The Ripcurrent: Twitch, Polish Abortions, Final Presidential Debate

AOC Takes on Twitch to Reach Younger Demographic

In recent months,  ‘Among Us’ has become increasingly popular around the world. (If you don't know what 'Among Us' is, it's a game in which you're either a crewmate or an imposter. Crewmates follow tasks to successfully keep their ship working, while imposters try to sabotage this mission). Many favored content creators on the streaming platform, Twitch, have played this game on stream, adding to its heightened popularity.

U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, streamed Among Us on Twitch this past week. She played with extremely popular twitch streamers, such as Toast, Pokimane, and fellow congresswoman Ilhan Omar. AOC’s stream reached up to 400,000 viewers at its height, and now holds the record for the 2nd greatest number of viewers on a Twitch stream at once. While she kept politics out of it for the most part, she used her platform to heavily encourage people to vote, specifically for Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden.

Her stream targeted young people who may be voting in their first election. Other than a slew of ‘Trump 2020’ comments, the majority of the stream were encouraging her and recommending others to vote blue.

-Abbie Blake


The country of Poland has banned abortion due to fetal abnormalities, one of the last exceptions the country had for legal abortions. Although the majority of the population is divided on this topic, the country has some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. This is due to the extreme influence the Roman Catholic Church has on the country’s government and laws.

In the Polish Constitution, there is a guarantee to the right to life. Julia Pryzylebska, the tribunal’s president, stated that allowing this particular classification of abortions legalized, “eugenic practices with regard to an unborn child, thus denying it the respect and protection of human dignity...a directly forbidden form of discrimination.” Poland now only permits abortions if the fetus is a threat to a woman’s health, or if the pregnancy is a result of incest and/or rape.

This decision is an invalidation of a woman’s reproductive rights and a cause of possible underground or self-inflicted abortions, which are extremely unsafe. Senior researcher at Human Rights Watch Hillary Margolis states, “Ensuring women’s human rights, including their reproductive rights, is essential to upholding E.U. values...Poland’s flagrant disregard for these values is dangerous not only for women and girls in Poland, but throughout Europe.”

-Amy Whitman


The Final Presidential Debate

After a messy first debate, and a canceled second, both candidates pulled themselves together and delivered a much more civil third and final debate. Moderated by Kristen Welker of NBC, there was significantly less interrupting and actual policy was discussed, in part thanks to a mute button manned by the backstage producer. On Covid, President Trump said he was confident the virus was “going away" in spite of sharply rising case numbers, calling scientists including Dr. Fauci “disasters” and “idiots." On the other hand, Biden attacked Trump’s response, saying “he has no plan” and instead painted a grim picture of the coming months. On foreign policy, Biden went after Trump again, questioning his relationships with Putin and other dictators. Trump sparred back by attacking Biden’s financial dealings with China and Russia—claims which have not been proven. The president repeatedly tried to tack more ‘radically-left” ideas on Biden, who snapped back with: “he thinks he’s running against somebody else. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them." Another clash took place over immigration policies. Biden called the child-separation policy at the southern border “criminal," while Trump turned it around and accused Biden of building cages in the first place. On climate change, President Trump offered some confusing evidence. He claimed that Biden would re-outfit buildings with “tiny little windows” and that wind energy emits huge amounts of pollutants and kills more birds than fossil fuels. Biden denied that he would ban fracking, instead saying he would gradually move away towards renewable energy. Overall, the debate was much calmer, giving the candidates a chance to look more ‘presidential’. However, it appears to not have swayed voters much — Biden retains a large lead in the polls.

-Viviane Kim


Amy Whitman

Amy is The Current’s Multimedia lead. A junior, she contributes to our podcast and News column. She loves writing, reading, sports, and film, and plans to major in journalism and political science.

Viviane E. Kim

Viviane, a sophomore, is Editor-in-Chief of The Current. She's an aspiring pianist, flutist, artist, and activist. She has won several writing competitions and performed with the SBU Orchestra.

Abbie Blake

Abbie, a junior, writes for The Ripcurrent and News columns. An aspiring journalist, she loves coming up with different ideas and then writing about them. She also enjoys painting and stage crew.

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