By BRITTANY WALDER
This is the problem with the 2008 Presidential election: there’s a lot of coverage, a lot of slander, a lot of “firsts” and a lot of uninformed voters.
It’s great that the United States as a nation has finally been able to break down the walls that have caged this country since its birth. Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton ran for the Democratic nomination against Barack Obama. These two alone made the headlines with their campaigns; each represented a demographic that has fought long and hard for a voice in politics. When Clinton lost momentum, Obama took over where she left off. Naturally, Republican candidate John McCain had to step into the limelight by bringing Sarah Palin into the mix. We as a nation now have a lot to be proud of—and a lot to cause worry.
The problem with the amount of coverage for this year’s election is that so many people are getting caught up in the media hype. Does anyone really know exactly what each candidate has to offer if elected? What are their views on hot issues such as foreign policy, abortion, Iraq, and the economy? More importantly, with the fragile state that the country is in, can we afford to carelessly toss a vote towards the candidate that has the most media appeal?
Voters have gotten far too entrenched in the physical aspect of this election. They have put their personal aspirations ahead of the good of the nation. They look at Barack Obama and see the first black president and the oft-quoted “change” that they feel the country desperately needs. They look at John McCain and see a return to stable values, which many think will strengthen the United States once again; in McCain, they see a veteran survivor. But what do these people stand for? What drives them? It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten that whoever parks it on a seat in the Oval Office will be holding our very lives in his hands.
And what about the media firestorm that is Alaskan governor Sarah Palin?
Why have we become so engulfed by her image? There is no doubt that she is a motivated and charismatic woman. But a lot of newly-baptized McCain enthusiasts don’t realize that as charming as she may be, Palin is going to be on the backburner of McCain’s presidency. So who will we be dealing with? Not Sarah Palin.
We as American citizens have a right that few countries in this world have; we have the right, guaranteed by our Constitution, to vote and to influence the course of our nation. How many people die every day in hopes of attaining that right? This is why it is vital for us to utilize that right—to do research, to be informed, and to make an intelligent decision, not just for the “good of the nation,” but for each and every one of us as well.