EDITORIAL/OCTOBER                                                                                                                                                                                             2000

The Plight of a Young Voter


How the Hell do I decide who should be president? 
This is a major decision

The man we choose will not only command our military forces, but will also play a major part in decisions about our economy, our educational system, our judiciary system, in so
many tiny ways that you could never be certain of all of the influence wielded by him. 

The most powerful man in America. 

I find that slightly intimidating. I don't even know where to start...

I don't know what qualifications are necessary in such a position. How could I ever get to know any candidate well enough to feel comfortable electing him to the office of President of the United States of America?  He, and his party supporters, could tell me anything about how he has done this or that for people here, and maybe over there, and how he's a nice man. A good man they'd say, and show him smiling and shaking some hands of 'common' Americans everywhere. Is this what is supposed to make me feel confident in this individual? Or, perhaps I should peruse what are supposed to be his official stances on a variety of subjects, brought forth by special interests groups and lobbyists, that have been released by his supporters? Am I supposed to think that this man makes no judgements based on prejudice because I see a variety of skin colors in every one of his commercials?  I'm told I should vote in November. That it is my civic responsibility to add my voice to the collective whole and ultimately define who will preside over this United States of America for the following four years.  Everyone makes it sound so ominous, as if -if I don't vote- there might be some unworthy candidate elected who will lead us into the dumpster where America would lie clutching it's stomach like a homeless man who just ate a rotten sausage. 

I can almost smell it. 

So, determined to do my civic duty, I started taking an interest in the election. My intention was to listen to each candidate, evaluate them in every individual situation that they present themselves, and compare them against each other and what they had presented previously.  And then hold that against a basic criterion that I, as a young, politically uneducated, and yet concerned voter, decided are necessary in a candidate for
the president of this great nation. Yeah, that's what I was going to do. 

Here I am, disgusted after many hours of research, to tell you that this year it just isn't feasible to follow through with that plan of action. The problem isn't with the plan, and I am not incapable of following through with the said plan. No, that's not the problem. The problem is the candidates…

Debate after debate over whether there was going to be a, as in one single, debate by the presidential candidates, which ones *sigh* would be ALLOWED to debate, etc etc.
Then, the debates.

Hours of forcing myself not to turn the channel, trying to prevent my eyes from rolling up into my head permanently.  Hours debating over which candidate I liked less than the other. All of this after my initial disgust for Bush when he didn't want to debate at all, which I felt was rather like a president refusing to give a state of the union address. We don't need a president whose mommy has to coach him onto stage for his recital!  This isn't kindergarten. We're not going to say, "Now lil’ dubble YUH, you make
your momma proud sugah and just say what daddy taught yew." 

We don't pin ribbons on every participant. 

Although, I bet Al Gore would try to make us.