I recently read an article about a journalist who believed journalists should not vote in order to stay impartial. This is completely bogus. I think everyone should vote and in a world where “Rock the Vote,” tries to counter the perceived “I could care less” attitude of the 18-24 year-old generation, there is much at stake for the college-aged group to vote. As well, each election counts. There is a reason that a student or a young person gets to elect their officials. It is not necessarily because it is fun or hip, per se, but because it is a necessity.
Starting out in Cinemascope, the presidential election is weighing even more heavily upon us, while rumors of Ralph Nader throwing his hat in and Ron Paul hanging on to his Marquee and Reprisal ship, the clear front runners seem to be Republican John McCain and either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. It seems that this week will indicate which one will have the nomination for sure. McCain is an old man with scars on his face and a fairly good knowledge about foreign policy, Clinton has extensive experience, although some would maintain that she had more than her fair share in the White House already, but Obama is a rock star. Obama is a rock star in that young people have started to rally around his cry of “Yes We Can,” which apparently was stolen from Bob the Builder. Possible plagiarism aside, Obama seems like the type of candidate that young people can relate to.
Whereas George W. Bush seemed like the type of guy that one could “go out and have a beer with,” Obama seems like the type of guy who would get and appreciate a dirty joke and it would not seem like it was told to our grandpa. The ability to relate, along with his seemingly fresh approach to politics, has Obama gaining ground in a race of veterans. Here’s the crux of the matter, though, Obama may be a rock star and he may be the coolest kid on the block, but it will not make any difference unless young people go out and vote as regularly as the baby boomers do. The baby boomers are going to go for a Clinton or McCain, but if young people want a fresh face in the White House, they have to make the effort to go out and make that change.
Coming in a little more closely to home, the Washburn Student Government Association elections are upon us. Sidewalk chalk, Web sites and posters are rampant about campus asking, directing or pleading for student votes. This is fantastic. WSGA should be competitive and should be something that is allowed to people who actually want to make a difference on campus and to Washburn. The student government is not about what the administration wants or what the Board of Regents wants, it is about what students want and making a better place for students. This is not to say that the administration or the Board of Regents has no place or that we should throw bricks through their window. On the contrary, we should do no such thing. It is a fact though, that the administration and the Board have loud enough voices to make a big impact. It is only through the collaborative efforts of WSGA and other student organizations that students can make their voice loud enough to instigate change.
WSGA is about promoting school spirit and aiding in the development of issues such as Mabee Library. However, its paramount function is being of the students, by the students and for the students, to borrow from Mr. Lincoln, a former namesake of Washburn University.
Go vote, in something – anything. American Idol does not count. It is a terrible, stupid show, anyway. Informed voting is your right and it is your duty.