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The Politic

Dear Reader, You hold in your hands our magazine’s first issue of 2013. It is a product of which we are quite proud, frankly. You will notice that our political journal looks quite different from the one you picked up a few months ago. After one or two botox injections, The Politic 2.0 looks better than ever. To compete in a market cornered by CNN and The Economist, crowded by bloggers and tweeters, we have redesigned the entire magazine with a chic cover and artistic inside. Lest you think The Politic prioritizes style over substance, we invite you to read (and reread) this issue’s six stories and three interviews of local, national, and international scope. Our campus content explores the institutional plight of the Yale Political Union and the rebirth of the college’s ROTC. For a perspective on domestic politics and more, The Politic sits down with New York Times columnist David Brooks. We fix our gaze to the unfolding regional disaster in northwest Africa. A Yale student shares her experiences growing up in war-torn Afghanistan. This study break of yours was many hours in the making. Special thanks go to our editors and writers, transcribers of interviews and 3:00 a.m. coffee brewers. We extend our gratitude to the bloggers helping to expand our web-exclusive content. There is plenty of material to be read at, from a profile of the bipartisan No Labels group to an interview with particle physicistpoliticians in Congress. And of course, to you — our loyal readers — we extend our greatest thanks.

Faithfully, Josef Goodman Noah Remnick



Editors-in-Chief Josef Goodman Noah Remnick Managing Editors Justin Schuster Eric Stern National Editors Cindy Hwang Marissa Medansky International Editors David Lawrence Eli Rivkin Feature Editor Larissa Liburd Online Managers Rod Cuestas James Pabarue Director of Development Raphael Leung Layout Editors David Mandelbaum Yuyeon Cho Editors Emeriti Byron Edwards Jacob Effron Copy Editor Stephanie Heung Photo Editor Anna-Sophie Harling Illustrators Madeleine Witt Christine Mi Board of Advisors John Lewis Gaddis — Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History, Yale University David Gergen — Editor-at-Large, U.S. News and World Report Anthony Kronman — Former Dean, Yale Law School Ian Shapiro — Director, Yale Center for International and Area Studies Pictures Pictures from Creative Commons used under Attribution Noncommercial license. Disclaimer This magazine is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. The opinions expressed by the contributors to The Politic do not necessarily reflect those of its staff or advertisers.




Letter from the Editors

Bulldogs in Uniform

Josef Goodman & Noah Remnick

David Lawrence & Rachel O’Connell



Rust Belt Renaissance

The Pot Spills Over

Josef Goodman

Dhruv Aggarwal



Resolved: The Yale Political Union Is Doomed

The State of the Unions

Dimitri Halikias


Benjamin Weiner & Joshua Faber

Regulating the Jungle 12

The Man Behind the Column

Geng Ngarmboonanant 38

David Steiner & Rishabh Bhandari

Gun Violence by the Numbers


David Mandelbaum

From Washington to Tehran Justin Schuster 20

Beyond the Battlefield Wazhma Sadat


The Politic - Spring 2013 I  
The Politic - Spring 2013 I