The American Pundit judging for the first half of June is complete, with two more writers earning $250 prizes and eligibility for the $5,000 Grand Prize, to be awarded after the November elections.
The Writing Assignment for the first half of June asked participants to apply a little historical imagination to the political arena on the topic if how things might be different today if any U.S. presidential election between 1980 and 2008 had turned out with a different winner.
We received some thought-provoking responses, including some very good entries by previous semi-monthly winners, but one submission stood out above the rest. With “A more democratic world without Ronald Reagan,” Mark Pere Madrona of the Philippines earns the on-topic prize. This marks the second time that an American Pundit winner hails from outside the United States and gives Allvoices a chance to reiterate that while The American Pundit deals with Campaign 2012 in the United States, writers from all over the globe are welcome to participate.
In writing about Reagan’s see-no-evil policy toward U.S.-allied strongmen such asof Chile, Baby Doc Duvalier of Haiti and the Philippines , Madrona explains how the U.S. commitment to international human rights became a glaring sham under Reagan. Had Carter won re-election, Madrona argues that “it is not realistic to believe Carter would have suddenly cut ties with all pro-American strongmen. Instead, he could have sent a strong signal about his stand on democracy by being more assertive in pushing for meaningful political reforms.”
Madrona, who lives in Manila and is a Stringer for Allvoices, has been a site member since July 3, 2011. In addition to the $250 bonus, he earns promotion to Anchor for his winning effort and can now submit stories to Allvoices’ Select Media program.
In the general subject category, the winning entry comes from Allvoices Anchor Amee Ellsworth of Bennett, Colo., who has been writing for the site since March 20, 2012.
Ellsworth wrote several intriguing reports during the June 1-15 segment, but her column dealing with wealth disparity in the United States takes home the prize. In “The United States, a nation gone awry: the war that has been waged against the working poor in the political arena,” she concludes by offering a solution: “A simple answer exists based on the percentage of the nation’s wealth. If 400 people control 40% of the wealth, they should pay 40% of the income taxes, and the bottom 50% who control 2% of wealth should pay 2% of the income taxes. Therefore, the 1% need a tax increase and the bottom 50% need a tax cut.”
We hope to see a lot more from both these writers between now and Election Day.
The current assigned topic runs through the end of June deals with the politics of marijuana, also known as cannabis, its botanical name:
In November, Coloradans will vote on legalizing marijuana. Recently, Rasmussen measured 56 percent support for legalization nationally. Has the time come to legalize cannabis for both recreational and medical usage? Why or why not?
The next deadline for entries is at 11:59 p.m. on June 30. Two additional winners will be selected from the entrants, with at least one winner picked from entries on the assigned topic.
Stay on top of the campaign with The American Pundit’s unique combination of citizen punditry and citizen journalism at http://www.allvoices.com/election2012. If you like writing about U.S. politics and the 2012 campaign, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize and the $1,000 runner-up prize, to be awarded after the November election. Head to http://www.allvoices.com/write_now to sign up!