Drag shows are not typically the first thought that comes to mind when asked about national security. However, they have become a significantly contested issue in the security realm. On March 29, against a backdrop of anti-LGBTQ+ state laws passed throughout the United States, drag was raised as an issue during a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon’s 2024 budget. During the testimony of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Under Secretary of Defense Michael J. McCord, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) inquired into drag performances held on military bases.
Words have meaning, and that meaning translates into reality. The more influence an individual or organization has, the more their language could become dangerous and incite violent action. As a participant in Professor Annie Morgan’sEmerging Threats in National Securityprogram, I have learned of the vitalrole that language plays in the study of national security threats and government policy.
For many years, the United States Congress has exercised its powers to investigate controversial topics, including foreign policy, presidential power and federal spending. Often, Congress has used its legal authority to compel other authorities to provide information, as members carry out their necessary and proper power to make and execute federal laws. However, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to grapple with challenging questions on the limits of Congressional authority to compel information. The Court recently decided to dismiss a case that would have addressed a pressing question regarding Congress’ authority to demand information from an executive agency. This case represents a hallmark of separation of powers, and the Federalist debate.
Through the Eisenhower Institute’s Women and Leadership program, I had the opportunity to listen and learn from accomplished women leaders. Though each speaker contributed their knowledge from vastly different career areas and personal experiences, they all praised the value of authentic leadership. Women and Leadership tasked me with finding my hypothetical tie as a woman entering the professional world. The phrase “finding my tie” evolves from the hyper-gendered professional dress code that deems men professional once they lace up their tie—but what is a woman’s “tie?”
More than 10 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. Most cross the border to pursue a better life but face significant challenges on arrival. How can they integrate into a society that does not allow them to legally? Current policy directs authorities to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who are trying to find opportunity in the U.S. Why not instead provide a realistic and timely path for them to work and live legally in America?
By Vincent DiFonzo ’25 Managing Editor, Ike’s Anvil
Last March, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel as part of the Eisenhower Institute’s Contours of the Middle East program. I visited during a time of political crisis. Israel’s young democracy was being challenged—not by a foreign power—but by their own prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. During the trip, our group met with a diverse range of people from the region, including both a retired Israeli Defense Force (IDF) general and a member of the Palestinian National Authority, the provisional government of the West Bank. These two people, from opposite sides of the conflict, disagreed on many things, yet they likely would have agreed on one: Netanyahu’s attempted judicial reforms, which would allow him to end his own corruption trial, are harmful to Israel. Israelis overwhelmingly opposed the changes and took to the streets in massive numbers to protest Netanyahu’s power grab.
As the general election approaches, most eyes lay on the key battleground states in the U.S. to predict who will be the next United States President. Pennsylvania is notorious for being a toss-up red or blue state in the general election. Joe Biden and Donald Trump have spent much of their campaign directed toward winning Pennsylvania to sway their twenty electoral votes. For the previous six elections, Pennsylvania voted for the Democratic Party, but in 2016, they turned red and supported Donald Trump leading him to a victory campaign. Each year, the race was a close call with almost a fifty-fifty split in electoral votes for each political party. This year, Pennsylvania is seen as a tipping point in the election and it is said by most that the fate of who wins the election will be entirely dependent on the winner of Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump cast his ballot in Palm Beach County, Florida, on October 24. As we know, winning Florida is crucial for a presidential candidate in the election, yet it has always been difficult to determine how Florida will vote. The state does not typically show a strong loyalty to either political party and has often been called the “bellwether state” for accurately predicting the national moods of the presidential elections. In fact, since 1928, Florida has only twice voted against the winner of the presidential race.
The state of North Carolina can pride itself on their barbecues, their beaches within the Outer Banks and their status as an election battleground. The future of the presidency of Donald Trump will be on the ballot tomorrow: whether voters approve of his unorthodox handling of key issues enough to give him a second term may be decided by North Carolina, a must-win state for the Republican incumbent. If judging his chances based on past elections – including in 2016 when he carried North Carolina by 3.7 percentage points – this shouldn’t be an extremely difficult task. In the last 50 years, only two Democrats have managed to carry the Tar Heel State on the presidential level – Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Barack Obama in 2008. That said, even as the President carried this state four years ago, it is not a guarantee that he can hold onto this state again.
The Virginia 2nd Congressional District encompasses Accomack, Northampton, and York counties and is considered one of the most competitive congressional districts in Virginia. As a district, it has traditionally held conservative representatives in office, with 8 in 10 being Republican in the past ten elections. The district is 67% white and has an average income of $70K, about $15K higher than the average, giving some reason behind a Republican history and reason to the district being R+3. Moreover, there was redistricting in 2012 that was deemed unconstitutional in 2016 and had no effect on the party that held office the year the redistricting was changed.