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November 05, 2002 - Image 4

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 5, 2002

OP/ED

aloe 9

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HAN INK
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
It's probably the
most popular thing
that I've ever
introduced."
- New York City Councilman Philip Reed,
on a bill that would fine anyone $50 who
dials up or fails to turn off a mobile phone's
ringer during an indoor per formance, as
reported in yesterday's USA Today.

BONNIE KELLMAN Mt;sf3D NT
Evo Lation o-C an E4mtxoex

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a00 o ~an ,.

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Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right
AUBREY HENRETTY NEURoTC:A

4

he most depress-
ing aspect of
election season
is not, as is the common
misconception, voter
apathy. It's also not the
coddled college kids
who think Condoleezza
Rice is a daytime talk
show host. It's not the
smear campaigns or the "debates," the ignorant
masses or the syrupy speeches. It's not even the
George Carlins of the world, the brilliant peo-
ple who've been known use their charisma and
humor and wit to convince other intelligent
people that voting doesn't matter.
While any of the above might be enough
to knock my faith in humanity down a notch
or two, what really gets me down this time
of year is the way human beings get lost in
the process, the way candidates who don't
spew their sponsoring political parties' jar-
gon to the letter have the carpet of credibili-
ty yanked out from under them by friend
and foe alike.
Consider the fate of Attorney General
Jennifer Granholm, the Democratic guberna-
torial nominee who had the gall to opine
honestly about abortion. To Granholm's left
is a Democratic party that officially equates
being opposed to abortion - even if only in
theory - with being anti-woman, anti-pro-
gressive, anti-rape victim, pro-poverty, elitist
scum. To her right is a Church whose official
position is that abortion equals murder, peri-
od. To be in favor of legal abortion, then -
even if only in the most severe and devastat-
ing circumstances - is to be anti-life, pro-
slaughter-of-innocent-babies and quite

literally damned.
Naturally, there is a greater variety of
opinions on both sides than the rhetoric sug-
gests, including Catholics who think abor-
tion should be legal, Democrats who think it
shouldn't be and everything in between, but
neither set of leadership seems particularly
interested in hearing out dissenters from
within; the retort of choice on both sides
usually involves indignant policy makers
sticking their fingers in their ears and hum-
ming loudly.
Surrounded by ferocious, ballot-wielding
ideologues in what promised to be a tight
race, Granholm did what few others in simi-
lar predicaments have the courage to do: She
set her jaw, shrugged her shoulders and
(gasp) told us what she really thought. In a
September interview with the Detroit Free
Press, Granholm identified herself as a
Catholic morally opposed to abortion, but
said she wouldn't "second guess the medical
and personal and moral and religious deci-
sions of others."
Granholm's flagrant display of individual
thought garnered fiery criticism from both
ends of the political spectrum. Everyone
freaked out. "Fence-sitter!" they cried.
"Slimeball! Manipulative wench! Vacillating
villainess!" Could such a person exist? Was
it possible to think abortion was wrong and
still fight for its legality? To be a good
Catholic and not speak out against the prac-
tice across the board? To be a good Democ-
rat and not conceive of abortion solely in
terms of a woman and her body and her pri-
vacy? The conclusion many critics reached
was "No."
If Granholm was, as many claimed, sim-

ply trying. to pacify as many people as possi-
ble, then she failed miserably. The abortion
debate, like most hot-button political issues,
is structured such that there are two and only
two acceptable positions; nobody who falls
anywhere in between can hope to get either
side's vote. Take one step to the left or to the
right and you're done for. You're brain-
washed by an antiquated religious belief or
you have no soul.
As a politician, Granholm had to know
that. Her decision to publicize a more com-
plex view of abortion than is generally
allowed politicians wasn't hypocritical; it
was heroic. Revolutionary. Imagine what
would happen if this caught on: politicians.
expressing opinions that differed from the
standard pre-packaged, party-line fare and
fully prepared to suffer the consequences.
They would have to think carefully about
issues rather than consult the Party X Hand-
book Cliff's Notes for the correct summary
and analysis just minutes before speaking.
My head is not buried so deeply in the
clouds that I think Granholm's minor depar-
ture from traditional liberalism will actually
open the floodgates, freeing millions of
would-be independent thinkers, but I hope
that on this extremely important (Sorry, Mr.
Carlin - I respect you, I really do) election
day, voters will shut their ears to pundits and
open their minds. I hope no voter seeks to
elect the best Catholic or the best Democrat,
the best Republican or the best saxophone
player simply because he or she is an ideal
member of that group.

I
a

Aubrev Henretty can be reached
at ahenrett@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Fight apathy and voters'
indifference at the polls
TO THE DAILY:
With election day today, some students
can be heard enthusiastically commenting on
the political candidates. For many students,
however, the election of these representatives
seems unimportant, as some feel politicians
do not care about their issues or that the deci-
sions these elected officials make do not
affect their lives. This is surprising on a cam-
pus where so many students are enrolled in
political science classes that continually
illustrate how voting stands as an integral
role in the democratic process.
In regards to the belief that politicians do
not care about young adults' issues, I urge
those people to take a look at the percent of
young adults ages 18-25 who voted in the
1998 election; it was 18 percent of registered
voters, not to mention the many young peo-
ple not even registered. As our classes have
taught us, politicians serve as representatives
to their constituents, thus if less than 18 per-
cent of young adults are voting, how do we
expect politicians to recognize or represent
our issues?
Further, if students feel that the decisions
politicians make do not affect their lives,
they have not realized that the University
Board of Regents are up for election this
year. These officials serve eight-year terms
and determine tuition prices, as they were
responsible for the recent 7.9 percent tuition
increase. Thus, their decisions influence our
daily lives on campus.
So, I offer students a way to remedy the
indifference politicians feel towards our age
group: go to the polls today and vote. It will
prove to the candidates that our issues matter
and that they must take us seriously and rep-
resent us accordingly. Go and vote for the
Board of Regents candidates that you believe
will keep tuition down and make your years
at the University the best they can be, for the
officials' decisions really do affect our lives.
Hence, I urge you to vote today and exercise
your democratic right that you have written
about so many times in those countless polit-
ical science papers.
SHANNON NOBLE
LSA sophomore
Member of Youthvote coalition
Cnr A di _Aonnr tir

one need look at the definition Neuman pro-
vides for terrorism:
Terrorism is just one form of political
extremism, extremists being those people
who are willing to make others suffer in
order that their message is heard. A terror-
ist, then, is an extremist whose publicity is
achieved through senseless violence
-against innocents, often in the form of a
suicide attack.
This is not sufficient for a thorough dis-
cussion of the topic. Literally, a terrorist is
one who attempts to obtain something
through terror. The terror really comes from
the threat of attack. In order for the fear to be
real and intense, these groups are compelled
to demonstrate the willingness and desire to
destroy in as brutal or destructive manner as
possible. The reference to suicide attacks is
limited because they have only been used to
any extent by terrorist groups within the last
20 years (excluding kamikaze and similar
references), and they still comprise a spmall.
percentage of terrorist attacks globally.t
This necessity for violence, regardless of
motive, manifestly demonstrates two distinct
characteristics of terrorism: the willingness
to kill for the sake of some cause; and an
unwillingness to negotiate. For these groups
to generate terror, they must attack. The fun-
damental conflict within terrorism is the
question whether to attack military targets or
civilians.
If civilians are attacked, the chance for a
successful attack increases because the tar-
gets are unarmed and not equipped to combat
the attack. The problem is that any assault
against civilians reinforces a people resolve
against the attack and requires the military to
try to restore security by combating the ter-
rorist groups. Conversely, engaging military
targets gains slightly less publicity, a low-
ered sensation of fear is instilled in the civil-
ians than if they were the targets, with a
much lower probability of a successful
attack; however, successful attacks are more
likely to yield successful policy changes
because of the cost of military losses and
political interest.
The recent trend for terrorist groups is to
obtain support from a nation who shares
similar interest as the organization, to an
extent, but which is unwilling to accept
governmental responsibility for the attack.
In the summer of 2000, Iraq sent over 3,000
commandos through Jordan into the Gaza
Strip to help fight the Israel Defense Forces
as well as providing arms for local groups

needs to establish more democracies to com-
bat terrorism is moot. In fact, should the
United States attempt regime changes, we
would be vulnerable to just as many attacks.
The only real way to combat terrorism is just
that - combat.
Historically, the only method to deal with
terrorism is to confront it for what it is rather
than the motivations of it. Whenever any ter-
rorist group is granted any legitimacy, Ter-
rorism has been justified. Unfortunately, it
has been. The political aspirations for terror-
ist groups are distinct even of the supportive
governments; they are fringe elements. Here
it is necessary to separate those with "hostile
feelings" and "hostile intentions."
Establishing democracy likely won't con-
vince those with hostile feelings, but those
with the intention are prepared and willing to
wreak havoc. If they are designed for the
destruction of others for their own conve-
nience already, then nothing will hinder them
other than force to keep them from those
who would be peaceful. Unfortunately, the
promise of democracy and self-rule has not
even changed those who have experienced
democracy. The refugees in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip have had the chance for peace
since 1967 when Israel offered land for the
refugees. The offer was refused as the local
leaders rightly knew that radical elements
would destroy and chance. The same occurs
now. Peace with democracy could be pre-
sent, but has been cast aside for destructive
means.
Liberalism, admirably, prays for an end
to conflict without the need for force. This,
though, is not realistic as there are some peo-
ple who are not going to be persuaded by
anything other than a stopped pulse, theirs or
that of their enemy.
STEVE BENJAMIN
LSA junior
It's time to show Oakland
County politicos who's boss
To THE DAILY:
Tuesday's election is extremely important
for residents of the metro Detroit area (a large
population of the University). We have the
chance to blow away the image of a Republi-
can Oakland County, and bring some fresh
new faces into Congress who will really repre-
sent our values in Washington and Lansing. If
you're registered at home. go home on Tues-

I

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