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November 07, 2002 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-07

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OP/ED

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 7, 2002 - 5A

ELECTION 2002
NOTABLE QUOTABLES
I think that's about the most
asinine analysis I've ever heard"
- James Carville to Robert Noreck on CNN's Crossfire
" I have to tell you Senator,
right now you're sounding like a
crazy person.
- The Daily Show's Jon Stewart to John
McCain (R-Arizona)
We need to lessen the abuses
of domestic violence."
- Jeb Bush (R), re-elected governor of Florida in
his acceptance speech election night.
Now the Democratic party
will be driven further le t by its
angry teachers' union, minority,
feminist, and antiwar base, and
that will help the Republicans too."
- Pete DuPont,former governor of Delaware and policy
chairman of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy
Analysis, in yesterday's National Review online.
"The Clinton Era is
officially dead."
- Laura Ingraham, host of a nationally
syndicated showfor Westwood One Radio
Bush now has an unchecked
government. That means voters
will hold only one party
responsible for the state of play, in
particular the head of that party."
- An unnamed aide to a possible Democratic
presidential nominee for 2004."
He has become only the third
president in American history
to see his party actually gain
congressional seats in an off-
year election."
- Jeb Bush (R), re-elected governor of Florida in
his acceptance speech election night.

'GET OUT THE'ACCOUNTABILITY
So as to avoid misunderstandings, let me
begin by saying hooray for democracy. Aside,
however, I feel that allowing voters the option
to vote for State Supreme Court Justices is
gratuitous. It is nearly impossible for the pub-
lic to be informed about these justices and
even with the information, how can the people
determine each person's ability as a justice?
All this voting option accomplishes is the
encouragement of uninformed voting - to be
blunt, voting by who has the "coolest" name.
Appointing these justices would be much
more beneficial to society and would allow the
choice to rest in the hands of informed and
familiar people.
Personally, I didn't vote for these justices.
Oh wait, I didn't vote for anyone because
Voice your Vote forgot to send my registra-
tion in time! Get out the vote? Start with not

country has nothing to do with murder, and
even if there was such thing as God, he/she
would have some respect for veterans.
-Ari Paul
WHITE TUESDAY
Michigan's meager electorate took to the
polls Tuesday and once again managed to elect
a slew of lily-white candidates to the state's
highest offices. I can't say I'm too surprised.
Here in the cradle of racial cooperation and
understanding (metropolitan Detroit by anoth-
er name) we like our leaders to talk big, but
most of all we prefer them to look like us.
Two overly qualified minorities - Uni-
versity Board of Regents candidate Ismael
Ahmed and Secretary of State aspirant
Butch Hollowell - lost their races. Hol-
lowell's loss is inexplicable; his progressive
pro-voter platform so far eclipsed his oppo-
nent's the-lines-are-too-long agenda that the

offer sound bites and a media that does noth-
ing but give conjecture and banal banter.
Perhaps these are the rantings of a naive
college student speaking from the intellectual
basin of the Midwest, but the superficial
facade of elections are entirely of our own
making. Voters don't care about elections
because they don't know anything about elec-
tions, nor are they willing to take the time to
learn. It's the same reason why my mom does-
n't watch football. Only two parties exist
because we want simple choices. Indepen-
dents just mean that we have to think harder.
And speaking from the intellectual
basin of the Midwest, allow me to specifi-
cally point the finger at some of my fellow
students. As the offspring of the informa-
tional age, when technology allows mere
seconds to bring years worth of knowl-
edge, students should be the most
informed and active demographic on the
political spectrum. I'm tired of hearing

erately sent by the U.S. electorate to the politi-
cal elites who run this country. A great deal of
political science research (pioneered at the
University) has almost conclusively proven
that political information levels among Ameri-
can voters are so embarrassingly low - gen-
erously, eight percent can use "liberal" and
"conservative" accurately - that no coherent,
informed statements are made through indi-
vidual vote choice. Certainly, people have a
general sense of national and world affairs, but
this grasp is so limited that it does not translate
to organized political thoughts.
Instead, the minute portion of the elec-
torate who are politically sophisticated may
have wielded disproportionately large power
in aggregate assessments of the voting. Yet
when the various numbers are disaggregated,
one finds that the average, U.S. citizen has
sent no intended message to Washington. This
bears keeping in mind as political spin-doctors
try and advance their arguments in the coming
days and weeks.

preventing it!
- Courtney
Taymour
GEORGIANS
CAN'T VOTE
I guess the
people of my
home state of
Georgia really are
a bunch of inbred,
high school-
dropout hicks
sloshed on moon-

The

morning

after

-Joey
Litman

On Tuesday night, members of the Daily's Editorial Board gathered
to watch the election coverage. This is a compilation of our (mostly
disappointed) reactions to both the results and the process.

KEEP HOPE
ALVE
In the days
after Bush v.
Gore, Democrats
attempted to
soothe their sor-
rows with

shine because nothing else could explain the
election of Republican Saxby Chambliss for
Senator over the incumbent Democrat Max
Cleland. A man who ran a campaign based
on so much hate for his respected opponent
could only win in a state where the popula-
tion is generally ignorant and blinded by
ideologies like ultra-nationalism and right-
wing Christianity.
Throughout the campaign, Chambliss chal-
lenged Cleland's patriotism and dedication to
his country because he didn't always agree with
Czar George II. Strange coming from Chamb-
liss, his "bad knee" kept him out of service in
Vietnam. Cleland, on the other hand, doesn't
have any knees and is missing one of his arms,
because they were blown off during a raid in
Vietnam. For a draft-dodger to accuse a crip-
pled veteran of a lack of patriotism over politi-
cal differences is, well, I'm speechless.
And the people of Georgia bought into it.
For them, patriotism means killing Arabs and
putting God in the classroom. To love one's

race shouldn't even have been close.
Ahmed epitomizes the character that the
University ought to represent.
As long as most voters remain uninformed
about the majority of the candidates they are
voting for, we will have people using last
names and appearances as criteria. And unfor-
tunately for Ahmed and Hollowell, neither
Arab nor black describes enough of us.
-John Honkala
TIME FOR STUDENTS TO END THE
CYNICAL COMPLAINTS
As I sat playing political buzz-word bingo,
watching election results, I listened to voters
sit beside me and scoff at the pitfalls of our
election process. I heard many of the same
echoing complaints that annually accompany
the swish of a poll curtain. Complaints about
voter apathy:1a disenfranchised electorate due
to a two-party system that in reality is only
one; politicians who don't talk but merely

people of my generation say that their vote
doesn't matter. This is nothing but laziness
under the guise of rebellious cynicism.
Politicians will only care about our demo-
graphic when we show ourselves to be a
powerful constituency. Regardless of
which quadruped you associate with, we
have to get informed so we can better push
our agendas. We are the students of Ameri-
caxand it is time our idealistic opinions are
heard rather than just our cynical com-
plaints.
- Sam Butler
'NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND'
Given the reasonable political premise that
the President is his party's leader, do Tuesday's
congressional windfalls for the GOP serve as
an affirmation of George W Bush's first two
years and his Republican Party? As ESPN's
Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend."
Realistically, there was no message delib-

thoughts of the
future. This was the scenario: Bush would
screw up the country and the Democrats
would take Congress in '02 and the Oval
Office in '04. This was the unspoken shibbo-
leth of Democratic strategists. And when a
falling-out over education and dairy products
hand-delivered the Senate to Sen. Daschle,
optimism reigned. Only good was on the hori-
zon. Cut to Tuesday night: total failure.
But hope springs eternal; the Republican
controlled legislature poses obstacles for the
Bush political machine. In the next two years,
the president will be obligated to satisfy the
more radical factions of the Republican lead-
ership. Will voters accept the mantra of "com-
passionate conservatism" or will they begin to
recognize that Bush is not a moderate? For the
Democratic Party to take advantage of Bush's
weaknesses in 2004 they need to depose Terry
McAullife immediately, create new policies
and find someone not named Al Gore to chal-
lenge the Texan.
-Zac Peskowitz

Do you wish
you'd been at
Jess house with
us to watch
James Carville
put a trash can rq4MNIVERSIT
on his head? 'SPORTSWEAR
Join the Daily's
Editorial Board.
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