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September 30, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-30

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 30, 2004



SINCE 1890

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 pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

44 I go to bed every
night and I pray and I
actually get sick to my
-Beverly Cocco, a mother of two sons,
expressing her concern that a draft will be
instituted, as reported Tuesday by CBS News,


What to watch for


Florida - the per-
fect venue for the
most important
event of the 2004 presi-
dential campaign. Tonight
at 9 p.m. George W. Bush
and John Kerry will face
off at the University of
Miami in a foreign policy
debate with critical impli-
cations for the outcome
of the campaign. This is the first debate and
it will set expectations and perceptions for
the remainder of the campaign. It's fitting that
a campaign that has had so much to do with
what happened four years ago will come down
to another battle in Florida. Traditionally, can-
didates have used the days before a debate to
ratchet up the expectations for their rivals, but
this week both candidates have come out with
surprising aggression. Bush told an Ohio audi-
ence on Monday that "it's been a little tough to
prepare because (Kerry) keeps changing posi-
tions on the war on the terror" while Kerry
has continued to deride Bush at every possible
These unorthodox strategies are a nice
backdrop to the battle for Florida. In a some-
what counterintuitive move, Kerry chose to
stake his debate camp in Spring Green, Wis.,
not the more important battleground of Flori-
da. Kerry aides lamely stated that the senator
didn't want to distract from hurricane clean up
in Florida and would do his debate prepara-
tion elsewhere. Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes
are important, but Florida is still the big prize
that can swing the election, and tracking polls

show that neither candidate has a legitimate
advantage in the state. With that in mind, here
are three issues that the candidates will use to
expand their appeal to critical swing voters.
Iraq: This is Kerry's final opportunity to
convince the voters that he has some sort of
coherent position on Iraq. Equally impor-
tant, he needs to show that he has a plan
more sophisticated than bringing in addi-
tional troops from other nations. His four-
point plan to right the situation in Iraq is
astoundingly simplistic and presents no real
contrast with Bush's approach. If Kerry has
any chance of improving the public's per-
ception of his ability to manage Iraq he will
need to show that he has specific alternatives
to Bush. In the past several weeks, Kerry has
pivoted and is now attempting to exploit the
fear that Bush's approach to Iraq has made
Americans more susceptible to terrorist
attacks, but he needs to go beyond a criti-
cism of Bush's management of foreign poli-
cy. Kerry needs to show that he has the skill
and the ideas to resolve the crisis. Which
brings us to our next topic ...
Realism vs. Liberalism: Far more impor-
tant than a candidate's actual proposals is the
worldview that will guide him throughout
his presidency. Bush's first principles on the
importance of democratization are well known
at this point, even though they differ dramati-
cally from those he espoused as a candidate in
2000. Bush is more than willing to dilute his
support for political liberalization in his deal-
ings with Russia and Pakistan, but his gut-level

instinct endures.
At various points in the campaign, Kerry
has attempted to style himself as a hard-head-
ed foreign policy realist in the mode of Henry
Kissinger, and there has been a strand of this
thinking throughout his political career. Kerry
was known to grimace when the United States
was called the "indispensable nation" during
the Clinton administration. But American
voters show little support for this philosophy
at the polls and Kerry has prevented himself
from effectively criticizing Bush's approaches
to Russia and Pakistan. In the case of the geno-
cide in Darfur, Kerry cannot credibly attack
the president for his failure to act decisively.
Cuba: In a world with North Korea, Iran, Iraq
and Afghanistan, the septuagenarian dictator of
a small island nation with II million people
would be expected to elicit little attention. With
the debate taking place in metropolitan Miami,
it's a perfect opportunity for each candidate to
win a few votes on Cuba policy. Bush's contro-
versial decision to impose additional restrictions
on visiting Cuba and sending remittances to the
country may have hurt his standing with young-
er and less hard-line Cuban-Americans. Kerry
will attempt to cleave off a chunk of the Cuban-
American vote with an appeal for a less pain-
ful approach to Fidel Castro. Both candidates
are sure to incorporate as many local appeals
as possible into the debate and if we're really
lucky, maybe we'll hear some broken Spanish
from both Bush and Kerry tonight.
Peskowtiz can be reached at



Pesick's critique of
Republican Party 'vile'
I was disappointed to read the column Shar-
ing one house (09/28/04), by Jason Z. Pesick. In
this piece, he makes a vile attempt to discredit
the Republican Party. Many of the claims he
makes, however, are examples of election year
politics at best, and simply untrue at worst. For
example, he claims the Republicans chose New
York City to host their convention "to capital-
ize on the positive effects Sept. 11 had on the
president's relationship with the American
people." Did it even occur to Pesick that per-
haps New York was chosen to showcase how
the president has led our country after Sept.
11, possibly the worst moment in our history?
That perhaps this wasn't some devious plot to
fool America, but rather an effort to showcase
some of the great things our president has done
for the country and why he should be re-elect-
ed to lead our country through these dangerous
times? Secondly, talking about "two Ameri-
cas" is not Republican at all, but rather straight
from the desk of the Democratic nominee for
vice president, John Edwards, who preaches
this dichotomy every chance he gets. Lastly, to
claim that President Bush shouldn't be critical

of journalists is flatly ridiculous, just ask Dan
Rather about that one. Before Pesick claims
the Republican Party and Bush hate everyone
in this country, he should look at the polls to
see just who is currently the favorite of those
American people.
Allen Weiss
LSA sophomore
SHARE is an important
option for students
I think it is wonderful that there is a stu-
dent group addressing mental health issues on
campus (Group aims to ease students' searches
for counseling, 9/27/04). While the Universi-
ty's Counseling and Psychological Services is
a valuable resource, students need an outlet to
share with their peers. Professional counsel-
ors are highly trained and qualified, but some-
times it is easier to talk to fellow students who
may be experiencing the same issues. At the
same time, there are many students who are
seeking professional counseling. No student
who is seeking help should have difficulty in
doing so. Groups such as Student's Health
Advocates and Resource Exchange should
be encouraged by students and mental health

professionals alike.
Access to resources is important, but it is not
the only issue. There needs to be more aware-
ness and acceptance of mental health problems
affecting students. Lectures, awareness raising
events and student support groups are all nec-
essary. For students who feel they cannot break
their silence, there should be anonymous chat
rooms or message boards where they can find
support. Mental health issues are private, diffi-
cult and highly stigmatized. There will always
be some people who do not seek help because
they are embarrassed or afraid. Reducing stig-
ma and increasing acceptance is key.
Deepika Mullangi
School of Public Health

In defense of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative

The language of the Michigan Civil Rights
Initiative is unambiguous; its intent is unmis-
takable. The MCRI aims to eliminate all dis-
crimination by race, including all preference
by race. The words of the initiative, upon
which we will vote in 2006, say that clearly
and simply:
"The state" (i.e. Michigan, and all its col-
leges and universities) "shall not discriminate
against, or grant preferential treatment to, any
individual or group on the basis of race, sex,
color, ethnicity, or national origin in the opera-
tion of public employment, public education,
or nublic contracting"

Rights Act of 1964, its clear and honorable
purpose was to eradicate preference by race.
Affirmative steps to do this remain essential.
There is nothing in the MCRI that would
interfere in any way with such continuing
efforts: to insure that examinations are free
of racial bias; to eliminate discrimination in
housing and in lending; to tear down old-boy
networks; to oblige the fair posting of jobs;
to insure that tests for employment are rel-
evant and to forbid their use as covers for
the surreptitious and invidious uses of race
- and so on and on. Affirmative action, in
that honorable spirit, will continue, as it cer-
tainly should.
MCRI. when adopted. will support these

I presume, is the desire to see some forms of
preference maintained. So the issue between
those who support MCRI and its opponents
may be crisply put: Do we; or do we not, wish
to allow our state to give preference by race?
For my part, I do not.
In my view, race preference is deeply damag-
ing to the minorities that are preferred. About
that there will be some disagreement, no doubt
- but surely we all will agree that racial dis-
crimination is unjust, and is an evil with which
our nation has far too long been cursed. To give
any persons more, or less, or to treat persons
better, or worse, because of the color of their
skins is an abomination. Doing it with honor-
able motives does not make it right.

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