Voter apathy driven by political hogwash

I suppose in an election cycle it’s inevitable that the College Democrats and College Republicans will start bickering in any forum open to them without getting out a whole lot of useful information. From the series of letters to the editor in the past several issues of The Student, I have only been able to discern that Mike DeWine is a lying hypocrite and Sherrod Brown is no better. To those who ask why so many Americans (our generation in particular) don’t actively participate in politics, I say look to the recent letters. Each group is intent on portraying their candidate as someone who will personally call you each and every week to find out what’s bugging you, while their opponent only pauses from eating babies long enough to go golfing with best friend Lucifer. Surely I engage in hyperbole, but the actual claims (and I fault the College Republicans and College Democrats equally) are no less absurd. Absent from the mudslinging is any real discussion of issues or even any useful information for those they are looking to persuade.

I don’t think most Americans enjoy being on the fringes of modern politics, but they have been driven there by the disingenuous shills polluting the nation’s airwaves and Letters to the Editor pages. It’s no wonder that so many voters make their decisions based on perceptions of “character” or “value” in a candidate – it’s nearly impossible to get a straight answer out of either side on actual issues of policy. The Democrats and Republicans (their collegiate affiliates included) have nobody to blame but themselves for forcing us to choose between the lesser of “who cares?”


Tattle-tales threaten others’ weekend fun

The heart of an institution lies in the kinship of its members. Without name or recognition, we Miami students work tirelessly come sundown Friday afternoon to make sure our fellow brothers and sisters are able to kick back and have a good time. It has been the duty of upperclassmen to make sure that the celebration continues – a legacy untarnished and preserved for decades. Now these beloved traditions face a grave threat.

There are those among us who are offenders of the law – those who choose to urinate in the public domain or call it a night in a flower bed near the edge of a major thoroughfare – who threaten our way of life. A certain few wrongdoers have committed an egregious offense. While it is of utmost importance to drink responsibly, if one is unable to handle the task, it is only right for the appropriate time to be served due to any offenses incurred from the loss of one’s senses. Those individuals who choose to nark rather than take their punishment are not only depriving themselves of their day of justice, but are also implicating the innocent and participating in the systematic erosion of a lifestyle that has promoted social welfare and bold fun for many years. Take the licking and preserve the peace.


Compassion central in governor election

Engagement in politics should lead to reflection and curiosity. Especially as young people, we should be thinking about what politicians say, and why they say it. I recently attended a political fundraiser where I came away reflecting on the nature of humanity and the role of government. My thoughts arose from the compassion and conviction I encountered in the Democratic candidate for governor, Ted Strickland.

What stood out to me more than anything was his fundamental tenet of caring about other people – it was a genuine interest in making sure that Ohio’s families are safe and healthy, compensated fairly and educated well. We can only move toward these goals by doing so together. Five years after seeing our country come together in both grief and resolve, how did that sense of community get lost? What we need most in Ohio now is collective determination for change and progress.

Listening to Rep. Strickland speak, I was truly inspired by the basic pledge of compassion I heard. I wondered what could be more crucial in politics and in life? I also wondered what Republicans at their own fundraisers could possibly say to similarly inspire and mobilize, if not this emphasis on the capacity to care about other people. I can’t figure it out, and actually, I don’t really care. I don’t think their rhetoric is about equal opportunity and tolerance and I certainly can’t imagine that a GOP stump speech includes the phrases “restoring transparency” or “clean energy.” I can only surmise that their words are based on fear instead of empathy and winning instead of helping.

Compassion should matter in all elections, and in all our choices as people. Fortunately, the clarity of choice in this November’s race for the governorship of Ohio does allow us to choose compassion, in addition to competence, experience and, well, sanity. Mostly, by choosing Ted Strickland, Ohio can make a statement about renewed dedication to a statewide sense of community and improvement.

We all know Ohio has seen better days, an observation that makes this a crucial election for the future of our state. Additionally, much national attention has been placed on the long-term implications of this race. On a more basic level, however, the lessons for improvement should come to us from within, from individual stories of hardships that we seek to end, and from successes that we hope to duplicate. We can make Ohio a place where we work together to take care of those least among us and in turn improve the very place we ourselves live, work and play.