Don’t waste democracy

Jen Kistenmacher

With the election a month away, anticipation is building. This election is the first many of us are eligible to vote in, so we should take full advantage.

I usually don’t get worked up about politics because I don’t think my one vote will make a difference in the outcome. Unfortunately there are hundreds of thousands who think the same thing.

Experts predict this election will be the closest in decades so every vote counts. Especially from 18 to 24-year-olds and women who consistently have the lowest turnout.

Voting this election is easier than ever with online registration at places like, and there are even absentee ballot requests available. So if you are 18 there are no excuses for not voting on Nov. 7.

The main argument I hear about candidates this year is neither one is worth voting for. I can see that, but there is always one candidate more worthy than the other so vote for the least annoying. It is a good way to keep the one you hate the most out of office.

You would have to be living in a hole not to have seen the numerous political ads on television in the past few months. Put the mudslinging aside and you can basically tell what each candidate stands for. Pair that with all the coverage in papers and especially from the televised debates, everyone should be able to make an informed decision on the best candidate come Election Day.

The Democratic candidate on the ticket is Vice-President Al Gore. This is the candidate who is getting my vote. The U.S. economy is in the best shape that it has been in for a damn long time. During the time Al Gore served as Vice President under President Clinton, for once we had a budget surplus, and the economy is still expanding.

Unemployment is low. Inflation has been kept in check. Obviously Gore has had a good teacher in Clinton (in the way to run a country, not how to handle interns), and he knows what he is doing. It is always easier to keep riding on a wave then to totally change directions and disrupt the flow of things.

With Al Gore as president, I think the country would stay in the same shape.

The second major-party candidate on the ballot is the Republican candidate George W. Bus – the son of ex-president George Bush.

Because the two are cut from the same cloth, one could infer the two would have similar ideals where politics are concerned. If something didn’t work the first time around, why try it again?

When Reagan and Bush were in office, the country wasn’t in good shape. The deficit was in the trillions. TRILLIONS-there isn’t even enough money in existence to foot that kind of bill. Unemployment was higher than it is now and we were in bad shape in general.

My favorite thing that Republicans like to say is that the only reason the United States is in such good shape now is that Clinton is just using the momentum that they started all the way back in the 80s.

MAYBE this argument could have been valid the first couple years Clinton was in office, but after eight years, please. Highly unlikely. Clinton and Gore just really know how to get things done right.

Republicans also like to ride the moral high horse on how terrible a person Clinton is, how you shouldn’t vote for someone associated with him. Granted, Clinton isn’t my idea of an ideal husband or person, but he is a damn good politician.

He got caught with his pants down. Literally. Many other Republicans and Democrats alike have done the same thing, and it is very hypocritical to condemn Clinton for something a lot of the people putting him on trial are doing themselves.

If Clinton were running again this term, I would vote for him, despite the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal.

All politics is corrupt, and if the Democrats wanted to play dirty they could focus on George W. Bush’s crazy college days, the drugs, alcohol, etc., but they haven’t put a huge focus on that which is quite admirable.

Whether you agree with what I have to say or not, voting is a privilege guaranteed to all citizens over the age of 18. That choice we take for granted is one that many people in other countries would die to have available to them.

The deadline to register is fast approaching, so get registered if you aren’t already, and if you need an absentee ballot they are available online, but according to Iowa’s deadlines, you must apply for one by Oct. 30.

We can’t let everything that our democracy stands for go to waste. We have the responsibility to choose our future, so on Nov. 7 make sure your voice is heard and vote.