The Economy of the Future Must Include Singles

Women hit the glass ceiling in academia and in business when their needs are not taken into consideration. What happens when single women are not paid equivalent to men? One guess, the loss of the ability to build a future.

Grit? Forget it. Many are born gritty, but grit will not help when those who make the budgets and disperse checks assume women can be paid less simply because they are female.

So, why do so many politicians make pleas to the “American family” when so many Americans (45% in 2014, according to the U.S. Census Bureau) are single? 
At least one state understands the plight of American singles, Ohio. Ohio celebrates “National Singles Week” the third week in September. More states should do the same. 
Question for Presidential candidates: 
How can singles reap the economic benefits of the middle class when the economy seems geared to the married middle class? 

Hillary, Take a Stand: After Getting Well, Hillary Clinton Must Go to Indian Country and Speak Her Truth on #DAPL

How can Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton discuss economic growth without taking a personal stand on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)? The Democratic Party Platform addresses America Indian concerns, however, according to Bill McKibben’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Sec. Clinton has yet to speak out on the DAPL.

The Nation owes a debt to American indigenous people. Knowledge of American Indian land protection initiatives, including protection of seeds, grows through the efforts of many, including Winona LaDuke. Has Hillary Clinton met this American activist,  economist, and former vice-presidential candidate? LaDuke is not the leader of the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protest/protection effort, but she is a keen politician whose voice must be elevated. 

A meeting between these two women would send a powerful message, but beyond the symbolism, LaDuke’s groundbreaking analysis of indigenous land rights and land usage should be studied by all.

Will LaDuke be invited to join a Hillary Clinton administration?

Disney’s “Zootopia,” and the Urban Zeitgeist in American Political Discourse

Want a primer on intersectional politics? Go see Disney’s “Zootopia,” a tale of a tenacious country bunny rabbit with aspirations of being an urban cop in Zootopia where the majority of residents are prey and the minority, predators. If you, like I, thought that seeing a kid’s movie would be a nice break from watching primary-election coverage, think again. Evertything is politics, including Disney movies.

“Zootopia,” the movie, presents an animal world eerily reflective of the detritus of American domestic policy. Still pondering what effect 1990s-era crime legislation has had on American society? Note that in the Zootopian metropolis something appears to be affecting a minority of the predators’ behavior leading to moral panic and irrational quality-of-life-mediating decisions by some of the prey-majority. In the introduction, audiences receive a primer on the entire ecosystem of Zootopia and the outlier-communities. The predator class, sly foxes, family-loving otters, courageous-lions, live under suspicion of wilding-out to the detriment of the mellow bunnies, meek sheep, and other prey.

An aesthetically stunning film, “Zootopia” provides a way to reflect upon the current divisive rhetoric of the American presidential primary campaigns. How do political science professors, social studies teachers, and parents go about having conversations with children about politics, today? When one presidential candidate offers to pay the legal bills of audience-member thugs who lash out at disruptors, can there be hope?  Campaign politics aside, America appears to be a nation constantly at the verge of reconciling, or attempting to reconcile, the trauma of centruries of colonialist ptractice.

“Zootopia” audiences see echoes of a ’90s-era rhetoric of “super-predators” and restrictions on the freedom of suspect predators. Rodney King’s message about getting along, takes on new meaning (Zootopia is an urban space much like Los Angeles). With forays into alternative cultures, gender inequality, underground economies, and mixed relationships, “Zootopia” comments on the precarity of identity and the diversity of the American experience. A cute bunny cop and her enlisted partner, a fox (surprise!) navigate an emotional tightrope in order to maintain their fragile relationship and solve an incredible mystery related to the politics of identity.



What Does Ted Cruz’s Flame Represent? A Universal Politic? | Imagery in Politics

With a crowded Republican field, how do candidates for President distinguish themselves as they head into the Southern primaries? One way is through branding. Candidates use logos to distinguish themselves from their competitors. The democrat field is not so crowded, therefore, less scrutiny may be placed on campaign branding materials of Clinton and Sanders, the front-runners. But for the republican candidates, scrutiny may be fierce. Maybe this is why the branding materials of the republican candidates seem to, at times, overpower the respective messengers.

Case in point: Candidate Ted Cruz.

Sen. Ted Cruz

Did anybody else notice the similarities between Sen. Cruz’s backdrop on his stump speeches and that of the famous inspirational TED Talks? The slogan “TRUSTED” with TED in the classic red provides a visual context for the Senator as audiences watch him speak. Depending on where he stands, though, the message conveyed to audiences can be the difference between “RUSTED,” “USTED,” “TED,” and “ED”. This risky design causes too much speculation. Once could easily be distracted with, “Hey, that looks like the TED Talks logo! Can they do that?” This cognitive interference may distract from the message Sen. Cruz tries to convey.

Here is another challenge. Add to the TED Talks-like design of the “TRUSTED” backdrop the red, white, and blue flame, that also resembles the red-and-white flame logo of Claremont Graduate University, and one really begins to wonder who designed these campaign materials for Sen. Cruz and who is the intended audience for these materials?

Not every registered voter is familiar with TED Talks, or the Southern California-based Claremont University Consortium (CUC), a group of small colleges and two graduate schools (of which CGU is one). It is important to note that CUC is next door to Claremont Lincoln University and the Claremont Institute, neither a part of the CUC, but certainly at home with the name Claremont and what Claremont represents. When people search for these names, inevitably they find the flame. That other institutions feel at home borrowing the message of intellectualism and universal tolerance for the Other may bode well for the Cruz campaign, in the long run.


By borrowing heavily from both the TED Talks and Claremont Graduate University logos, is the Cruz campaign signalling a desire to appeal to an audience beyond the evangelical base the media typically associates with Cruz? If so, what audience?