Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Decision 2008

Voters Are Becoming Wary Of The Vision For Change
By Amber Gray

Bob Dylan wrote, “The times they are A-Changing” and this motto is close to coming true. In the 2008 presidential election, for the first time in history, a black man and a white woman have stood out among the much older, rich white men who have led the country in the past. Voters are being fed daily by the desire for “change.”

Yet, many voters believe change is something that is more comprehensive than Obama’s skin color and Clinton’s gender. Grocery store manager, Robert Gray, 43, of Boston, Massachusetts has found it hard to stand by his firm liberal values in this upcoming election. To him, Sen. Barack Obama’s lack of experience is overshadowing his devotion to change.

“It’s like they’re reading a script. They all seem to be rooting for this magical idea that change can just happen with the snap of their fingers. I get kind of frustrated because I don’t know if I see it truly happening,” said Gray.

Gray has lost hope in both candidates, and so far is standing by John McCain, pending McCain’s choice for a running mate. “Democratically, Obama just does not have the experience, but maybe next time around he would. As for Hilary Clinton, I think she has a lot of skeletons in her closet and plays the game dirty.”

Yet, the younger generation of voters, 18-25 year olds make up 14.4% of the total eligible voters and many have indeed been persuaded by the ideal vision of change. Obama and Clinton are increasingly gaining attention from this group, but will they come out to vote? The one crucial factor is if these young people really feel their vote can make a difference.

“In the past I didn’t care much for politics because I never felt I had anything in common with who was running,” says Chae Munroe, 19, a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College. “I think that this election is going to be different, kids are going to come out because both Democrats want to fulfill our needs.” Munroe, an Obama supporter, saw him on MTV’s Special Report Election Episode and said he really made her realize that her vote can create a new beginning.

“He really has gotten the younger kids to listen up,” Munroe said. “These are the issues, this is what is going wrong with our country and this is how I can solve it. Change is necessary, this war should have never happened.”

Greg Padin, 21, a junior at Fordham University is also skeptical about change really happening. As an avid member of his school’s debate team, he and other members contemplate on the issues daily.

“I'd like to see someone who can balance the budget so we aren't in such a fragile economic state,” he said. “Also, I’d like to see a candidate who will look to a smaller government and pull away from a federal government that regulates every single social issue.”

On the question of whether his vote will matter, Padin becomes unenthusiastic.
“I'll vote but I know it won't matter but you still gotta play the game I guess.”

The truth is, 29 million people age 18-24 are eligible to vote, which means young voters could determine the outcome of this election. Yet, as we’ve seen in the past, many don’t come out to do so. To bring the change that Obama and Clinton strive for, the younger generation needs to change their voting habits.

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