By Josh Hughes
Every four years, the world waits with baited breath as voters in the United States go to the polls to determine not only their own fates, but the fates of the unnamed billions around the globe whose very existence depends on the geopolitical stability afforded in the past half century by the United States of America. For the first time in the modern age, that American preeminence is being questioned as the installed president-elect calls for a nuclear arms race, and questions global institutions such as the United Nations and NATO. The 58th Presidential Inauguration will be remembered by history, no doubt, so long as anyone is around to write it. Of course, being present at such an event in an honor, and I will no doubt learn much about the scope and roles of the American presidency and political system.
While we are in Washington DC, I look forward to hearing from many different speakers about their thoughts on what the next two to four years are going to look like. I want to hear from Congressional leaders how they intend to protect national security in age of nuclear weapons and Twitter. I hope to hear from the 45th President himself how he intends to reach out to the majority of Americans who voted against him. I hope to hear from Iowa’s congressional delegation how they intend to protect the 70,000 Iowans who have healthcare because of the Affordable Care Act, and their plans for the 1.3 Million Iowans who would be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions if they choose to repeal the law.
As an LPS student, I’m incredibly interested in the law and the judiciary. Throughout American history, the judiciary has stood as one of the most stable institutions in our democracy. I want to hear from various legal experts, including chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley, how he intends to actively protect these institutions from authoritarian overreach and appointment. I’m also really interested in education policy, and so I look forward to asking both Senator Joni Ernst, and Representative David Young, both products of small town, public schools like me, if they believe that privatization, vouchers, and less funding is the best path forward for rural schools in our state.
I’m excited to be in Washington for this historic moment in history. I remain deeply, deeply pessimistic about the future of the United States under the current administration and with the assistance of the current Congress. However, I am hopeful that the leaders elected to serve will be able to answer my questions, and potentially assuage my concerns.