Monday, October 21, 2019
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Chicagoans march for life during shutdown

About 6,000 people turned out Sunday in downtown Chicago for the “March for Life,” including one Naperville Central High School student, according to her op-ed published in the Central Times, the student newspaper at the school.

(Alana Cervera / Central Times) (student newspaper)

Alana Cervera says that as a Christian and adopted child, she’s pro-life. “My opinion on this issue is deeply personal,” she writes. “The thing that scares me most, is that I do not know whether my birth mom wanted to keep me or give me up. Unfortunately, I may never know this answer. However, I do know that she loved me enough to give me a chance at life, even though we may be separated. So, with all this said, I cannot deny unborn babies the idea of their right to life which is exactly what my life has been built upon.”

She reported that there were a few counter-protesters at the event to chant pro-abortion slogans at the mostly-Christian crowd but little “drama,” as she put it. “I don’t believe this seemed like a big deal to everyone, and I think people were excited to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”

President Donald Trump gave a speech at the March for Life in Washington last year—on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his inauguration, the Associated Press reported. “We are with you all the way,” he reportedly told thousands of activists in the nation’s capital.

Ms Cervera says she looks forward to participating in the march next year. “The amount of pride and hope you feel for standing up for what you believe in is unimaginable. Being able to participate and be surrounded by thousands of other people that agree with you, is inspiring. So, for anyone who has not marched yet for whatever they believe in, I strongly encourage it.”

Both sides of this important issue were at least present at the marches across America Sunday, but an echo chamber, referring to the “dependence many have on surrounding themselves with people who agree with them,” writes Jakob Smith of Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville, Maryland, in Mainstream, the student newspaper there, “is not only restricting and irresponsible, but polarizing and openly damaging to the political climate.

“It is only through healthy discussion among differing parties that real change can happen,” he continues. “Sadly, this is not effectively happening in our society today. With censorship being applauded on platforms including Twitter and Youtube, many find it hard, or in some cases dangerous, to voice their views.”

That doesn’t appear to be the case in Chicago at the March for Life Sunday, but it’s been a feature of the current president, who continues on a course of action with little compassion for people’s lives. The misdirection in the government’s action has been largely attributed to the echo chamber the president has built around himself.

“No man is an island, although Trump comes closer than most,” writes columnist Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate and economics professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, in the New York Times. “You can’t fully make sense of his policy pratfalls without acknowledging the extraordinary quality of the people with whom he has surrounded himself. And by ‘extraordinary,’ of course, I mean extraordinarily low quality. Lincoln had a team of rivals; Trump has a team of morons.”

Surrounding ourselves only with those who agree with us creates a harmful echo chamber that leads to many inaccuracies in our view of the world.

Eli Frohmann-Matthews, writing in the North Star News at Niles North High School in Skokie, Illinois, reported some fact-checking from Mr Trump’s address to the nation last week. “What I mainly took away from Trump’s speech was his complete willingness to use the US government as leverage to further his own agenda,” he wrote. “Right now, our country is being affected in many ways because of this shutdown.”

Many unpaid TSA agents have had to go to food pantries to get food for their families; other federal workers are turning to substitute teaching. Many people are having to wait to start new jobs, even those not in the federal government, as employers wait on background checks from the FBI, which has, understandably, pulled resources to crime fighting and detecting. After all, crime still happens, even though the feds aren’t on the job as much.

Yet the president remains, for the most part, oblivious to these effects. That’s what comes from putting oneself in an echo chamber and not listening to views on all sides of important issues.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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