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a letter from the editors

I

t was tempting to begin this letter with a definition of “politics,” since that seems to be the hot word warming the lips of everybody these days. Whether a gruff relative rapt with the opportunity to foist their opinions into the universe or a starry-eyed freshman ready to steer the ship of change, it’s a word universally known and, at one point or another, the bearer of existential, gut-deep angst and frustration. That is to say, it is inescapable, the word, and yet who can say precisely what it means—if anything? Facebook is flooded with heated yet unsubstantial political commentary, and newscasters are viewed as chronically opposed to fairness, consistency, and substantive dialogue. For most of us, politics is too complicated, too hair-pullingly boring, and too filled with ego and intolerance. So… what do we do? How do we become motivated to care about this word we all hear but of which we have dubious understanding? Luckily, the answer permeates everything around us. Frustration and anger rarely stagnate. Deep-rooted concern is converted into civic action: red-inked letters to congressmen and congresswomen, support for local nonprofits, and town hall meetings filled with people for whom the word “participant” is a gross understatement. In times like these, if history is at all a good log of regular folks’ reactions to irregular circumstances, activism will become the primary language of your community members, friends, and co-workers. Eventually, it will become your language too. Auspiciously, it seems to have already struck you. Why else would you be holding this bundle of glossy white pages (or scrolling through this PDF)? Herein, you will find what you have been looking for. Voices. Perspectives. Arguments that hail from the place in our hearts from which we are convinced that chaos can be ordered through policy, thought, and love. Read further and you will find—in place of apathy—eight essays about social, cultural, and environmental justice. If anything defines the 18th volume of the Hinckley Journal of Politics, it is that politics affects everyone on a personal, human level, all the time, all over. Moreover, this journal chronicles student perspectives, selected and edited by students, and manifested by a group run and organized by students. None of this would have been possible without the help and support of the Hinckley Institute of Politics’ dedicated staff, whose passion and hard work turn this and every other initiative from unlikely daydreams into impactful and sharable little miracles. We also warmly extend our gratitude to our editorial board, whose comments, questions, and insights made us doggedly question our own preconceptions and ideas—the mark of a truly innovative, life-enhancing organization of people. We are moved and thankful to have gotten to know and work with each of you. We think that the word “politics” is best captured by the definition, “the art or science of governing people well.” Those who don’t see the art (therefore the potential for transcendent beauty) or the science (therefore the need to have and follow testable, reliable data) of politics and yet make a claim to govern are performing bad politics. It is our job, all of us, to recognize bad politics when we see it, to be active not apathetic, and understand why it is important to care. This is the task set before us. Let’s give it all we’ve got. Sincerely,

Dalton Edwards Co-Editor

Katie Crawford Co-Editor

VII

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Hinckley Journal 2017  

The Hinckley Journal of Politics is the only undergraduate-run journal of politics in the nation and strives to publish scholarly papers of...

Hinckley Journal 2017  

The Hinckley Journal of Politics is the only undergraduate-run journal of politics in the nation and strives to publish scholarly papers of...

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