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November 05, 2012 - Image 5

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5A - Monday, November 5, 2012'

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

5A - Monday, November 5, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Consider Mideast policy

Obamacare relevant to all

When we go to the polls to vote tomorrow,
there will be many issues to consider. In our
globalized society, more and more of these
issues involve the international community.
Conflicts in the Middle East are especially
important to our country, and there are none
more important than the conflicts between
the Israelis and Palestinians.
There's a global consensus that a two-state
solution is the only viable way to resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The non-Jewish
population of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank
will soon grow too numerous for Israel to
consolidate all the land and still maintain a
majority Jewish population. If Israel was to
deny non-Jewish residents equal rights to
maintain its Jewish character, it would no
longer be democratic. The current status quo
- a blockade of the Gaza Strip, an occupation
of the West Bank and an increasingly intran-
sigent government in Israel proper - cannot
continue if we want Israel to remain both a
Jewish and democratic state.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt
Romney says he will "recommit" the United
States to a two-state solution. He has visited
Israel and met with its leaders, and has vowed
to go against international practice by mov-
ing the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
He appears to be a true friend to Israel on the
surface, but his attitude toward the Palestin-
ians and the resulting implications of negoti-
ating a two-state solution suggest otherwise.
He has said Palestinians have "no interest
whatsoever" in establishing peace with Israel
and claimed all Palestinians are "committed
to the destruction and elimination of Israel."
He ascribed the gap between the economic
success of Israelis and Palestinians to a dif-
ference in culture, completely ignoring the
economic effects of the occupation. These
aren't the words of someone who's truly com-
mitted to a two-state solution.
President Barack Obama has also wrestled
with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During
his presidential term, he has consistently pro-
vided necessary financial support to ensure the
security of Israel and the Palestinian Author-
ity, contributing to an unprecedented level of
stability in the region. He has supported the
general plan for a peaceful two-state solution
that has long been the standard of Israeli-Pal-
estinian negotiations. But, there has still been
unsatisfactory progress. Peace talks have been
dormant for the past two years, with no signs of
restarting any time soon.
Know your ri
Andrew Goodman was 20 years old when he
traveled to Mississippi in 1964 as a part of the
Freedom Summer. His mission was to ensure
suffrage for all Americans. On Goodman's first
day in Mississippi, members of the Ku Klux
Klan murdered him, alongwith fellow activists
Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, to stop
them from registering African-American vot-
ers. Today, 11 ambassadors around the country
work for the Andrew Goodman Foundation to
share the true significance of the right to vote
with others and honor his memory in doing so.
As one of these ambassadors, I want to
encourage Michigan students to realize how
lucky they are to have the chance to exercise
this right on Tuesday. I understand students'
frustrations with the repetitive television
advertisements and endless mailers, but stu-
dents must consider the serious issues at stake
in this election. Issues important to students
include the cost of a college education, the
economy, LGBT rights, health care, reproduc-
tive rights and the environment - to name just
a few. We must make our voices heard and cast
our votes on Tuesday.
Young people often wonder why candidates
don't spend as much time addressing issues like
student loans as they do addressing issues like
Medicare. The simple answer is that politicians
pay attention to voting patterns and, according
to the Huffington Post, 48.5 percent of millen-
nial voters 18 to 24 years old showed up at the
polls. By contrast, 67 percent of those 30 and
older voted, and senior citizens had the highest

voter turnout of any of the age groups.
This year politicians have sought partisan
advantages by making it harder by raising reg-
istration barriers. Voter identification require-
ments are one example. Fortunately, many of
these laws are being overturned in the courts,
but still create confusion among voters that can
only be overcome through education.
We must not let these attempts to hinder
democracy keep us from voting. Rather, we
must show those who try to silence or ignore us
that we are a strong voice. Each and every one

Duringthe final presidential debate on for-
eign policy, Israel was mentioned 35 times by
the two candidates - but only one of those
times was referenced a peaceful solution.
The rest consisted of rhetoric about "our
great friend Israel" or the threat of Iran. Our
alliance with Israel is meaningful, as is the
threat a nuclear-armed Iran poses to Israel.
But instead of rhetoric, our generation needs
plans. This debate was an example of how lax
our politics are concerning this issue.
. J Street supports leaders at all levels of
government who have decisively proven that
they are true friends of Israel by providing
not only financial and military support, but
also by making a concerted effort to achieve a
Palestinian state.
While some may claim this lack of action
stems from intractable parties on both sides,
at J Street we believe a lack of exigency in
the United States to push both parties to the
negotiating table is partly to blame. Other
concerns, domestic and foreign, have side-
lined earlier efforts. It is up to us to remind
our leaders in government of the necessity of
a two-state solution.
J Street UMich has been doing this
through our Two State Semester Campaign.
We have mobilized the masses by collect-
ing more than 300 postcards that we'll soon
submit to Congress. The postcards, signed by
students, state: "We Support Vigorous U.S.
Leadership to Achieve a Two-State Solution
to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
We have also mobilized the leaders on this
campus. More than two-dozen student lead-
ers have stood up and publicly declared their
support for the statement. These are leaders
from diverse backgrounds - from the ACLU
to the Detroit Partnership, from Hillel to
Crowd 313, from the American Movement for
Israel to the Delta Gamma Phi pre-law soror-
ity. These students all approach this issue
from different places, but they all agree that
now, more than ever, the United States needs
to take an active role in facilitating fair nego-
tiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Tomorrow, when you vote, keep in mind
our campaign and consider which of the
presidential candidates has shown true sup-
port for a two-state solution.
Mandy Kain is a Biomedical graduate student
and Justin Wagner isvan LSA junior.
This viewpoint was written on
behalf of J Street UMich.
ghts as a voter
of us hasa duty to go out and vote Tuesday.
I urge students to make a plan. The polls
open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Decide exactly
when you're going, and I strongly recommend
filling out a sample ballot beforehand. Know
the candidates, what they stand for and how
they'll represent you. Learn about the initia-
tives and the judges. This is your future - make
sure you're in control of it.
Voter information
Voter information can be found at http://
publius.org. See your ballot, know the issues.
A Michigan voter needs proper identifica-
tion to vote. Any the of following will suffice:
Michigan driver's license or state ID card, a
current driver's license from another state,
Federal or state government-issued photo ID,
U.S. Passport, Military photo ID, tribal photo
ID or Mcard.
Michigan anticipates that not all voters will
have an ID. Any voter who forgets his or her ID
or does not have an acceptable form of ID may
sign an affidavit affirming that he or she is the
voter - simply request an affidavit from a poll
worker. Avoid filling out a provisional ballot at
all costs.
With so many voting places, it's inevitable
that not all poll workers will understand the
law. If a poll worker tells you that you cannot
vote because you forgot your ID or that your
out-of-state or student ID is invalid, insist on
casting a non-provisional ballot.
Voting on Election Day

Election Day is Nov. 6. Polls will be open
from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling location
at https://webapps.sos.state.mi.us/mivote/.
For more information about voting in Michi-
gan or another state, check out the student
voter guides available through the Campus
Vote Project website.
Katja Edelman is an LSA sophomore.
This column was written with support
from the Andrew Goodman Foundation
and the Campus Vote Project.

I'd like to begin this viewpoint
with a personal anecdote about a
time when I, or someone I know,
was denied access to health care.
But, I don't have one, and therein
lies the point. As a student, like
many others at the University, for
whom health care access has never
been an issue, President Barack
Obama's health care bill wouldn't
seem to directly relate to me. This
couldn't be further from the truth.
After several unsuccessful
attempts at health care reform, most
notably President Bill Clinton's in
1993, Congress finally passed the
Patient Protection and Afford-
able Care Act, commonly known as
"Obamacare," in 2010. The bill essen-
tially overhauls the process by which
Americans purchase and maintain
health insurance. The major reforms
of the Affordable Care Act include
prohibiting insurance companies
from dropping their clients when
they get sick, banning dollar caps
on yearly and lifetime coverage and
allowing children to stay on their
parents' insurance plan until they're
26 years old.
The last provision is of particu-
lar importance to students like me.
Under the old health care regulations,
I may not have been covered for the
duration of my time at the University.
Many Americans in undergraduate
and graduate programs had to worry

about the threat of illness while try-
ing to earn a degree. Thanks to the
Affordable Care Act, these worries
no longer affect us.
Beyond its impacts on me, I'm
proud to support the President that
ended discrimination based on pre-
existing conditions. For those Ameri-
cans who may need health care
coverage the most, insurance compa-
nies mistreated those with long-term
illness and pre-existing conditions.
Obama understands that affordable
health care is a basic human neces-
sity and took care to ensure that all
Americans would be covered.
The opposition has been elitist
and unrealistic with its treatment
of health care reform. Republican
presidential nominee Mitt Romney
stated in 2012, "Obamacare must be
repealed - inits entirety." He moved
back from his remarks this Septem-
ber, when he stated, "I'm not getting
rid of all of health care reform."
I view this as a lose-lose for Rom-
ney. His first comment indicates
that he does not understand how
much Obamacare helps' Americans
who struggle to get health care.
His second comment indicates that
he understands that Americans are
beginning to realize the value of the
ACA, and that he must, as he has
done time and time again, change
his opinion.
How can we trust Romney with

our health care when we don't
know his real opinion? The other
side has continually put politics
ahead of the interests of the nation.
They're unable to compromise on
what may be the greatest piece of
progressive legislation since the
civil rights reforms of the 1960s,
despite the Supreme Court's June
ruling of the constitutionality of
the ACA's individual mandate, a
vital-piece of the legislation.
The ACA isn't just a dense poli-
cy package or a campaign tactic.
It's a long overdue service to the
American people that we should all
embrace as students. I encourage
you to look beyond party rhetoric
and to truly examine the benefits
American citizens receive under
the provisions of the ACA. If you're
a student who is worried about
finding employment after college,
feel relieved that the ACA will
allow you to stay on your parents's
coverage. And if you're a concerned
citizen, feel proud that we finally
live in a country where access to
health care isn't based on class.
If you believe in the America that
provides opportunities for all of its
citizens, then your decision is easy
- re-elect Obama on Tuesday.
Giancarlo Buonomo isan LSA
freshman and member of University's
chapter of College Democrats.

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michdailyoped and Facebook.com/MichiganDaily
to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.
Hoekstra Csfresh perspective

W alking with former
Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-
Mich.), you'll quickly
see that he's a
stark contrast to
his Democratic
opponent, Sen.
Debbie Stabe-
now (D-Mich.).
Hoekstra pres-
ents himself
as a business,
common sense JAMES
and solutions- BRENNAN
based conserva-
tive, a man who
has spent half his life in the private
sector and the other half in govern-
ment. A graduate of the University's
MBA program, he was a success-
ful businessman who helped take a
medium-sized company to Fortune
500 status. Hoekstra first entered
the House of Representatives in a
shocking primary upset of a long-
serving fellow Republican - he
entered government willing to fight
his own party.
Stabenow, on the other hand,
has been in government for the vast
majority of her adult life, first win-
ning an election while in graduate
school at Michigan State University.
She went on to be the only person to
serve in both houses of the Michigan
state legislature and both houses of
Congress. Not necessarily a bad
thing, but Stabenow fits the bill of a
"career politician."
Hoekstra believes his credentials
as a businessman who knows how
Washington works uniquely qualify
him - a man who has new ideas and
knows how to implement them. His
agenda is filled with the typical spiel
of this year's Republican platform:
reform the tax code, focus on energy
independence, balance the budget
and get America back to work. In an
interview with The Michigan Daily,
Hoekstra pointed to the shortcom-

ings of the Obama administration and
congressional Democrats. Unemploy-
ment remains high, and even for grad-
uates of a school like the University,
jobs are hard to come by. He strongly
believes the country is headed in the
wrong direction - and Stabenow, he
claims, is a part of that problem.
I'll admit to my own liberal bias
and major fundamental disagree-
ments with Hoekstra (this is, after
all, an opinion column) but he had
a lot of very valid, very intrigu-
ing points. Foremost among them
were his opinions on higher educa-
tion. Usually a weak spot for bud-
get-hawk business conservatives, I
found Hoekstra's ideas to be some-
what compelling.
He claimed that government can-
not continue to subsidize high-cost,
low-reward schools, and therefore
students must take the initiative to
refuse invitations for admission.
Essentially, Hoekstra hopes the
market will signal to schools their
costs are too high and even commit-
ted students are notwilling to putup
with their outrageous prices.
I have my qualms with this argu-
ment, as I'm suremany do - but it
makes sense in a way. Colleges - the
University included - have grown
far too comfortable with shifting
costs to students (rather than cut-
ting them on research, professors,
and administration) and forcing us to
pay more and more. As a legislature,
Hoekstra believes it's his role to stop
subsidizing such an arrangement.
As one would imagine, Hoeks-
tra's free market-oriented solutions
spread much farther than educa-
tion. He believes that health care
must return to state and private
control, where it will be cheaper
and more efficient. Government cer-
tainly has a role to play, encouraging
growth, rewarding people who take
risks - especially entrepreneurs -
and utilizing and exploring its own

resources for energy production.
However, Hoekstraholds the line on
private industry. It's business, not
government that creates jobs. Fur-
thermore, Hoekstra believes this
is what the American people want.
He reminded me of the sweeping
congressional takeover by Republi-
cans in 2010, proving to him that the
American people are not happy.
Although seemingly very parti-
GOP Senate
candidate strong
on education.
san, Hoekstra assures us that he's
about solutions, not politics. His
plans aren't just for Republicans and
he hopes to work with anymember of
Congress who's trying to help move
the country forward. He cited the
work of former President Bill Clin-
ton and Speaker of the House Newt
Gingrich, who were able to balance
the budget in the 1990s through
bipartisan support. Hoekstra hopes
to be part of a similar situation in the
future, one where Republicans and
Democrats come together to build
an effective government.
What Hoekstra failed to point
out about that same administration,
however, is the bad stuff - the same
people who "worked together" also
presided over the government shut-
downs of 1995 and 1996. I hope that
he - and Stabenow, for that matter
- agree that deadlock to such an
extent is something neither of them
would allow.
- James Brennan can be reached
at jmbthree@umich.edu.

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