eight years after the Great Recession, the unemployment rate is back at its natural level much to the credit of the policies taken up by the Federal Reserve and the Obama Administration.

No president has ever had all their decisions met without some dissent. Although a popular figure, Obama has faced scrutiny about some of his policy decisions over the years. In 2011, the Congress decided to not support the president’s “involvement” in Libya which he disregarded as military action started up under NATO operations. Some deemed it to be an unconstitutional act on his behalf.

Again in 2015, the decision to get involved in Syria in the overthrowing of President Bashar-Al-Assad and getting rid of their chemical weapons was seen by the U.S. public as unnecessary specially in light of the fact that President Vladimir Putin had extended his support to Assad, and engaging in Syria would mean a rise in tensions with Russia.

Despite that, Obama does also have many great political successes in terms of renegotiating relations with Cuba, being the first U.S. President to visit Hiroshima since World War II, succeeding in negotiating with Iran, leading the war on terror and ISIS and most notably the assignation of Osama bin Laden. Though some of his decisions over the years have been disappointing to the public, others have been equally lauded.

Obama worked relentlessly to make the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare a reality. It helped provide health insurances to over 20 million uninsured Americans and made health care a lot more accessible to those who are struggling with poverty.

However, there have been lots of criticisms of Obamacare as well, noting its huge fees for not having insurance and not providing insurance, the rising costs in insurance premiums and the underemployment due to the specificity of this mandate. The health care system will need to be improved whether it is repealed or not.

Donald Trump, the next president of the U.S., will have to figure out how to reduce national debt which is currently at 75 percent of the gross domestic product, make reforms in the health care system and immigrations process and take on the role of ending multiple involvements in the Middle East.

We have four years to see if Trump can fill Barack Obama’s shoes, who in the end of the day is a well-loved President who worked with the nation’s best interest in heart despite his many shortcomings.

Saturday Night Live covers elections

By Matt Maier, Transcript Reporter

What are three words that describe this year’s election? Now, think of the Saturday Night Live skits that have been done. Are your answers roughly similar?

This election has brought some of the funniest and most outrageous sketch performances in recent history.

The infamous SNL skits have been centerpieces of the elections for years now, and this election has not disappointed. Let’s take a look back and rank some from this year’s election.

The first debate gave SNL plenty of material, and SNL used the ammunition accordingly. The countless “sniffles” of Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump truly brought up the is- sue many Americans were thinking and the style that Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton entered was right on cue.

Walking in with a cane, as if the rumors of her health second best out of the three.

The town hall debate had one iconic moment that people have forever remembered: Ken Bone.
The man who asked a question during this debate found memes and images of himself all around the country the next day and the SNL skit didn’t fail to mention him.

When asked about setting a good example for children, McKinnon answered “yes,” while Baldwin simply said “no,” earning laughs. This debate sketch comes in at number three, however.

Finally, the third and last debate was one for the ages as guest moderator Tom Hanks played the part of Chris Wallace.

If the attention from that wasn’t enough, audiences loved the way that McKinnon’s Clinton opened up the debate with how she was planning to “feast” in her last debate. As for Baldwin’s Trump performance, none were as good. Over the years, many people have played Trump, but Baldwin stole the show.

2016 Election Highlights

By John Bonus, Transcript Reporter

From start to finish, this election has been anything but ordinary. Since candidates first started announcing their campaigns, America has been on one of the wildest political roller coasters in history.

While there have been many surprising moments in this election, some stand out above the rest. These are the most memorable moments from the 2016 election.

Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. Trump announced he would be running for president at Trump Tower in New York City last June. It began with a long escalator ride down to the stage, followed by the first controversial speech that started it all. In that speech, he first used the slogan, “Make America Great Again,” and made comments about Mexico bringing drugs and crime as well as introduced his idea to build a wall on the border.

Enough of the emails. At the first Democratic Primary Debate, Hillary Clinton was being ques- tioned about her emails when Bernie Sanders stepped in her defense. “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” Sanders said. The comment came as a surprise as it’s not typical for candidates to defend their opponents on stage.

Trump covered “Hotline Bling.” In an awkward yet hilarious parody on Saturday Night Live, Trump showed off his dance moves while singing a few lines to Drake’s hit song “Hotline Bling.” Marco Rubio made comments about the size of Trumps hands. This moment really was surprising, as up to this point Trump had been the only one making risky remarks. At one of his rallies, Rubio said Trump had small hands.

“And you know what they say about men with small hands,” Rubio said. Trump responded to Rubio’s comments at his rally, assuring his supporters that there was, “no problem.”

Birdie Sanders. At a rally in Portland, a small bird landed on the podium while Sanders was giving a speech. Sanders stopped mid-speech and acknowledged the bird while the audience applauded.

The Clintons’ obsession with fireworks and balloons at the Democratic National Convention. After it was announced Clinton was the nominee, fireworks were launched and Clinton gave an expression as though she had never seen fireworks before. Bill Clinton also seemed to have an obsession with the balloons. After Hillary spoke, he continued to play with the balloons, while people took pictures of him, creating some hilarious candids.

Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. At a fundraiser dinner in New York, both Clinton and rump had the opportunity to make comments in regard to the election.

It was an informal face-off between the candidates and the speeches were intended to be hu- morous. However, both candidates didn’t shy away from using the opportunity to throw some harsh jabs at each other.

Recording of Trump’s com- ments about women. A recording of Trump making vulgar com- ments about women in 2005 surfaced in early October and it was shocking even for Trump.

In the recording,Trump said things such as, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”

Trump received heavy backlash for the audio clip, even from his supporters.

This election has been controversial from the start, with some moments being hilarious and oth- ers leaving people scratching their heads.

And now that the election is over, Americans may wonder where they will get their entertainment from in the future.

The Transcript: Will America ever be great again?

By Transcript Staff, Transcript Staff

In June 2015, when Donald Trump, former American game show star, announced his candidacy, it was considered a joke, or at least questioned. But little did we know 17 months later in the wee hours of the morning of Nov. 9 2016, he would become the 45th president of the United States.

As we covered election day results, the news of Trump win- ning at almost 3 a.m. shocked The Transcript office.

Leading up to election day, Trump was not the crowd favorite on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus, losing 45-122 to Hillary Clinton in mock voting organized last week by the Student Involvement Office.

Delaware county’s results sadly did not reflect the same, with Trump winning by 16.1 percent votes. This is the most unpleasant voting result since Brexit this summer.

We all know the famous rhetoric, “I am moving to Canada, if *insert name here* becomes president.”

Many people took that as a joke to express their discontent with the candidates. It no longer is one. Case in point, Canada’s website of immigration and citizenship promptly crashed as results showed Trump’s electoral votes largely outnumber Clinton’s.

Throughout his campainging, Trump repetedly echoed that if elected, he would “make America great again.” He also said, until the very last day, he will not accept the results if he loses, a disgraceful stance to take by a nominee.

A president-elect who brags about sexual assault, spews hate on immigrants in a nation built on immigrants, and talks of the possibility of physical walls, is worryworthy and concerning to The Transcript staff. And we are not alone.

Within less than 24 hours of results being announced, protes- tors have taken to the streets “from South California to the east coast,” according to USA Today.

The only demographic not insulted or disgraced by Trump is white men. It is worth noting that Clinton did in fact win the popular vote by 224,785 votes, while over 15,000 voters chose to vote for Harambe, the dead gorilla. Let that sink in.

In the third and final debate, he casually called Clinton a “nasty woman.” And even if we look past his blatant remarks, his policy promises are concerning.

He vowed to fight “radical Islam,” which he sees as a direct correlation to terrorism. The last we checked, the American Dream did not stigmatize against a religion.

Trump’s presidency is the personification of white supremacy, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism. Delaware resident of 43 years, Dawn Smith in an interview with The Transcript said “Clinton has my vote, but she will not win. She’s a woman … Women are not the head.”

Smith is not alone. Trump’s presidency has clealry shown that no matter how twisted a candidate may be, it’s a lot easier for the while male presidency trend to prevail.

This was a long night of political coverage that ran neck and neck all night. It wasn’t until Clinton called Trump at 2:30 a.m. to concede from the race, that it became official.

Trump lovers and haters were quickly segregated into their respective sides once the results were out as social media opin- ions and creative hashtags were strewed across timelines world-wide.

Between watching election results come in live at the Delaware County Board of Elections and actively hosting radio shows with OWU Radio, the election finally coming to a halt has not even hit us yet.