October 7, 2020

AF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: California’s Criminal Justice Reform, Climate at the Debate, and Engagement with North Korea

By: Jenny DeMarco

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

California Just Passed Common-Sense Criminal Justice Reforms. Really. by Brad Polumbo (Summer 2018) in The Dispatch
Whether it’s “pro-worker” gig economy legislation that ends up badly hurting freelancers or harmful high taxes that push wealth out of the state, the state offers Republican critics a constant stream of Democratic policies to attack and campaign against. Yet on the issue of criminal justice reform, California is leading the way on policy in a manner that conservatives may support, at least in part.

On September 30, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a suite of criminal justice bills to address probation reform and juvenile justice reform, two issues where the governor may actually win some conservative applause…

Young conservatives brought climate to the debate stage by Quill Robinson (Spring 2020) in The Hill
Last week, moderator Chris Wallace opened the first presidential debate of 2020 by saying, “we’ve got a lot to unpack here, gentlemen.”

Within the first 10 minutes of the debate, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden hit at least six different topics including the Supreme Court vacancy, the Affordable Care Act and the coronavirus pandemic. Few people expected the debate to be a respectful discussion about policy — it was not — but an unexpected question on climate change turned out to be the bright spot of the night…

Nuclear War with North Korea Shouldn’t Be an Option by John Dale Grover (Spring 2019) in The Diplomat
A few years ago, the United States came close to nuclear war. According to Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” throughout the summer of 2017 and January 2018, the Pentagon was on the lookout for a potential North Korean attack. Then Secretary of Defense James Mattis would go to the National Cathedral to pray because, “He was growing increasingly alarmed about the possibility of a war that could kill millions.”

Indeed, if war had broken out it would have killed millions in Seoul and Tokyo, at American bases in the Pacific, and in U.S. cities as far away as Washington, D.C. and New York City. Thankfully, war was averted. But this episode should serve as a warning of how easily a crisis could spin out of control…