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February 22, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-02-22

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 22, 2000

(Tbe £rbic% nT g a

Outrage in S. Carolina: The Boy who beat The Man

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. Jetters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily s editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

G;o vote!

Saturday. February 19. Today is a sad day. I
have watched my prediction come true -
George W. Bush has won the South Carolina
Presidential Primary. Several implications of
"Junior's" victory are now clear. First, South
Carolina has shifted
the Boy Who Would.
Be President from a
b umliating defeat in
New Hampshire backs
to the position of
Republican frontrun-
ner. Second, such a
shift reshapes, yet
again, the race for the
presidency - not just
in the primary, but the
general election as
well. Finally, these Josh
developments have Cowen
placed South Carolina,
into the position of Ern phaSI
kingmaker. Each of Mi e.
these implications hor-
rify me, and should alarm you, casual reader,
as you sit through class today reading yours
Let's deal with each of the three repercus-
sions from today's vote separately. Junior has
enjoyed the status of frontrunner for over a
year now. His win in Iowa - another state that
does not accurately represent the country -
was a foregone conclusion. Poor Junior was a
bit out of his league when faced with real
competition in New Hampshire, and it
showed. The Boy lost to The Man, John
McCain, by almost twenty percentage points.
This humiliation in New England made a win
in South Carolina imperative. The backward

state, its confederate flag and its history of
recalcitrance have been propelled from
swamphole to primary site of critical impor-
The Man actually won South Carolina
among Republicans who considered them-
selves moderate, and among Democrats and
independents, who voted in record numbers.
This means that Bush's victory is a direct
result of the powerful turnout of Christians and
strong Republican conservatives. A full third
of the state's electorate consider themselves
members of the religious right.
So as Junior becomes the frontrunner yet
again, I shudder, and I fear. This man will lead
us? South Carolina has inflicted this upon us.
It is a state built upon racism and ignorance.
Once CNN and the other news channels
declared John McCain The Man of the
Moment. I agreed then. I still do. John McCain
is the antidote to his Republican ideology. This
is a party that has grown old, tired and senile-
detached from the reality of public life. I dis-
agree with McCain on almost every issue. But
I cannot deny that through the man's blood
flows honor, duty and patriotism. He believes
for the sake of believing American democracy
is a good thing - he knows, and has given his
all to it.
So South Carolina has rejected The Man of
the Moment, deciding instead to elect The Boy
with an archaic ideology. This state, so central
to every conflict of race and ethnicity since our
nation's inception, has decided that McCain
does not deserve to lead. And because of the
structure of our primary system, South
Carolina's voice is heard. It will effect
Michigan, New York and California. It will
impact the entire election.

National issues crucial to 'U'

Why have we put our trust in this state?
That South Carolina should hold such a criti-
cal position in election the 2000 President is
wrong. That we believe it makes a difference is
ignorant. That John McCain should lose, and
perhaps lose again and again, is a failure on
our part to tear through the veneer of conserv-
ative ideology and reach for a man whose
character dwells above it all.
South Carolina will be recorded as a huge
victory for Baby Bush. For reasons I cannot
comprehend, people will hop on the bandwag-
on now. So Michigan, a state whose diverse
constituency is made for men like McCain,
will likely bend to the pressure of GWB's
inevitability. And why? Because he has been
ordained by the South Carolina electorate.
I do not vote Republican. But I wish that
once - just once - the candidates of both
parties would inspire me, if even a little. John
McCain represents this to me. He is an incred-
ible man, someone I truly admire even as I
disagree with his ideas. If the Democrats lost
to him, I would still know that my country is
in good hands. McCain gives us this gift of
security, and his candidacy is built upon it. Yet
he will lose, most likely, before he has the
chance to offer it. And we have South
Carolina to thank for that.
If he is elected, George W Bush will be
among our country's worst mistakes. As it did
on crises like nullification, civil war, segrega-
tion and massive resistance, South Carolina
will leave its fingerprints on this error. We
should, by now, know better. Something has to
change in our elective processes. South
Carolina - and any other state like it - is not
America. It is not reality.
- Josh Cowen can be reached via e-mail

oting is the basic means of civic
engagement and political participa-
tion in this country. It is also the method
by which our society attempts to maintain
a democratic political system. This year,
many University students are eligible to
vote in a presidential election for the first
time. Now it is time for their voices to
resonate in political matters. They should
do so early and often starting with this
today's Republican primary or the March
11th Democratic caucus.
This campus openly embraces high
levels of political participation. Many of
the issues that are shaping this year's
election are also hot topics on this cam-
pus. Abortion, affirmative action and
higher education spending will always be
.pertinent to University students. The fact
that the issues are important to the stu-
dent population increases the need for
,student involvement in the election.
Michigan has also been a swing state.
Because it is a pivotal state for the nomi-
nees, as well as a state where there is no

clear party identity, all voters have the
ability to influence the election. The more
people are able to hit the polls for the pri-
maries, the greater chance there will be
the the president-elect represents the
interests of all people.
A current lack of familiarity with the
candidates should not prevent students
from voting in the primaries. Deciding to
vote in the primary or caucus is a good
way to begin a continuing interest in the
political scene. Furthermore, taking an
interest in the issues now will allow stu-
dents to determine whether candidates
have remained constant in their positions
come the presidential election.
Because many students are now of
legal age to vote, they have an opportuni-
ty to get involved. The fact that voters can
only vote in either the Republican prima-
ry or the Democratic caucus should not



curb participation. Students
choose a candidate who closely
their interests and beliefs. And
today, students should vote.


We Today 7 a.m. to P,107
s ),here Michiga'n Union
AliceLw e si&~dnce AN
EastQuad Residene Hall
South Quad Residence Hlldi
Arizona Ja: hM MCaifl

<W he:ba c 1 1ere. M ich ga n ' uni o
Wh: Vce Presidew A I Gore
CFormner senator Bill Bradley


A little alliance
LGBT teens have right to school groups

U' snould support
Wisconsin protest
Students at the University of Wisconsin-
Madison began an occupation of their admin-
istration building this past Wednesday, on the
same day that SOLE began its "sweat-in."
While SOLE was able to successfully and
peacefully resolve this issue, students at
Madison faced a very different scenario. As
their protest began, students were confronted
by the violent tactics of the UW administration
- protesters were pepper-sprayed by police
officers, administrators were found trying on
gas masks as the protest continued, and stu-
dents were repeatedly told that administrators
were concerned for their safety. On Sunday
morning, UW Chancellor David Ward had 45
peaceful protesters arrested. The protesters
continue to be detained, and are being held on
$400 bail.
These actions are a disgrace to the UW
community, and should not be tolerated. The
protesters were attempting to exercise some of
their basic rights. Rather than responding to
students' concerns, Ward has transformed
Madison into a police state. Our universities
should be arenas in which political activism is
openly encouraged - and not violently
repressed. I encourage University President
Lee Bollinger, as well as all sympathetic mem-
bers of the University community, to demand
that Chancellor Ward talk with these students,
and end the use of force against them.
'U' students must
vote in primaries
There is a current stigma surrounding col-
lege students and our voting behavior, mainly,
that "we don't care." After all, according to the
Federal Election Commission, only 32 percent
of individuals between the ages of 18-25 voted

W hen it was first passed by
W V Congress, the Equal Access Act
was heralded as a major victory for the
Christian conservatives who had been
pushing for such a law. The act, which pre-
vents schools from prohibiting any
extracurricular clubs if they allow others,
was intended to -clear the way for bible
study groups and other faith-related activ-
.i-ies to be conducted in school facilities.
Ironically, many of the same people who
advocated the Equal Access Act are now
demanding, in some cases successfully,
that schools ban prayer groups and every
other extracurricular activity because of
-.,an unintended consequence of the act -
A-high school gay-straight alliances.
High school gay-straight alliances have
begun spreading across the United States
Satan increasingly high rate and many con-
Iservatives have sought to arrest this trend
in any way possible. Many school districts
initially attempted to prevent the gay-
straight clubs from meeting, but after a
string of court defeats, most school boards
and administrators who had fought against
the clubs, grudgingly acquiesced to their
presence. However, some of the more con-
servative districts find the clubs so
unpalatable that they have banned all
extracurricular activities rather than
accept the presence of the gay-straight
Gay-straight alliances are organiza-
tions formed to provide support to and
promote tolerance towards an extremely
vulnerable group of adolescents.
According to several studies, gays and les-
bians are seven times as likely to be
threatened or actually injured in school
and. while thev constitute around ten ner-

Groups trying to ease the pressures felt
by homosexual students are performing an
important and perhaps life-saving role for
many. High school is an extremely sensi-
tive time in everyone's lives and for gay
and lesbian youth, who are often made to
feel excluded and despised, the tension is
especially great. Schools have steadfastly
ignored the danger these students face and
are now aggravating the situation with
their attempts to stop gay-straight
alliances from forming.
The spectacle of these groups being
accused of promoting deviant and destruc-
tive lifestyles by their own communities
and schools is deplorable. Kids that are
already under tremendous pressure have
been dragged into court and harangued
about how they are amoral and a danger to
society. In school board meetings they.
have been denounced as people spreading
pedophilia and bestiality. Such charges are
completely absurd and would be laughable
if they were not being leveled at students
by their own schools and some parents.
The gay-straight alliances are impor-
tant because teenagers cannot wait until
they have gone to college or out into the
world for someone to tell them that they
are not amoral or dangerous. The suicide
rate of homosexual students is tragic testi-
mony to the fact that many children are
being failed by their schools and by soci-
ety in general. That so many youths have
to grow up being told they are deviants
and threats to everyone else is a tragic sit-
uation that gay-straight alliances have
been heroically fighting against. Most
schools have proved utterly incapable or
unwilling to protect or help their most vul-
nerable students and should not be stand-

in the presidential elections of 1996. Plus,
we're so wrapped up in our personal and acad-
emic pursuits, how can we possibly consider
that a world exists outside of Ann Arbor?
Today, at the Presidential Primary, and
March 11, at the Democratic Caucus, we chal-
lenge the University to reverse this stereotype.
If the events at this campus within the last
month provide any indication of the degreeof
activism and engagement on this campus, the
polling sites today, and the caucus this March,
should be overflowing with students who want
to further their participation in the political
There are guidelines of which students
should be aware regarding the Michigan
Primary/Caucus process. As Michigan voters
are not required to declare their party prefer-
ence on their voting registration form, anyone
who has registered to vote by Jan. 24 is eligi-
ble to participate in the primary. However, for
those who plan to participate in the
Democratic Caucus on March 11, it is a viola-
tion of the rules of the Michigan Democratic
Party to vote in both, and if voters at the cau-
cus are discovered to have participated in the
primary, they will not be counted.
Whether it is at the primary today, or the
caucus next month, go vote. In a University
which has proven to be anything but silent,
let's continue to show that we are not apathet-
ic, but civically engaged citizens who mean-

ingfully and effectively participate
democratic system.

in the,

Jamal needs support
Mark this date on your calendar, every-
one: Feb. 23. Why is this date important? It
is the day before Jamal Crawford plays his
first game after being suspended by the
NCAA (which now stands for: Now Can
Attack Athletes). Now it is obvious that
Jamal is disappointed about being suspend-
ed, but on top of it is the controversy over
and resigning of Tom Goss, and rumors of
Jamal leaving school. Now, as for me, being
a Maize Rager and a Michigan sports fan:
since second grade, I do not want to see
potentially one of the greatest players in
Michigan basketball leave school early.We
need all the Maize Ragers, just like at the
Indiana game, to start yelling, "WE WANT
CRAWFORD!" and any other chants that
support Jamal. Outside of the sports realm,
he needs to know that 'U' needs Jamal.

Houston, we have a problem

In light of the recent press coverage of our
great nation's space program, I have drafted
a letter to NASA. Since the chances that any-
body other than the fifth assistant secretary to
the chief of food preparation at the Kennedy
Space Center will read it are slim to none, I
reproduce it for you here in its entirety.
Dear NASA,
It is pleasing to me
as a tax-paying
American that all of
my hard-earned
money will be going
to extremely well-
planned and moni-
tored projects such as
the Mars Polar Lander'
and the Hubble Spacey
Boys, you're doing
a fine job. Why should
the government spend Erin
money on subsidized POdOisky
school lunches when it4
can spend billions on You Will

ommend you commence construction imme-
diately. You'll probably tell me that NASA
isn't in the museum building business. Well,
to that I say, there's no time like the present.
One small step for man. One giant step for
I'd also like to thank you for the many
excellent gift shoppe (because the extra "pe"
means it's extra special) experiences my par-
ents afforded me over the years on those
enriching family car trips. I have here a journal
entry from the summer before fifth grade,
which my dad forced - did I say forced? I
meant gently encouraged - me to write in
order to prove just how thankful I was for said
experiences when I wanted to look back on
them fondly decades later. I quote:
"Dear Annual Roadtrip Memory Journal,
"I am writing this entry with a pen from
the gift shop [note: I was not so sophisticated
at age nine to add the 'pe'] at the Smithsonian
Museum in Our Nation's Capital. Now I am
writing upside down. This pen is very special
and can write upside down, or at least that's
what the box saaahjahaaaxx----- -."

innovation known as the pencil? Somehow I
doubt many official documents were being
drafted and signed up there 300 miles above
the Earth's surface. Certainly nothing that
couldn't done with a good old Scantron and a
No. 2 pencil.
As I was unable to finish my ill-fated jour-
nal entry, I was unable to recount my experi@
ence with your delicious and appealing
Official Space Program Freeze-Dried Ice
Cream. When I attempted to eat this freeze-
dried foodstuff while walking down
Pennsylvania Avenue (tethered to my dad with
one of those hideous neon green telephone
cord leashes, which I suspect you and your
cohorts invented to subvert a nation of restless
children into submission), I encountered a seg-
ment (strawberry, if I recall correctly) that
unlike its chalky vanilla counterpart was very
challenging to consume. It was such a chal-
lenge that I broke my tooth and my parents had
to take me to the emergency room. There I was
forced to wait for four hours while a man
strapped to a gurney raved about "The Man"
and "The Word" and tried to get me to accept
Wr .«-15 ,,..... t t1 ,T1 4 1

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