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November 04, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-04

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 4, 2004

OPINION

RIO 4w 420 MAYNARD STREET
AILe Std guu & z ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
The tothedaily~michigandaily.com

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
4TToday, I hope
we can begin the
healing."
- John Kerry, during his concession
speech yesterday in Boston, as reported by the
Associated Press.

COLIN DALY Tw 'c I)NDy

The struggle continues, don your
revolutionary T-shirt

VIEWPOINT
Two wrongs, rights, lefts don't make pair

I

Tl__ f__-- __.... TT .. _ _ _

BY AUBREY HENRETTY

A mother and her three daughters were shoe
shopping at the shoe store where I work a few days
before the election. The oldest daughter - barely
6 years old, if that - was clearly the mouth of the
group, following me around and grilling me for
information. As I was measuring her youngest sis-
ter's foot, she noticed the Kerry for President button
pinned to my shirt.
"John Ker-ry," she sounded out. "We're voting
for Bush."
I love kids this age. They have a way of dispensing
with the bullshit - of saying exactly what they mean
and calling the world exactly as they see it using
the simplest and most evocative language possible
- that makes me sing and dance inside.
"Democrats, she said after a moment, "want to
make things more expensive. So you shouldn't vote
for them."
Smiling slightly, I bit my tongue. Hard. It was all
I could do not to give this precocious little one an
equally simple and compelling reason not to vote
Republican. For example: "Well, sweetie, Republi-
cans don't think poor people should be allowed to
go to the hospital when they're sick." Or: "Repub-
licans want to take your privacy away." Or even:
"Republicans want to kill families who live in other
countries."
But her mother was sitting right there, looking
vaguely irritated.
In an ideal world, I would have closed the store
on the spot and bought this woman a coffee on the
condition that she'd sit down and talk about the elec-
tion with me. I would have asked her why she was
really voting for Bush (surely there would be a more

complicated reason than the fear that the Democrats
would take all her money away), listened carefully,
and offered a series of calm, well-reasoned, passion-
ate replies in hopes that even if I couldn't change her
mind, at least I could show her I cared and wanted
to understand where she was coming from, that pro-
ductive political discourse is possible.
Instead, I bit down harder, stealing a glance at her
talkative daughter. I was that young once, that blonde,
that bold. Children, for all their bullshit-rejecting
acumen, cannot talk politics because they don't have
enough information. Adults - American ones, any-
way - can't talk politics these days because they've
been trained to spew childishly simplistic talking
points and shut their ears to the opposition.
I blame the Bush administration (and its media
subsidiaries) and its polarizing rhetoric. They tell us
our choice is them or the terrorists, and to me that is
no choice at all. I can pick one kind of violent reli-
gious zealotry or another. I can choose to invade
countries that neither attacked mine nor threatened
to - removing an odd dictator now and then, but at
the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives - or I can
love terror and hate freedom.
No. I love freedom, but I hate the Bush admin-
istration. There, I said it. I hate the Bush admin-
istration for curtailing my civil liberties and then
deigning to tell me it's for my own good, for fanning
the flames of homophobia in the name of a God
they claim speaks directly to them. I disagree with
nearly every important domestic and foreign policy
move the administration has made. I have very little
patience for prescriptive religious zealots, and I hate
that the leader of the Western world - the one with
the most nukes, I might add - cannot pronounce
the word "nuclear."

What I hate most of all is that I am using the word
"hate." And meaning it. Dictators and terrorists and
religious nutcases and sullen six-year-olds "hate"
things. I should know better. I should tone it down.
People on the Right have the same problem, and if
you think they don't, you haven't been listening to a
word they've been saying.
We get so angry we can't speak, and when we
finally spit out arguments, our words are full of
anger and spite. Saucy little girls we might have won
over had we been patient walk away with their good
Christian mothers (decent, hard-working women
who may or may not believe that Jesus wouldn't
want gay people to get tax breaks or joint health
care plans) and by the time they outgrow their
pricey Swedish sneakers they (and their mothers)
will be out of our reach.
We (and by "we," I mean intelligent and
thoughtful Americans - on the left, on the right
and everywhere in between) should all tone it
down. More than should. We must. Because
more than half of us have just elected a president
who won't. If there's any hope for us as a nation,
we have to listen to each other, to find common
ground. We have to respect their Libertarian,
Bush-supporting uncles, our radical left-wing
ex-roommates, our gay relatives enough to hear
them out, to want to understand and engage them.
If this sounds wishy-washy to you, the spin has
gone to your head. It will be difficult and painful
and slow at times, but the old saw about walk-
ing a mile in someone else's shoes hasn't done us
wrong yet. Lace up and get going.
Henretty is a University alum and was the
Daily's editorial page editor and a columnist.

I
al

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Bush should push the"
policies he campaigned on
TO THE DAILY:
Today's viewpoint by Daniel Faichney, Chal-
lenges ahead in the next four years (11/03/04), was
simply not logical. In keeping with the editorial
mourning of the Kerry campaign (One-party state,
11/03/04), Faichney continuously insisted that
President Bush "must" do this, or "needs" to do
that. Seemingly, Bush must be John Kerry. Every
line of this viewpoint was devoted to explaining
how Bush should adopt Kerry's policies. A high
voter turnout does not mean that Bush should
abandon everything he said in his campaign and
be Kerry. It means exactly the opposite. The
country elected Bush (both through the popular
and electoral vote), and his "responsibility" to the
country is now to follow through on what he has
promised to do and what he has campaigned in
favor of. While I strongly disagree with many of
Bush's moral values, the country has spoken, and
it wants Bush.
Nick Jordan
Rackham
Country should apologize
to younger generations for
re-electing Bush
TO THE DAILY:
The most heated election in recent memo-
ry is now over, and the people of the United
States, with a mandate no less, have spoken.
Through the voice of older generations, they
have affirmed the record of President Bush
- and so much more. By casting their bal-
lots, they have affirmed record budget defi-
cits, the leading of thousands of U.S. soldiers
and Iraqi civilians to their untimely deaths

with the threat of imaginary weapons of mass
destruction and the guidance of an economy
that could not even net the creation of a sin-
gle new job. At a time when the youth of this
nation are already facing massive disinvest-
ments in education and an increasing per-
centage of the budget devoted toward other
generations that make up the same popula-
tion - senior citizens - it is hard for any
non-youth voter to argue the common adage
that we are indeed the future. With a blatant
disregard for the well being of our future,
whether it be through getting the opportunity
to have a good education or for that matter, a
job, to securing our livelihoods by not waging
unnecessary wars or sacrificing our genera-
tion's fair share of tomorrow's gross domestic
product through gargantuan deficits, to you
America, I say this: I demand an apology for
your approval of Bush.
Our generation is not one to demand pref-
erential treatment, nor are our demands
unselfish. What we merely ask for is an equal
opportunity in life, to fulfill our potentials and
to do so without such inherent disadvantages
created every day by this administration. It
is not your generation that sends soldiers to
fight on the front lines in Iraq, it is not your
generation that suffers from the underfund-
ing of No Child Left Behind and it is not your
generation that must deal with an economy
that is getting near record lows in investment,
shrinking the job market by the time we enter
the workforce. When the baby boomers were
born in the 1950s, both social and foreign pol-
icy issues were rampant. The majority of the
population was still bent on the notion that two
groups of people could somehow be separate
but equal and the notion of Middle East peace
and amicable relations with Asian countries
seemed very far away. In 2004, we see these
problems seeping through societal structure

again, appearing once again to be the price our
generation must pay for the repeated mistakes
of the generations before us.
Quang Nguyen
Engineering freshman
Coverage of football game
too focused on Edwards
TO THE DAILY:
Let's hear it for the Daily's sports staff.
Like most other fans who stayed the dura-
tion Saturday, I revelled in the Michigan
football victory all weekend. I soaked up
all the football coverage I could find. Imag-
ine my surprise when it was all Braylon,
Braylon, Braylon. To be sure, every time
a ball is thrown between the second "I"
and the "N" painted on the endzone turf,
everyone knows Edwards is coming down
with the ball. But as Chad Henne and Spen-
cer Brinton (who share the number 7) can
attest, there are more than 100 players on
the team, not just No. 1. The Daily I knew
would have more balanced coverage, only
to read the sports headline Braylon's late
show (11/01/04) before I got angry, though
I kept reading. Thank you Chris Burke for
letting me know I was not the only one out
of 110,000 to see Jason Avant's spectacular
grab to tie the game in the second overtime
and for showing that someone else noticed
Michael Hart piling up over 200 yards with
admirable second, third and even fourth
efforts and even noting that Garrett Rivas
was not only not bad, he was actually per-
fect in the clutch. All in all, great coverage
of a great comeback. It's nice to see some-
one who actually knows football writing
about football.
Ryan Kotenko
Engineering freshman

al

VIEWPOINT
I'm a homophobe and I need a hug ...

BY JASMINE CLAIR
Proposal 2 passed. Does that mean that
Michigan is full of heterosexist bigots?
Maybe. But this year's election shows that
people are going to need to do some more
soul-searching in order for gays to retain
thei r r- vhte NT nPnallinn nwill not nrmanat

honest. And the passage of Proposal 2 last
night suggests that there are many more just
like me who sympathize with my position
but are too afraid to openly acknowledge
this out of fear of being tagged as a "sexist"
or "heterosexist." So instead, they silently
voice this at the polls.
Pnar n arnao 1rean nn.T I A not hlipvp

best. Not simply because it banned gay mar-
riage (the Defense of Marriage Act already
does this), but because it triggered an entire
population's lack of understanding of the
gay community and used it to prevent gays
from entering into unions of any similar
purpose including civil unions. People were

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