Social issues still pervade America, Huffington says

Arianna Huffington, the media magnate and progressive leader, visited campus on Monday for an event with the Yale College Democrats.
Arianna Huffington, the media magnate and progressive leader, visited campus on Monday for an event with the Yale College Democrats. Photo by Henry Ehrenberg.

Arianna Huffington of Huffington Post fame discussed the role progressivism should play in American politics Monday night.

The editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and co-founder of the content aggregating blog and news website spoke to roughly 80 students in the Branford common room about failures of the Obama administration and the upcoming presidential election. The talk was coordinated by the Yale College Democrats as their last event of the semester, and led as a question-and-answer session between Huffington and the attendees.

The United States has historically taken progressive stances on social issues, Huffington said, as it did in 1863 with the Emancipation Proclamation, 1920 with the 19th Amendment and throughout the 1960s with civil rights legislation. During her talk, Huffington stressed the importance of America continuing to build on the legacy of progressivism in its political history.

“If you think of it, the whole of American history has been a move toward a more perfect union, and every step of that move has been a left wing step,” she said.

Famous for being a conservative commentator during the mid-1990s, Huffington adopted a more liberal perspective toward the end of that decade. Huffington said her views changed when she recognized that government needed to take a more active role in addressing social problems unresolved by the private sector.

Under the Obama administration, Huffington said key economic challenges such as unemployment have not been dealt with properly. Minority populations are also worse off now than they were when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, she said.

Still, Huffington expressed confidence in Obama’s chances during the 2012 presidential election. His “biggest asset,” she said, will be the weakness of the field of Republican candidates opposing him. The Republican party today has demonstrated a disconnect between its policies and the issues that face America, she added.

Considering the country’s current lack of “upward mobility,” Huffington said Democrats need to clearly demonstrate their vision of how progressive politics can remedy this problem.

“We can deal with inequality if people can work hard and achieve better than their parents, but now we have 100 million people who are worse off than their parents were at their age,” Huffington said.

Marina Keegan ’12, President of the Yale College Democrats said Huffington has a unique perspective on this election as someone who used to hold more conservative views.

The Huffington Post brings in an estimated 54,000,000 unique visitors per month, making it the most popular blog on the Internet.


  • Kierkagaard07

    What was that definition of insanity again? Something about doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

  • EliFBfan

    This woman is another of the many social anomolies that currently exist in our country. Despite no accomplishment or skill set as the basis for credibility, beyond her ability to marry a series of wealthy men, she presumes to speak with authority on a series of subjects. Truly laughable.

  • user_name

    Omg who does her hair!?!

  • redman

    The biggest social issue affecting this country is single motherhood.

  • townieexprof


    She studied @ Girton College Cambridge, where she was President of the Cambridge Union.
    (feel insecure yet?)
    She has written books and many articles published in National Review–biographies of Maria Callas and Picasso.
    She was a candidate for Governor in California.

    She played herself on “How I met your mother” and “Family Guy.”
    She started one of the most successful internet news sites HuffPo.

    Like her or not, she is a force.

  • EliFBfan

    She has indeed published books, every single one drawing charges of plagiarism. She was indeed a candidate for governor of California during their recall process along with a bus load of other candidates. She garnered a whopping 1/2 of 1% in the general election. It should also be added, she was out-debated by none other than the intellectual heaveyweight Arnold Schwarzenegger. Her political persuasion has always been dependent upon the last man she was involved with. She is Kim Kardashian with more money, the origin of which has always been the wealthy men she associated with. She is, as previously stated, a social anomoly specific and particular to our culture. Simply amazing.

  • MapleLeaf14

    She’s an interesting figure, and I wouldn’t simply dismiss her outright as some are trying to do…

  • GRD12

    Even more “simply amazing” (and “truly laughable,” far that matter) is that someone who can’t seem to spell the word “anomaly” still thinks that his/her opinion is worth posting…

  • lakia

    Did you mean “far” or “for”?

    • GRD12

      Damn. At least I only did it once!

  • EliFBfan

    Irony, sweet irony

  • robert99

    I think that at the moment economic issues far outweigh social issues.

  • River_Tam

    Hack. Sorry, it’s true.