Donald Trump’s impeachment opens doors to the future

E2707E44-3183-4E52-B550-10A7E0C2E1F5Art by Scarlett Hatton

Story by Morgan Walker

When President Donald Trump became the third United States President to be impeached, a new door to the future opened. Vice President Mike Pence becoming president of the United States is a new possibility for our country, but it is not a possibility that anyone should want. Impeachment never should have happened.

Trump was impeached under two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The impeachment trial happened because of our alliance with Ukraine; Trump was accused of withholding almost $400 million, which was already approved by Congress, in order to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating his rival in the 2020 election, Joe Biden. Later, the U.S. told Ukraine our troops were coming to aid them on the front lines, when they really were not. Trump gave these orders without the approval of Congress.

The next step after impeachment is to possibly remove Trump from office, which is up to the Senate. The Senate has two options; convict Trump and remove him from office or to acquit him/relieve him of this crime. The Senate will most likely acquit his crime, because the majority is Republican and they also mainly support Trump in his presidency.

This is best, though, because if Trump is convicted, Pence will automatically become president and that is not something anyone should want.

“If the president is found guilty, he is removed from office and the vice president is sworn-in as president,” according to Atlanta News Now.

If Trump is acquitted he will run in the 2020 election, but he will most likely lose as many other candidates are favorable and he has the reputation of being an impeached president.

It is scary to think that Pence is so close to becoming our president. He is seemingly much more politically intelligent compared to Trump, and would be able to come up with more solid plans that could be a lot scarier than what Trump has done. Trump has been mainly focused on the building of the wall on the Mexican-American border and deporting illegal immigrants rather than other big projects. Pence will not focus his energy on just one thing, and those results could be much bigger and more complex.

Pence has a lot of controversial beliefs: he does not believe in abortion and he did not want the government to fund Planned Parenthood, for example. So, if Pence were to be elected, some people in our country may lose the right to have safe and legal abortions. It is also known that he does not support LGBTQ rights. During his congressional campaign in 2000 he said, “Congress should oppose any effort to gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”

The LGBTQ community has worked hard to get these basic rights, but if we have a president that is passionately against it, they could easily lose those rights again.

To give a familiar example, recently on the app TikTok teenagers have made a meme joking about Pence’s conversion camps (Pence openly supports conversion therapy). This is something he could possibly do as president. In the archived version of Pence’s website it says, “Resources should be directed to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” This was written when he was addressing the Ryan White Care Act, which provides federal funding for HIV and AIDS. When Pence’s spokesman Marc Lotter was asked about this, he denied what it sounds like—conversion therapy— but refused to explain exactly which organizations he was talking about, which makes it seem like therapy is, in fact, what he meant.

Many of these outcomes could be prevented, but now it is just behind one door that may or may not remain closed. President Mike Pence is a scary future.

Learning other languages improves academics

By Annalise Bassett

The bell rings overhead, and students flood out into the hallway, nearly 1100 of them heading to a language class.

Many students all across the state of Indiana learn at least one foreign language sometime throughout their high school career. People all across the country are bilingual. In fact, 20.14 percent of Americans were bilingual in 2016 according to an article by Francois Grosjean, PhD, of Psychology Today. This number has doubled since 1980, when only 10.68 percent of Americans were bilingual.

Learning a foreign language is not only useful for getting a job or travelling abroad, it also affects the brain and its development. According to Whitby, a private school for kids up through eighth grade, “Language learning helps improve people’s thinking skills and memory abilities. Bilingual students concentrate better, ignoring distractions more effectively than those who only speak one language.” 

The study Whitby references, conducted by University of Edinburgh psychology professor Thomas Bak, MD, concluded that “…learning a second language can develop new areas of your mind and strengthen your brain’s natural ability to focus.”

Languages help your brain grow not only mentally and cognitively, but also physically and size-wise. A study referenced by Whitby that was conducted in Sweden concluded that the brains of scholars who learned a second language grew, while the brains of scholars who did not learn a second language did not change in size.

Learning a language can help you with skills beyond speaking the new language—it can help with focus, mental clarity, decision-making skills, memory, study skills, and more. Lead with Languages, a program that strives to spread the importance of learning foreign languages, said that studies have shown that when making decisions in a different language from your first, we are more level-headed and can make decisions more clearly. Lead with Languages references a 2012 article written by Boston University psychology professor Catherine Caldwell-Harris, PhD, on Scientific American. Caldwell-Harris wrote that your second language is less emotional, and using a second language evokes less anxiety than your native language.

All 1100 of the students at FC taking a language are affected by these skills, and some of them take more than one language, further increasing the skills that languages help develop. The younger people learn a language, the more effective studying a language can be.

“Children who learn another language before age five use the same part of the brain to acquire that second language that they use to learn their mother tongue,” said a Lead with Languages article on learning early. “Younger learners are also uninhibited by the fear of making mistakes, which is sometimes an obstacle for older beginners.”

Children who learn languages early also have cognitive benefits that those who learn later in life either do not have or have less of. 

“Compared to those without an additional language, bilingual children have improved reading, writing, and math skills, and they generally score higher on standardized tests,” said Lead with Languages.

Whether you learn as a young kid, in high school, or as an adult, languages still have large effects on your brain and your ability to communicate with others. It is part of the reason that students are encouraged to take languages, and it explains why 58.8 percent of FC’s student body is currently learning at least one language.

Previewing the NFL Conference Championships

By J.D. McKay

Well, after the National Championship Monday night, we have three real football games left this season. So, I thought I would give my take on the next two. 

Titans vs Chiefs 3:30

I have been picking the Titans throughout the playoffs. They have dominated the game by running the ball with Derrick Henry, which is one of the most important parts of any playoff run. They have also done two things considered impossible throughout the regular season: beating the high power Ravens offense, and beating the Patriots in New England in the playoffs. However, neither offense was as good throwing the ball as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are. The Chiefs have also probably had this weekend marked since they lost to the Patriots in OT last year. The Chiefs are going to come out hotter than they did against the Texans. The Chiefs will win, probably by quite a bit, even with the Titans terrific ground game. Final Score- Chiefs 35- Titans 17

Packers vs 49ers 6:40

This game I am expecting to be about as close as the early game, so not much of a game. I am not very convinced with the Packers. They have barely beaten some bad teams, like the Lions in Week 17. They seemed to just slide in as the two seed. The 49ers dismantled the Vikings last week, the Vikings were coming off a big win too, so they had some momentum. The 49ers also have a very strong defense, which should give the Packers more problems than they had last week against the Seahawks. Final Score 49ers 31- Packers 17 

 

Interviews with Teresa Hebert and Tabitha Lopp

Editor’s Note: To read more about Miles for Merry Miracles assisting local youth, and to read a column on poverty by opinion editor Christy Avery, see today’s print edition of The Bagpiper.

Teresa Hebert is the Miles for Merry Miracles coordinator. She frequently works with various charities and organizations centered around poverty and education.

B: The holidays can be a challenging time for those in need. What do you think are some of the struggles they face, and why do you think poverty is such an issue?”

TH: “Kids who come back from Christmas, they see all of their friends who have gotten this or gotten that. They feel thankful for shoes and clothes, but all these other kids have gotten Xboxes and tickets to the nicest concerts in town…. A lot of people, especially this time of year, feel like they have to compete… but we forget that the greatest gift is the gift of giving. I don’t remember 90 percent of the gifts I got, but I remember how I felt.”

B: What differences have you observed, if any, in the way poverty affects children versus adults?

TH: “Kids in poverty, they often don’t know it. And I’m happy to know that they don’t know it. But I remember, six years ago, a mom—she had maybe four kids—I asked her, “What would you like for Christmas?” She wanted an umbrella and blue eye makeup. It made me sad that was all she wanted. She could’ve asked for anything.”

B: For those who aren’t in need, what can they do to give back? 

TH: “All they have to do is look. It’s easy to find volunteer opportunities. JustServe.org will match you up with someone who is looking for volunteers. There’s so many who are yearning to do more, but just aren’t being challenged. Like at Highland Hills, there have been 7th graders who, when we gave them a sheet and said “you need two hours of service” end up volunteering for 200 hours. It’s the three Ts: time, talent, treasures. Use those. You have a lot to give.”

B: Should volunteering come with an incentive?

TH: “While I would I initially say there shouldn’t be an incentive, there are so many destructions going on, that sometimes you just need something to push you over the edge. Over the past 40 years, the poverty rate in our nation hasn’t changed much at all. Why is it staying around 12 percent for 40 years when there are so many organizations out there trying to help? We have CEOs in our nation that are making 300 million dollars a year, but we have a food charity that could change the world making 85,000 dollars a year. What is wrong with that picture? 

I’ve found that once we get kids to our events, they have fun and they’re willing to do it the next time without an incentive. Because if they’re doing good, they can’t be doing bad.”

B: What does M4MM do? How do they help the community?

TH: “The history is in 2008, during the housing crisis, a lot of people lost their homes. My son who started the organization… he realized that to know his community, he had to be out in his community. 

“It’s a youth-serving, youth-led organization that partners with other youth organizations like Salvation Army, MyClub, and Kentucky Refugee Ministries.M4MM works to provide them children in poverty with toys, shoes, clothing, coats, and food, especially during the two weeks they’re out of school during the holidays.”

B: Describe how our local area is being helped this holiday season 

TH: “There are amazing churches and organizations like Hope Southern Indiana, Shop with a Cop, and families and kids that are willing to give up a little bit of their Christmas so they can help other kids. We probably have 35 sponsors willing to invest in M4MM and our youth leaders to make Christmas magical for the kids who may not get a Christmas.”

B: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

TH: “I would say the best way to minimize poverty is through education and a healthy lifestyle. Not doing drugs, smoking, not having sex when you’re young, being in a healthy relationship. Live, learn, give, earn. Being in a strong family is a central unit to society. And also, to not spend more than you have, don’t get yourself into debt and don’t have a bunch of credit.”

Tabitha Lopp is a stay-at-home mother of four living in Southern Indiana. Lopp offered to give her thoughts on the topic of poverty from personal experience.

B: What is your day-to-day life like during the holidays?

TL: “I’m a mother of four and it’s really hard, because you see everybody doing Christmas shopping, and you hear about everybody doing Black Friday, and everybody’s getting gifts… for us, it’s a little hard because we don’t get to do that extra. If it weren’t for the fact of the Angel Tree and things like that, you know, our children may not have anything under the tree… Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time, it’s supposed to be happy, and it’s really hard and stressful rather than happy for us.”

B: Do you think there are misconceptions around how the cycle of poverty begins for people?

TL: “At times, yes. I feel like a lot of your maybe higher-class [people] and things like that look at poverty as laziness, really. They look at it like, how is it that they can make it to where they’re at, but yet, we’re down here ‘not doing anything.’ I think that sometimes instead of people being more humble about it, they are more judgemental, honestly. And really, it makes it hard for people who are in poverty to ask for help or to reach out or things like that because they fear the judgement… I’ve only done the Angel Tree for the past two years, and even for me, it’s hard to go in there because I don’t want them to think I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. But in this day and age it’s hard to make ends meet.”

B: Do you feel that wealthy or otherwise privileged families spend too much at Christmas? Do you feel like there’s an over-commercialization?

TL: “Honestly, I think if they’re happy and if they’re able to do that, then that’s their own personal thing. It’s not for me to say… If they’re able to do that, that’s absolutely wonderful.”

B: Do you think there’s a stigma that comes along with being poor? If so, what and why?

TL: “I definitely think that wealthier people don’t quite understand. They’re not as accepting. And I do think, as we said earlier, that they do look at it a lot as us being lazy and not giving our full potential and things, when sometimes that’s really not the case. I’m not gonna say always, because I’m sure there are people in poverty, who, it’s on their own behalf. But there’s a lot of times too, just like in my situation, my husband does work, but even with him working, I’m a stay-at-home mom of four kids, so his paycheck that he gets doesn’t always make ends meet. It’s enough to kind of get us by as far as bills and things, but when it comes to the holidays… trying to keep up with bills plus doing holiday shopping and things, it makes it hard. So yes, I do think there’s a lot judgment, and I think they don’t quite understand unless they’ve been there.”

B: What do you wish that others knew or that you could tell them?

TL: “I wish that, people who are in poverty, knew that it is okay to ask for help. It is okay to struggle. All the way down to when I was a child, I have dealt with this kind of thing. It is okay to ask for help. I think that, people that are more wealthy, I think they need to understand more and instead of passing judgment be more compassionate about it. I feel like if you are wealthy and have the means to help people then you should, and it doesn’t even have to be nothing major.” 

B: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

TL: “I just know that for us, it’s supposed to be a happy, wonderful time, and a lot of that gets taken from us in poverty due to the fact of all the stress and the worry and things. And while they’re [people not in poverty] are enjoying their families and all of the above, there’s a lot of people who don’t have that… who may not have gifts come. I just wish that there was more compassion in the world.” 

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