Summer Reading Contest Winner, Week 5: On ‘The President and the Census’

Summer Reading Contest Winner, Week 5: On ‘The President and the Census’

Thank you to the 850 teenagers who participated in the fifth week of our 10-week Summer Reading Contest, and congratulations to Ella_GHS_2021, our winner, as well as to our many runners-up and honorable mentions.

Scroll down to take a look at the variety of topics — from the United States citizenship test and photos of atoms to social media influencers and dealing with perfectionism — that caught the eyes of our participants this week. You can find the work of all our winners since 2017 in this column.

And please remember to always check the top of our contest announcement to find the right place to participate, any week from now until Aug. 23.

Ella_GHS_2021 from Western Massachusetts chose an episode from “The Daily” podcast headlined “The President and the Census” and wrote:

Before listening to this podcast I assumed that the White House wanted the census’ citizenship question so ICE could better target undocumented immigrants, given Trump’s calls for mass deportation.

However, guest Adam Liptak says, it was partisan, as it would provide data for states to decrease unauthorized citizens’ voting power. Instead of saying that, the Administration said they wanted to protect minority voters. The Supreme Court denied the census addition, which I did not expect because the reason for their refusal, on the basis of inauthenticity, seems less precedented than a more substantial reason like constitutionality.

I was not shocked, however, by how, after the President’s tweet, a complete reversal of his administration’s decision to give up, the federal government was forced to pick up the pieces, and chaos ensued as the lawyers defending the census question almost left the case.

What intrigues me is Liptak’s suggestion that Trump’s fear-mongering, as well as continued fighting, are so pervasive throughout his base, and undocumented immigrant communities, that it doesn’t matter, ultimately, whether the question ends up on the census — he will get the results he wants, of fear in undocumented people and a winner’s high for his followers. To me, this is telling of his presidency overall, and how he won: Trump plays to emotion, not reason, so he wins no matter what, because America is addicted to emotion.