I figure since every major newspaper in the country (and not so major newspapers, as well) are endorsing political candidates, I think I ought to do the same. I mean after all, now that I'm one of the old warhorses on Oasis, one would *think* I have a bit of wisdom to share. Hah! Probably not, but let's give it a try, anyhow.
The 2000 elections took place just before I turned 18, so I did not have a chance to vote. I was, however, very involved in the political process. I was absolutely disgusted with W. then, and I am now. I also wasn't very pleased with Gore, because there weren't a lot of things that differentiated him from W. That being said, at my own school, I was a big Nader supporter. He was great in representing a lot of things that I thought needed to be changed, and he had a long record of consumer advocacy. The probability that he would be running for selfish, self-gaining reasons was, in my mind, much less than the other two. The year 2000 was Nader's year to shine.
Then the 2004 election came along. Howard Dean had a lot of momentum into the election, and he changed the way that candidates campaigned. He was the first to use the internet in such a way as to spread his message. Dean had some of the most staunch supporters behind him, and his energy was incredible. Then he started to fail in the primaries. Bigtime. And who was he losing to? John Kerry.
Now he's the DNC's candidate for the president of the US, and the race couldn't be closer. Everyday, there's some poll telling us there's a tie, or one is trailing the other by a few percentage points. On college campuses, if you're not talking about politics, you're not cool. You're apathetic and don't give a shit about yourself or those around you. I tend to agree with that statement.
George Bush has broken several promises: being a "compassionate" conservative (I don't see how trying to write in discrimination into our constitution is compassionate); he said, "I'm a uniter, not a divider," but yet, politicos are saying all over the place that the nation has not been this deeply divided for *several* elections; his "No Child Left Behind" act is a dismal failure. You can't place the same expectations on someone with, say, Down's Syndrome as you can place on a child without a learning disability; THAT'S exactly what he's trying to do. Indeed, schools in New England have said they'd just as soon NOT receive funding from the federal government (which, kids, isn't all that much to begin with--most school funding comes from the local and state level) rather than follow these ridiculous (and underfunded) education standards.
So you have the religious right backing him all over the place. Even states like my homestate of Oregon, a state that's defeated plenty of anti-gay measures, are facing writing in the state constitution that marriage between one man and one woman should be recognized as the only LEGAL form of marriage. We vote on this Nov. 2d, and it's been said that Oregon has the best chance of defeating it. But let me tell you, this is a VERY close race.
But, in all honesty, it doesn't surprise me that Republicans are doing this. They have always been for "traditional" family values, which haven't always been "inclusive" family values. If this comes as to a surprise that a bunch of Republicans--and not the far right-wingers, a MAJORITY of them--then you've been sleeping. Wake up, and look at the facts. Fact: the Republicans have written into their platform language that indicates that their party is a welcoming party, but yet they try to pass discriminatory laws against those who associate with them. Of course, I can only be talking about those Log Cabin Republicans. I know, let's vote along party lines that say that we as gay people shouldn't have rights, women shouldn't have the right to choose, and that we should have a death penalty! What great ideas, especially considering the second and third items are VERY much in conflict with each other. This, my friends, is why I have NO respect for Republicans, and absolutely NO respect for gay Republicans. I honestly feel they have mental conditions that prevents them from seeing themselves as people deserving of equal rights.
Ralph Nader has disappointed me this election, however. The poor thing is trying to do in 2004 what he did four years ago. This is not the time to do it. He's not looking at what he's done for this election. I mean, Democrats are--can you believe it?--to the left again! Just LOOK at the differences in the presidential candidates! One's opposed to the war, one is for it; one wants to have a well-funded education program, the other thinks it's fine the way it is; one thinks that we are right in being in a preemptive war for reasons we really shouldn't be there, the other thinks that we need to get the hell out of there. Black and white. Night and day. Entertain yourselves and take the time to LOOK at the platforms for the two parties. On everything from healthcare to education to the environment to you-name-it, these are two diametrically opposed candidates and parties. And we all know how far Bush is to the right...and he even says that Kerry is the most liberal Democrat in Congress. Good! That's what we need!
I'm tired of being marginalized, having GLBT citizens used as a wedge issue between Americans, and having to read how many 20-year-olds died the day before in combat in a war we should not be in. Fact is, the president lied, and refuses to face the music. These young men and women are not in the military to fight like this; they are in the military to fight when we are in immediate danger and to protect us. Our military is not to be used as a police force in a country that we want to have control over for something like oil. A bumper sticker I've seen says it best: Do YOU want to die for Exxon?
In a society that we live in today where we have indeed made major strides in more acceptence for GLBT persons, it's asinine that we still have those who want to stop that completely. That's bad. It's a shame that our compassionate conservative president is killing civillians in Iraq, but also our own guys and gals. That's bad. It's a shame that the vast majority of Republicans are either poor and uneducated (so that they can't think for themselves and make smart decisions) or fantastically rich (because THEY know who's gonna look after them).
For all those undecideds out there, I urge you to take a look and see things around you for what they are. If you're not a racial minority, I challenge you to talk to several who are minorities and ask them what they think about things. Talk with rich Republicans. Talk with anybody that will have a conversation with you. Listen to what they say, and then see what sits well in your hearts and your conscience. November 3d isn't that far away, when you'll wake up and (hopefully) know who's going to be running things for the next four years. Bush has been on good behavior these past four years because he knows that he has a re-election campaign coming up. Just think of four more years, but this time, unbridaled. He's going to be pulling out all the stops, and the people that are going to be hurt most are those whom we love, not to mention the person who's reading this article right now.