Hello children, it's Bradley and I'm coming to you live from the Capitol. Today is Friday January 18th and is the last day of lectures during the seminar. I would like to first express my relief in the fact that I will no longer have to wake up before 7 am to listen to lectures for the rest of the semester, since none of my classes on campus are scheduled before 1 pm. Today was bitter sweet, you are tired of waking up and going to lectures but we have also been hearing from good speakers and covering good material. It is nice to be able to read articles in the Washington Post, Politico, New York Times, and ect. then be able to go and hear the same issues being addressed and explained in person. I think that as a general studies requirement that schools should provide a one credit hour class every semester that covers these issues, unless you make an attempt to remain caught up with the issues at hand and do some extra research on your own, it is impossible to remain up to date. We heard from two very good speakers today, Dr. Cornell West and Travis Smiley. They were covering the issues of poverty and race equality, and they made very good points. However they should a lack of approval for President Obama in regards to these issues. West and Smiley were afraid that the real meaning of the day of the inauguration would be thrown to the wayside because as we all know it falls on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The speakers believed that Obama has not stuck with his promises to help end poverty and almost seemed a little disappointed in his work as the first African American president and they don’t want Mr. Kings day to be used as just a pedestal for celebration but as a pedestal of action. I thought they made very good points especially in regards to the distinct differences between Corporate American and the middle class America, and in this I find myself in agreement. The government needs to stop handing out so many benefits to the wealthiest of Americans and try to provide more breaks for the average person in the middle class. However Dr. West seemed to think there was no way the average person could have a chance of becoming a successful elitist like the Corporate CEO, I find myself in disagreement with that statement. I do agree that the government should stop giving them breaks, even though that won’t happen because these corporations fund campaigns indirectly and money is speech, but I don’t believe that the American dream is over and that the Average person can rise to those ranks. The average person may not be able to reach the top 10% but they can still have that opportunity, though it is difficult and maybe nearly impossible.
C-Span covered the next speaker, a Senate Historian Don Ritchie. He provided us with valuable information about historical policy making. He also provided some history on inaugurations, though long winded he was very knowledgeable and I enjoyed the historical context. Our site visit for the day was at the Heritage Institute a conservative think tank. I don’t necessarily agree with most of their message I do think that there needs to be a responsible cut down of government spending to accompany tax increases. This would make way for a responsible cut down of the deficit and would lead to economic gains in the long run. It was also helpful in that it was another avenue of interning that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, plus their internship was a paid one.
All in all I have enjoyed the week of school work and lectures. It has provided me with a valuable experience that you just wouldn’t have been able to completely get in a class room back at school. The seminar coupled with the site visits while being able to experience the city first hand has been a pleasure and one that has hopefully opened new doors and one that I have enjoyed and learned from.
I apologize for being a day behind, but I was unable to do Thursdays blog on Thursday, and tomorrow I will be posting about Saturday and Sunday so, until next time children, Bradley signing out!