The newest issue of “X Partisan” is out. X Partisan is the only California university experiment in open, intelligent, intellectual political conversation across many ideological perspectives. Because “bipartisan” has become a dirty word for some years, the blog is christened “XPartisan,” pronounced “Cross Partisan” or simply “X-Partisan.” It is based on the Davis campus of the University of California. In response to the suppression of free speech on campuses across the U.S., and the University of California in particular, the project showcases work by conservative, moderate, and liberal students in Jeffrey Weiner’s FY seminars, “Writing About Politics.” The blog is a striking example of the serious political thought that comes out of an open and tolerant classroom.
This issue focuses on the three most important issues facing our country as we near the end of the first one hundred days of the Trump administration: healthcare, immigration, and foreign relations.
Healthcare For seven years, we’ve all heard the chorus of “repeal and replace” the flawed Affordable Care Act. Our writers remind us that the history of healthcare insurance in this country has been a contentious debate not just for the last decade, but for the better part of our modern history. We have seen coverage expand in a piecemeal fashion. Turning to countries that have achieved universal coverage through public, private, and mixed insurance systems involving government and the free market, the authors of this issue make bold and plausible recommendations to fix healthcare in America.
Immigration The background for this conversation is the dramatic increase of legal and illegal immigrants in the last few decades. What matters when it comes to who settles here, where they come from, and what values they bring with them? Will the unprecedented numbers of immigrants affect how well assimilation occurs? Should the U.S. give preference to skilled versus unskilled immigrants? UC Davis undergraduates respond with a variety of perspectives.
Foreign Relations Even those of us who have some knowledge of Middle Eastern history know less than we should. The complicated past of the West’s involvement in the Maghreb, the Levant, the Arabian peninsula, Mesopotamia, and Persia–particularly since the partition of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the Great War–defines our present day relationship with the region. Our authors examine some of the failures and successes in the Middle East, and take a hard, honest look at the self-interest and ulterior motives that have dogged intervention by European nations and America in the past. While admitting there is no perfect path forward, the writers single out the effectiveness of diplomacy, coalition-building with other Western and Arab countries, and clear, limited goals when it comes to intervention.
The issue ends with a video of our debate about problems in the Middle East. What is the legacy of colonialism in the Middle East and what is its current impact on international relations? How should America decide when it’s a good time to intervene? What should the Middle East do for the Middle East? Do you think the travel ban will be an effective mechanism for stopping terrorism and promoting safety? Why or Why not?