John Lindsay, the Forgotten Civil Rights Hero

By Hirak Mukhopadhyay

This November marked the fifty-year anniversary of John Lindsay being elected Mayor of New York City. Lindsay, a Republican New York City Congressman, proclaimed he will have the most successful administration “This city has ever seen.” But as a struggling mayor who made far too mistakes, Lindsay never lived up to the hype. Sadly, his brilliant civil rights record got lost in the fray.

Even after all these years, John Lindsay is easily the most good-looking and glamorous New York City Mayor of all time, but far from the best. Unaware of the harsh realities of the city and plagued by liberal idealism, he quickly faltered. Transit strikes, bureaucracies, botched integration of black children in schools, sanitation workers’ strikes, another botched plan to move low-income blacks into middle-class white neighborhoods, and putting the city in massive debt is what most remember Lindsay for, even if many of his policies and beliefs were well-intended. Lindsay stuck around for a few years after leaving City Hall, but quickly lost relevance. Each law firm Lindsay joined went out of business, and soon found himself without health insurance, at a time where his health was poor, and had little money. Suffering from Parkinson’s, he passed away at the age of 79 in 2000. It was a sad end to a disappointing career, although it had much promise.

John Lindsay the civil rights crusader however, was a different story. Lindsay was Eisenhower-appointed Attorney General Herbert Brownell’s assistant in the Department of Justice, where he did civil rights work, and Brownell later contributed to the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Lindsay then went on to be a member of Congress, where he voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lindsay’s commitment to civil rights will certainly never be up for debate.

The 50th anniversary of John Lindsay’s election could not have come at a better time. Recently, there has been rioting, protesting, and marching due to recent police brutality in Ferguson and Baltimore, among others. But in 1968, as riots broke out after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Lindsay was on the streets of Harlem that night. As Lindsay’s assistant David Garth recalled:

‘’There was a wall of people coming across 125th Street, going from west to east. I thought we were dead. John raised his hands, said he was sorry. It was very quiet. My feeling was, his appearance there was very reassuring to people because it wasn’t the first time they had seen him. He had gone there on a regular basis. That gave him credibility when it hit the fan.”

Keep in mind that Lindsay was out on the streets of Harlem, as a white, patrician, Yale University and Yale Law School educated, Upper-East side Congressmen-turned-Mayor with virtually no security, just a few years after the JFK assassination, on nights where locals in the neighborhood were alert and frightful. It was an act of tremendous courage. Detroit and Los Angeles burned, but New York City suffered far less damage. In 2015, there is constant verbal admonishment towards civil rights protesters and movements like #BlackLivesMatter. John Lindsay never criticized civil rights protests as mayor; he participated in them. Not surprisingly, Lindsay Administration alumni include figures such as Washington D.C. Mayor Walter Washington and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, both of whom suffered tremendous discrimination and hardship for being black. Civil rights were in the core of Lindsay’s image, but Lindsay has not yet gotten the recognition he deserves.

Fifty years later, Lindsay as a mayor overall has a mixed reception, with a lot of negative reviews for being reckless and stubborn, but praise as well for being a true progressive. But when it comes to civil rights and fighting for the rights of African-Americans, his legacy should be admired. But in difficult times like these, it cannot be forgotten that fifty years ago, someone even as aristocratic as Lindsay fearlessly stood up for equality, even when that stance was far more unpopular than it is today. Lindsay does not have to be the greatest mayor New York City has ever seen; just being an inspirational one is enough.



BEST MAYORS: John Lindsay. Perf. Various. YouTube., 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. <>.

Fun City Revisited: The Lindsay Years. Dir. Rob Issen. Perf. John Lindsay. Vimeo., 2013. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. <>.

John Lindsay Becomes Mayor Of New York (1965). Perf. John Lindsay. YouTube, 13 Apr. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. <>.

John Lindsay, Life Magazine Cover. 1965. Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C. History, Art, Archives, United States House of Representatives. Web. 30 Oct. 15. <>.

McFadden, Robert D. “John V. Lindsay, Mayor and Maverick, Dies at 79.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 Dec. 2000. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. <>.

Purnick, Joyce. “Metro Matters; Remembering A Mayor, Faults and All.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2000. Web. 30 Oct. 2015. <>.



#UDIntern: My Summer Fling with the Federal Government (Disclaimer: Not a Political Scandal)


Photo courtesy of

They say it always happens when you least expect it. Often times, it’ll hit you when you’re simply going about your daily business in a perfectly ordinary spot, like a Starbucks or, in my case, an office. Until this summer, I had always been skeptical of the whole “love at first sight” thing, but I’ll admit it. I fell in love during the first week of my internship. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE WAY OUR GOVERNMENT WORKS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

I know it’s pretty taboo these days to do anything other than bash our government. Showing support for such radical ideals as, I don’t know, a representative democracy (“But Congress gets nothing done!”) or a separation of powers (“Thanks Obama!”), etc. tends to merit nothing more than eye rolls and criticism. I get it–many people would rather give up Chipotle for the rest of their lives than be forced to engage in the political process, often with good reason. Times are hard, tensions are rising, and our leaders are losing the trust of the American people who are growing rapidly disillusioned with the way our country is run. But I had an incredible summer that showed me how our government has the potential to truly help people, so hear me out.

Let me first make an important distinction. Government is not the same thing as politics. In my own words, government is the infrastructure through which a nation’s rules are carried out and services are provided to its population. Politics, on the other hand, is the calculated process by which decisions are made. American politics primarily revolve around deciding who should be the leader of our government. Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s our nation’s election process that gives government such a terrible reputation. Take the 2016 presidential race: there are many factors that are already causing Americans to tune out over a year away from the election (think: Clinton v. Bush Round 2, billion-dollar campaigns, Donald Trump’s hair, Donald Trump’s platform, the actors Donald Trump paid to attend his announcement, etc.). We’re not doing a great job of ensuring to the public that the leaders they will elect have their best interests in mind. Politics and government are certainly related; but let me assure you that you can be disillusioned by American politics without giving up entirely on our system of government. Anyways, I digress.

Photo courtesy of

I got to spend 10 wonderful weeks this summer as an intern for United States Senator Tom Carper, who represents the state of Delaware. 10 whole weeks of government, and NO politics were required. **Warning: Quick American Gov. Recap** A senator’s term is 6 years. Senator Carper was last re-elected in 2012, which means that he doesn’t really have to actively campaign for another year or two. This allows him and his staff to simply focus on helping people–both at home in Delaware, and throughout the country.

In addition to their main office in Washington, D.C., senators also have regional offices throughout their home state. While the D.C. office tends to have a more legislative focus (please reference “I’m Just a Bill” should you need any further explanation), the regional offices specialize in individualized constituent casework. Casework can range from helping a widowed senior citizen with her Social Security paperwork, to helping a veteran find subsidized housing, or acting as a liaison between an individual and a governmental agency like the FDA or EPA.

Back to the juicy stuff. I got to work in Senator Carper’s Wilmington office. Among my many different responsibilities there, casework was the one from which I got the most satisfaction. Every day, I would answer the phone, listen to a constituent explain why he or she was calling, and connect them to the appropriate caseworker who specialized in the issue area of concern. Having spent a lot of time on the phone with constituents this summer, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. If you’re working in a governmental office (and this definitely also applies to a position in customer service), just remember that no one is calling to tell you that you or your office is doing a good job. They either need your help, or are just angry. Often both. Don’t take it personally.
  2. Phone etiquette is everything. Using formal language makes the person on the other end of the line feel more respected, and doesn’t necessarily give it away to them that you’re just an intern.
  3. It’s better to put someone on hold and ask your advisor a dumb question, rather than try to handle it yourself.

Despite enduring a few unpleasant phone calls, I really loved being part of the casework process. While the senator himself doesn’t have time to sit on the phone with every constituent that calls in with a concern, he hires talented and caring staff members who strive to help the people of Delaware on his behalf. I got to watch (and sometimes actively assist) his staff members helping Delawareans every day with problems big and small.

Federal lawmakers can spend years trying to pass big initiatives that could improve the lives of thousands of Americans, but fail to do so in light of budgetary constraints and political gridlock. While the work that goes on in Washington has a far larger scope of influence, I believe that at the end of each day, more good is accomplished in regional offices across the country. Washington, D.C. is the home of big-picture government, while the staff members in local offices get to refine the details due to the absence of political pressure.

I can only speak to my experience, but I’m sure the same goes for congressional offices in every state. Behind your elected officials are full staffs of competent employees ready to help their constituencies. If you call into your senators’ regional offices, you’ll speak with someone who likely lives nearby and understands what’s going on in your community; they will be useful resource to you.

Or, if you wish to voice your position on a policy, I promise that your comments will be recorded and passed along to staff members who will do something about them. If rising student debt pisses you off, write to your congressmen! If you don’t agree with the Iran agreement, call their offices! It’s up to us to engage in the democratic process afforded to us. If nothing else, we’ll be giving an intern something worthwhile to do.

Written by: Sarah Grace Fulton

Sarah is a Public Policy major with an Economics minor at the University of Delaware. She is the Treasurer for the College Democrats and both the founder and communications director of Blue Hens for Hillary on campus. Additionally, Sarah is in the University of Delaware Honors Program Class of 2016 and a Social Media Ambassador with the Twitter account @BlueHenSarah.

Why I support the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal (TPP) of 2015.

By Hirak Mukhopadhyay

The TPP trade deal has started an interesting uproar in Washington. The Obama Administration has found support to “fast-track” it (pass the TPA) from Ted Cruz, Dianne Feinstein, Mitch McConnell, and Claire McCaskill, with opposition from Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, Harry Reid, and Joe Manchin. Interesting groups to say the least1, 2. For the sake of simplicity, I will discuss the TPP (which is linked with the TPA), not the TTIP and TAA. I’m very aware that Democrats have turned on President Obama due to many negatives that this deal would have both nationally and internationally. But I have a very different perspective on this deal, and I do not think its overblown faults should block such a great opportunity. Here are my reasons for firmly standing by the TPP.

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For the last time, gay marriage is not an attack on religious liberty

By Hirak Mukhopadhyay

In the aftermath of gay marriage now being legal in all 50 states, there has been the expected backlash from Republicans and conservatives regarding the verdict. Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal believes it will lead to an all-out attack on religious freedom for Christians, and is eroding the “right” to religious liberty1, a concern shared by many other presidential candidates and their fellow Republican supporters. But the religious liberty argument is weakened by many factors: freedoms for homosexuals really makes no permanent change in the lives of many Americans, how religion is conveniently inserted into the gay marriage discussion when many things are no longer suppressed by religion, how religious liberty exemptions can be made about literally everything in our society, and how gay marriage along with other Christianity-bending laws actually protect religious liberty, not infringe upon them. All things considered, gay marriage is not a serious threat to the religious sectors of the United States.

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The Confederacy Died. So Why Not the Flag?

By Hirak Mukhopadhyay


Given the recent tragedy in South Carolina, I hate to take away from the actual tragedy and talk politics. No one or their families, no matter who they are, what they believe, and what ethnicity they belong to should suffer such violence and senseless killing. But it brings to light the issue of Confederate nostalgia, the same Confederacy who fought the United States in the Civil War because slavery was so important to them that they wanted their own country to preserve it. Despite the Confederate flag being a sign of racist hatred, it still shines along the Capitol building of South Carolina, the state where this terrible act of terrorism just took place in the AME Church in Charleston. It is a great contradiction that as a state mourns for its loss, it hangs a flag representative of a group of people who had killed and tortured and raped the same culture of people it is now mourning for now. Therefore, if one good thing can come out of the AME terrorist attacks, it should be ending the display of the Confederate flag by all levels of government, whether it be local, state, and federal.

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Remembering Beau Biden

By Hirak Mukhopadhyay

As many of you know, Beau Biden passed away over the weekend. I have some personal insight regarding Beau’s persona and career that I would like share.

When I was a student at Caravel Academy in Delaware, Beau Biden once visited gave a speech to the middle and upper school divisions. It was the fall of 2008, just months before his father Joe Biden and President Obama were elected. Yet during his speech, Beau made no mention of the election, even though it was literally going on at the time and 2008 was perhaps the busiest year of his life. Not to mention his moment of glory during the Democratic Convention. Yet that wasn’t mentioned either. If my memory serves me well, I don’t think he mentioned his dad at all. Instead, Beau discussed children and teens being safe. Safe from teen crime, drugs, alcohol, pedophiles, rapists, and the dangerous adults and teenagers who lurk around the internet on sites such as Myspace and chatrooms (it was 2008). It was a truly caring and thoughtful presentation, one that showed that even though Delaware is such a small state and people might think “oh, it’s Delaware, what’s the worst that can happen?” Beau was quite concerned.

One of Beau’s best lawyers in the Delaware Attorney General’s Office was one of my professors in the spring of 2014. This must be a tough time for him as well. But while telling the class about what goes on in the office that Beau was in charge of, he told me that prosecuting cases in Delaware, even though it’s quiet and small, is much harder than people think. Wilmington has a lot of crime, and there are very few people in the state, which makes it difficult to find witnesses or evidence. Delaware is not New York City where there’s cameras everywhere. Given that, being Attorney General of Delaware is actually a pretty difficult job, and studying criminal justice and politics has given me the impression that since Delaware doesn’t have much taxes, they probably didn’t have much funding to work with. So when people say Beau was a talent, I certainly believe it.

After watching his DNC speech when I got older, I realized that Beau really did have a bright future. I was really looking forward to seeing him run for Congress or Governor, and the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor came to our College Democrats meeting once. It’s a shame he and Beau can no longer run together, as Beau was planning a run for governor in 2016. But more importantly, Beau was a son, a father, a husband, and a family man. But he also lived up to Biden name and accomplished something on his own. My deepest condolences go to out to the Biden family at this difficult time and may Beau rest in peace.

Returning to Democracy: Overturn Citizens United


By Hirak Mukhopadhyay

Note: This essay was used for another assignment in the Department of Political Science & International Relations at the University of Delaware. With the exception of slight formatting and the addition of subheadings, this essay is being reproduced here with no changes to its original content.

The U.S. Constitution is the document that represents the Founding Fathers’ view of American democracy. But in the ruling of Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission, First Amendment free speech benefits allow corporations to make independent election expenditures and advertising, yet this does not wholly correspond to other precedents in other U.S. Supreme Court cases and is breaking the ideals of American democracy and other original principles of the Founding Fathers. Thus, the political change that should be made in United States is the Federal Congress passing a law to insert a ban on independent election contributions toward election communications in order to maintain the interest of original American democracy while making government more responsive to the will of the people.

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A guide to tomorrow’s UK election

Thursday’s UK Election: Everything you need to know


On Thursday, the entire United Kingdom will vote to select representatives for the next parliament. Those representatives will then get to elect a Prime Minister who will then decide what direction the country goes in. For the past five years, Prime Minister David Cameron has presided over sharp budget cuts to tackle the deficit, but this could dramatically change if the Labour Party under Ed Miliband comes to power. Unlike most elections for the past 80 years this election is likely to result in a hung parliament, where no single party holds a majority. Consequently this could be the most chaotic election in years.

  • Who’s running?
    1. The Conservative Party – basically the UK equivalent of the Republicans but more socially liberal on issues such as abortion and same sex marriage. Led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
    2. The Labour Party – Historically a socialist party, but today basically the UK equivalent of the Democratic Party. Led by Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband.
    3. The Liberal Democrats – traditionally the representatives of the progressive center, the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) have moved rightwards allying themselves with Conservatives in the current government, but alienating many of their former supporters. Led by Deputy PM Nick Clegg.
    4. UKIP – An anti immigrant, anti European Union party of the far right. Comparable to the Tea Party if they ever broke away from the Republicans. Led by Member of the European Parliament Nigel Farage.
    5. The Scottish National Party – A left wing party advocating Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. Led by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.
    6. Others – In addition to other large parties, the UK election will also feature many other parties that will receive a smaller share of the national vote. These include, the Greens a left wing environmentalist party, Plaid Cymru a left wing party advocating Welsh Independence, The Democratic Unionist Party a right wing party advocating Northern Irish Unionism, and Sinn Fein a left wing party advocating for Irish Nationalism.
  • How did it come to this? In 2010, no single party won a majority of seats. After long discussions, the Liberal Democrats agreed to support a Conservative Government with David Cameron as Prime Minister and Nick Clegg as his deputy. During their term in Government, the Cameron coalition enacted severe budget cuts and raised tuition fees for students. This severely alienated many Liberal Democrat Voters who have since switched allegiance to Labour. At the same time, many conservative voters became angered over the Conservative led coalition’s support of equal marriage and immigration, began to switch to the far right UKIP. UKIP has since managed to win over both traditional conservatives and some working class Labour supporters with their populist message. Another major factor has been the rise of the SNP. Although they lost the referendum on Independence, they managed to win over many left wing Labour supporters angered at Labour’s willingness to work with the Conservatives against Independence. Although their percent of the national vote is small, their heavily concentrated support in Scotland should make them the third biggest party in Parliament by taking away almost all of Labour’s Scottish seats.
  • Why does it matter? The future of the United Kingdom is probably more at stake than any other election in a generation. If the Conservatives win, they have pledged to hold a referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union. Should the UK then vote to leave the EU, Britain’s power would be dramatically reduced and ironically their ability to change EU policy would be drastically curtailed. Furthermore if the UK does leave the EU, this would give the Scottish Nationalist Party an excuse to hold another referendum on Independence. While Independence lost last time, if Britain were to be ruled for another five years by right wing parties outside the EU, then the generally left wing pro EU Scotland would likely vote to leave. Such a result would essentially destroy Britain’s international power and influence.

A UK run by Labour with the support of the SNP would be able to enact several left leaning policies, including tuition cuts and ending foreign tax breaks. On the other hand, if Labour comes in second in number of seats and has to rely on the support of the SNP, the Conservatives will charge that the government is illegitimate.

  • Who do the Polls predict will win? Probably no party will win a majority, but Ed Miliband is the slight favorite to become Prime Minister. To win the election a party needs 323 seats in Parliament. The problem is no party is projected to get that on their own. Consequently some form of coalition or support agreement is likely. The Conservatives will probably win the most seats, but have fewer allies then Labour. If the Conservatives manage to get the Liberal Democrats to agree to another Coalition they would likely still fall several seats short. Even if they got the additional support of Ukip or the northern Irish right wing Democratic Unionist Party, they would likely still fall short. Not to mention the fact that a deal involving the Lib Dems and Ukip working together seems unlikely as the parties are at complete opposites on the European Union and Immigration. Consequently although Labour, may get a few seats less than the Conservatives they are still the favorites. The combined seats of Labour, the SNP, the Greens, Plaid Cymru and the SDLP are likely to be enough for a majority. Although Labour has ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP, it is unlikely that any of the previously mentioned parties would ever vote to uphold a Conservative government. To do so would be electoral suicide for any of those parties. Thus the most likely situation is a minority Labour government upheld by the SNP, possibly with the help of any of the previously mentioned parties.


*As College Democrats we welcome submissions to our website from our members and anyone who is interested in thoughtful political discussion. Posts do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Delaware College Democrats.

By Jordan Bosworth

What will you do?
ISIS, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram…
Choose a side.

“Stop the terrorists.”
“Secure our borders.”
“I have nothing to hide.”

“They blow up mosques and schools…
‘Death to Israel!’”
Broken deals; no trust.

“Strike a balance.”
“Keep Americans safe.”
“Government protects us.”

“’God is Great!’”
“They say, and do not.”
“Take heed that no man deceive you.”

I choose faith and
Compassion and understanding.
What will you do?
Lines 7, 8, 13: PBS Frontline- The Fight for Yemen aired 4/7/2015 10-11pm
Lines 10, 11: Senator Carper’s response to an email about the coming re-authorization of the Patriot Act
Lines 14 and 15: Jesus’ words from St. Matthew (KJV) 23:3 and 24:4
Meaning of 1, 6, and 7:

Political Profile for Week Five: Senator Ted Cruz

5. Ted Cruz, Junior Senator from Texas:
Basic Background Information

  • 44 years old
  • Graduated from Princeton University
  • Received law degree from Harvard University
  • Was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist
  • Briefly practiced law
  • Served Governor George W. Bush as a domestic policy adviser
  • Served as associate deputy attorney general in the US Justice Department
  • Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-2008
  • Practiced law again briefly
  • Became the junior senator from Texas in 2012

5. Ted Cruz Political Profile

  • Well suited for the states that have early primaries/caucuses

–Iowa-yes, New-Hampshire-No

  • Skeletons in the closet (that we know about)

–Canadian citizenship-probably a non-issue, but could be used against him.

–Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, associates with extreme right wing figures and has a propensity to make incendiary and sometimes insane comments. Rafael Cruz has also shown a willingness to get involved in political matters/endorse candidates that could cause further embarrassment (

  • Candidate’s Weaknesses: Ties to unpopular positions or politicians?

–Unpopular politicians: Cruz has embraced being one of Sarah Palin’s favorite politicians.

–Cruz’s role in instigating the government shutdown has made him many enemies amongst “establishment” Republicans.

–Unpopular positions for the Republican primary:

  • Nothing major.

–Unpopular positions for the general election:

  • Pro-life with the life of the mother as the only exception.
  • Personally opposes same-sex marriage; let individual states decide.
  • Opposes gun control.
  • Opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants (opposed the Senate’s immigration bill)
  • Supports privatizing social security.
  • Face of the government shutdown and Tea Party radicalism.

–No experience governing (not a governor)

–Abrasive personality.

–Largely seen as an unelectable Republican.

Has only served two years in the senate

  • What is this candidate’s selling points?

–The Tea Party may not be the biggest segment of the Republican electorate, but it is the most passionate, vocal, and fastest growing. Many Tea Party activists would support a Cruz bid.

  • The Tea Party adores Cruz. Becoming the face of the movement.
  • The Tea Party’s backing is extremely important in a Republican primary and Cruz seems likely to win it.

–Seems especially beloved by Iowans, which would prove useful in the important Iowa caucus.

–For whatever you think of his politics or his strategy, he is extremely smart. Did not just attend ivy league schools, excelled there.

–Has a history of being an excellent debater. We have seen candidates who were skilled debaters directly benefit from the frequent debates during the Republican primary season (see Newt Gingrich in 2012).

–May just be capable of taking tea party aims and articulating a coherent vision for America.

–At present, Cruz is personally despised by much of the Republican establishment, thanks to his antics and reputation for not being a team player. For many Republicans, drawing the ire of the establishment is an asset not a drawback.

  • Best suited for the general election or primaries? Establishment or outsider candidate?

–Republican primaries and its not close. Still seems far too conservative to be a viable general election candidate. Identifies as an outsider, behaves like an outsider, but in many ways, his background says otherwise.

  • Trending upward, downward , or neither. Why?

–Neither- His role in the government shutdown hurt his chances amongst the general population, but it did make him extremely popular with the Tea Party and dramatically increased his name recognition.

  • On a scale of 1-10 (with ten being certain to run) how likely is he to run?

–Eight. Cruz seems likely to run, but he is relatively young and can afford to bide his time if he doesn’t feel ready. He has not made an announcement either way yet.

Ted Cruz: Key Questions

  • Can Cruz overcome the unelectable argument to win the Republican nomination?
  • Can Cruz inspire a powerful enough grassroots conservative movement to overcome the Republican establishment?