Why Are Independent Voters Coming Into So Much Focus?

Instead of the crucial midterm elections this year, which is essentially a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency thus far, there are many factors that people are looking at. How will Donald Trump perform with minorities, the college-educated and suburban women? How will the Democrats be able to take back some of the states that Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election? While countless factors influence the outcome of an election, one often forgotten about constituency is the independent voter. The voter that cannot vote for Trump, but cannot fully align themselves with Democratic policies either. Why are they coming into so much focus this year?

Independent voters can often swing an election based on who they vote for. An example of independent voters having a profound impact is the 2016 presidential election. One of the most popular candidates in the entire election cycle was independent senator out of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats, but he was widely popular with independents. Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders did not get the required amount of delegates to win the Democratic nomination. That vote went to Hillary Clinton.

Many voters saw Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as two sides of the same coin. They weren’t your typical politicians, and they were two people that many people felt they could relate to on a personal level. Many independent voters ended up voting for Trump because they could not relate to Hillary and they did not like her career in politics. All of those votes that the Democrats could have had were lost because of the outside perception of the independent vote.

In today’s vastly divided country, the independent vote could matter now more than ever. Whether it is the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh or any of the policies that come towards the house, there is always bound to be at least two opposing views. However, independent voters cannot easily be swayed, and that is why they are independent. The past two Republican presidents, Donald Trump, and George Bush, both narrowly won the independent vote.

Independent voters are becoming more important now than past years. Democrats haven’t been winning the argument with independent voters so far. If we continue to see this trend, it is very likely that those voters will have a made up mind next election.

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How Do Public Schools Differ From Private Schools?

Many parents have a difficult time choosing the right school for their kids. One big decision that parents have to make is whether their kids should go to public school or private school. Of course, this depends on the goals that students have in mind and other factors. Comparing the two makes it easier for parents to make the right decision for their children so they can ensure that they get a proper education.

Cost
Cost is a concern for many parents. Most things with public schools are free, although parents may have to provide certain supplies and pay certain fees for things like participation in sports. Private schools, on the other hand, can be quite expensive. Luckily, there are some financial aid programs out there that can help make private school more affordable for families that need the help.

Classroom Size
One big difference between public schools and private schools is the average classroom size. Students who are in smaller classrooms with fewer students are often able to get more attention from their teachers. This can help them enjoy a better learning experience. Many public schools have problems with overcrowding in classrooms, meaning that they might not get the individualized attention that they need.

Programs for Students
Many public schools have a variety of different programs for students, including sports teams, clubs and more. Private schools might not have as many programs for students to choose from, but the ones that are available might have more funding and may be better tailored to the needs of students.

Accelerated Curriculums
Many parents want to make sure that their kids are prepared for future grades and college. In many private schools, there are accelerated and advantage curriculum options for students who need them. Students might learn more throughout the year and be better prepared for future education after attending a private school.

There are a lot of great public schools out there for students, but many parents find that private school is the better option. Even though private school is not an option for every student, families, who want to make sure that their children get the best education that they can definitely consider some of the private schools that are available in the area.

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A Look At Warren Buffett: What Has He Done In Philanthropy?

Most people only know a little about businessman Warren Buffett.

For example, folks know that the elderly American gent is one of the most successful investors in history. Some are also aware that he is thrifty and has lived in the same home since 1958. There are also others who know Buffett’s obsession with Coca-Cola and his five-can daily indulgence.

There is, however, much more about Warren Buffett and the way he gives back to others. When it comes to philanthropic circles, he is the king, hands down. It was his late wife Susan who inspired him to raise money for a struggling church in a tough San Francisco neighborhood. Since that time long ago, donating wealth to meaningful charitable causes that create impact and social good have become key to Buffett’s philanthropy, and today, he wears the title of the most charitable American billionaire.

The numbers don’t lie; Buffett has given away more than $46 billion since 2000, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The percentage of charity donations from Buffett’s total $65.5 billion fortune rounds out to 71-percent.

Billionaire entrepreneur Bill Gates landed second place behind Buffett and had donated $18 billion to charity since 2000. The Chronicle of Philanthropy did the math, stating that the amount adds up to 22 percent of Gates’s $81 billion fortune. In 2017, Bill and Melinda Gates donated an additional $4.6 billion in Microsoft stock.Third place honors went to Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. He is reported to be worth $45 billion and has given away 10-percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes. Fourth and fifth place list toppers include the Google Guys, Sergey Brin (4) and Larry Page (5). Brin has donated 6-percent of his fortune, and Page has given away 4-percent of his wealth.

In the meantime, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was 10th on the list of the most charitable American billionaires. Bezos wants to give back in additional ways that feature a lasting impact and has asked the public for their suggestions via social media sites like Twitter. In 2018, Warren Buffett converted Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares and donated to five foundations that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation; Sherwood Foundation; Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.

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How Exactly Is Social Media Changing the Future of Politics in the United States?

Social media is currently influencing all aspects of the lives of human beings. Social networks have already had significant impacts on the lives of humans in social and economic aspects. There is an increased probability that social platforms will soon have impacts on the political aspect. Here are some of the ways through which social media is changing the future of United States politics.

Unfiltered Speech
Traditionally, individuals have only been able to get the formal speech from politicians which is highly edited. This means that people will never get the actual and real picture of the original speech. However, everything is changing, and people are accessing unfiltered speech. This can easily be seen through President Donald Trump who tends communicating what is in his mind through the social platforms.

Reducing Cost of Political Campaigns
Political campaigns in the United States are sometimes very costly, especially when a politician has to travel across the country seeking for votes. It is common for presidential candidates to raise political campaign funds. However, social media platforms are providing a platform where politicians can reach all the country with a free Facebook post. Others are marketing and communicating their manifestos through free YouTube posts and Twitter among others.

Customized Political Messages
For a long period, politicians have been finding it difficult to deliver a customized message because of the mixed demographics in the cities. However, this is changing fast as social media analytics have helped a larger number of politicians to reach a particular group of voters. For example, most of the individuals using social media in the United States are people below 30 years. A political message can be customized for them in a simple and effective method.

Feedback
Politicians can easily get feedback from their constituents. A political message posted on social platforms will attract a considerable number of responses. United States politicians can read through the response messages and respond appropriately, which will allow easy transfer of information between voters and politicians.

Weighing Public Opinion
Public opinion is an essential aspect of the United States political field. Most of the politicians use consultants to conduct opinion so that they can determine how constituents are responding to their issues of controversy or political messages. Messages can be adjusted in real time if public opinion highlights negative perception from the public.

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What Does The Future Of Politics Look Like Through Millennials’ Standpoint?

The world that millennials grow old in will likely be a far cry from that experienced by their parents. Some external issues like the rise of the gig economy, the threat of climate change, and the difficult situation of occupational automation mean that they’ll be forced to come to grips with some seismic changes. But what worries the next generation of politicians is how little millennials seem engaged with politics. This is in large part due to a growing sense of cynicism within this generational group. There’s a growing understanding that politicians of all stripes don’t represent their interests, but that doesn’t mean that millennials will necessarily be disengaged with the political process. It could instead signify some rather seismic shifts in attitudes towards long-standing political traditions.

Massachusetts state senator Eric P. Lesser graduated college in 2007 and was first elected into office at the young age of 29. He believes that makes him uniquely qualified to speak about millennial attitudes towards politics, and he thinks the jaded philosophies and myriad stresses of millennials could cause them to turn away from aging but experienced political figures and put their support behind younger politicians who have yet to become compromised by the system.

“As a young person right now, you are perfectly poised to make that argument that you are not part of that entrenched structure that got us in the mess we’re in,” said Lesser.

But that increasing sense of isolation that millennials feel towards older politicians could fundamentally come to alter the very notion of political parties as well. Campaign chair Eloise T. Kaehny has worked closely with students to improve voter participation among younger citizens, and she foresees a wave of philosophy that puts issues above party. Where “Republican” and “Democrat” could once be used as steady identifiers for an individual’s political orientation, she believes that voters today will be focusing instead on a more issues-driven approach to party participation. This could, in turn, result in more engagement on a local and grassroots level as they focus more energy on engaging issues that directly impact their communities.

Both Kaehny and Lesser were speakers at “Millennials and the Future of American Politics,” a panel held by the Harvard Institute of Politics focused on millennial issues. And while the panelists may have come from different backgrounds, the mood was largely optimistic. The understanding was largely one that millennials aren’t disengaged from politics but are instead just engaging in new ways.

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How Does Philanthropy Affect Climate Change?

The potential consequences of climate change are dire and looking more challenging with each year that passes. While moves are being made in the international political community to rein in consumption and slow down the threat of climate change, that’s likely not going to be enough to prevent drastic change in the coming decades. Fortunately, many private citizens are stepping up to bat, and their philanthropic efforts could help make a difficult transition smoother.

In many ways, philanthropy is a more versatile tool to combat climate change than politics. Where politicians are beholden to lobbyists, ally nations, and the whims of their constituents regarding the laws and provisions they can pass, philanthropists are free to act in a manner driven solely by their own consciences. But it’s important for such philanthropists to take a clear and nuanced approach to their giving. Understanding where exactly their money is going can mean a big difference in how effectively it’s used.

A big benefit to philanthropists can be working in conjunction with other charitable givers. Groups like the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network serve as a de facto forum for groups organized around climate change, and their directory of charitable groups exists with the primary function of helping philanthropists work in conjunction with one another towards achieving larger and more tangible goals.

Regardless of how philanthropists organize, one of the largest threats they’ll have to tackle is public apathy towards the issue of environmental issues. While the Paris Agreement has signaled a shift towards UN member nations addressing these issues directly, some believe that these commitments won’t be enough. America’s withdrawal from the Treaty could sabotage the effectiveness of commitments altogether. Additionally, some nations are failing to address climate change issues that some scientists deem highly critical, such as when the Australian government rejected a pledge to phase out coal power by the year 2050.

In many places, this governmental antipathy is reflected in the larger population. Roughly half of all Americans believe that climate change won’t affect them, and without the public backing for climate change policies that will undoubtedly be incredibly costly, government action is bound to be slow. Philanthropy’s most important role regarding climate change issues may ultimately come down to messaging, projecting the concerns upheld by the scientific community so loudly that governments and corporations have no choice but to respond actively and effectively.

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How Is Augmented Reality Being Used For Education?

Augmented reality and virtual reality are two up and coming technologies that are showing enormous prospects in the world of education. The difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that virtual reality generally requires goggles or some type of headset that allows you to essentially immerse yourself entirely in a different reality. For instance, you might run a program that would “virtually” place you in the Louvre Museum and allow you to walk around and explore.

The problem, of course, is that you are wearing a headset, which means you are no longer aware of what is happening in the physical space you are in. That leaves you open to the potential for running into walls or even more serious catastrophes. Augmented reality, however, is essentially an overlay on a digital screen that can interact with reality. For instance, imagine a child was taking a tour of the Louvre. A digital docent could guide them on a personal tour and answer their questions individually.

Augmented reality can help make learning more fun and interactive by combining digital knowledge bases with real work interaction. In addition to making subjects like history and geography almost literally come alive, augmented reality can also help teach more concrete skills like coding or playing the piano. Imagine being able to hold your phone up to a piano keyboard and watch a set of hands play across the keys. Not only could a child learn which keys to press to make certain sounds, but they can also get a sense of more advanced technique and style.

Imagine taking a trip to Mount Rushmore and being able to have a virtual conversation with Teddy Roosevelt or Abraham Lincoln. Imagine a virtual art teacher that can not only guide you in learning how to draw certain objects but critique your work and help you improve. While augmented reality is still largely in its infancy, there is no doubt that it holds exciting prospects for the education of the future.

Perhaps the best part of augmented reality is that it can be accessed at any time and from anywhere. It also can create a personal and individualized learning experience for every student. No more teachers being overwhelmed by questions from 20-30 students or tour guides unable to answer each child’s question personally and individually.

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