A whirlwind of strange political events has 2015 off to an unexpected start

Snowballs in Congress, banning the phrase climate change and grabbing women’s shoulders. What has our country come to?

2015 had barely started and absurd stories involving political happenings already emerged. By gathering information from students and faculty members The Guilfordian came up with the top six ridiculous stories of the past six months … so far.

Number 6 on the countdown is Joe Biden grabbing Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s wife’s shoulders. On Feb. 17, the vice president leaned in and whispered in Stephanie Carter’s ear while her husband was giving a speech. The Internet soon became obsessed with it.

“I’m a ‘hugger,’ and I like Joe,” said Associate Professor of Political Science Kenneth Gilmore. “There’s nothing creepy about Biden, unless you simply don’t like ebullient humans.”

At number 5 on the list is Hillary Clinton using her private email for confidential matters. The former secretary of state claimed the practice was not illegal, and every communication she had access to became available to the state department.

“Why is this significant?” said Professor of Political Science George Guo. “If it happens to others, people don’t care. But she will become a very strong candidate for the 2016 presidential election, and the opposition wants to find anything to jeopardize it. This is a very minor issue.”

Counting down to number 4 is Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher. Lauten wrote on her Facebook page that Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, should have shown a little more class at a turkey pardoning. She described the girls’ clothing as being more appropriate for a sports bar than a televised event.

“That’s completely inappropriate, especially given the age of those girls and who they are to the President,” said senior and Senate Secretary Khadija Carr. “It’s not anybody’s business what somebody is wearing, especially children,  because that’s what they are.”

Number 3 is Florida banning the phrases climate change and global warming among government employees. Governor Rick Scott believes that climate change is not caused by human activity, and many government employees reported their superiors telling them not to discuss it publicly.

“The science is clear,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Robert Duncan. “(Climate change) is caused by human beings, and if 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists say we’ve got a problem, then it exists.”

Moving into spot number 2 is an Oklahoma senator and a snowball. On Feb. 19, Senator Jim Inhofe, in a meeting with Congress, tried to explain that climate change is a hoax and proceeded to toss a snowball to a page to prove his point.

“We cannot say climate change is not happening because we get snow,” said sophomore and Senate President José Oliva. “There is a lack of understanding of what climate change is from (the senator) and how it is affecting many in the world.

“We are responsible for climate change, but when people like (the senator do) not think we are, we try to ignore it is happening.”

And finally, in the number 1 spot, Oklahoma tried to ban AP U.S. history. On Feb. 16, Oklahoma’s State legislative committee on education voted to pass a bill that prohibits public schools from teaching APUSH, causing outrage.

“We should learn from the past in order to move forward into the future,” said Oliva. “We need to make sure we do not make the same mistakes.”

The outcomes of this decision can change and damage next generation’s critical thinking according to Duncan.

“I’m halfway convinced that the average American voter has an intellect that could hide in the shadow of a snow pea,” Duncan said. “They watch Fox News and they look at the talking heads and they just do what they’re told.”

Will 2015 be the stage for any other ridiculous happenings? Stay tuned.

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