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Fontbonne University

Andrew- Life Under A New President

by Fontbonne University on November 3, 2008

in Uncategorized

The Presidential election- wow. Hard to believe it’s almost here, much less almost over with, given how long we’ve been listening to these candidates go on and on, isn’t it? I could tell you about how I feel about Senator McCain and Senator Obama and their respective running mates, about the issues of taxes and the environment and so on, but at this point in time we’ve all heard more than enough about these topics. Take a break with me here, for just a minute, and let’s think about this election beyond the realm of presidential politics.

First and foremost: are you going to vote? You had better! Being from New York, a reoccurring theme for me. I won’t be able to conveniently load up as many friends as I can on election day and drive out to the polls so we can all vote together. That’s not to say I won’t drive people out there anyway, because I believe that much in the right, the duty, the privilege, and the importance of voting, but certainly such an action would lack the convenient excuse of saying “well, I’m voting too!” I had actually hoped to vote in Missouri, given that it is a swing state (whereas the fate of New York is already quite solidly decided), but it turns out it would be a federal offense for me to be registered in two places at once, and New York really, really, REALLY does not like people to unregister to vote, as proven by the complicated requirements for their de-registration process. Deciding to take a path of less resistance, I sent in my request for an absentee ballot early on and have long since received it, researched the local candidates I would be voting on, and sent it back home. I want my voice heard!

I’m actually taking a trip home on the second weekend of November to catch a concert (the Decemberists, if you’ve ever heard of them, are playing at Cornell University and some friends who go there secured tickets for me). I’m excited about this trip, just for the sake of seeing some friends I haven’t seen since I came out here. I realized, though, that this concert was November 9th, five days after the election. I realized that when I next saw my friends, it would be under the context of a new president. No longer will we ask each other “are you going to vote?” and “so who are you voting for?” Instead we will ask “so did you vote?” and “what do you think of our new president?” This idea is astounding for me. For the past however many months, my life and the life of those around me who stay politically aware has been at least in part defined by this presidential race, this competition for who will take the reins in America and become “the leader of the free world.” In part, realizing that soon this will all be over meant I would suddenly find my attention much more free. I imagine my TV will change from CNN’s analysis of these candidates to Comedy Central’s criticism of the election’s winner.

Talk about the issues. Find out which candidate you agree with, and vote. Exercise your right, fulfill your duty, take advantage of your privilege, and recognize the importance of voting. Get out November 4th and vote! Even if you don’t like either candidate, just remember that neither of them are George W. Bush (no matter how much the Obama campaign tries to paint that picture on McCain). Come on, now- you can’t honestly tell me you can’t afford a little time to go vote at least once every four years. Right now, we’re facing a haze of campaigning propaganda, but we’re closing to passing through it! So go out and vote- I’ll see you on the other side.

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.