Students approach elections radically


Amondson, Baldwin, Barr, Calero, Jay, Keyes, LaRiva, McKinney, Moore, Nader.

Those of you who are voting by mail may already have experienced the surprising reminder that the presidential choice extends beyond Obama and McCain.

No one, of course, thinks any of them stand a chance of winning. But some voters, nonetheless, will cast their ballots for third party candidates.

“In many ways Obama scares me way more than McCain because he is a silver-tongued devil,” said senior Todd Hawes, who plans to vote for Nader. “I am not a McCain supporter by any means, but Obama is tremendously good at convincing people of many different political stripes that his agenda is their agenda –– and all the candidates do this; he just does it especially well.”

According to Hawes, the difference between a McCain and Obama presidency –– in other words, a lesser of two evils approach to voting –– is negligible.

“When Obama is cast as the candidate of change, or when McCain does that, it doesn’t truly reflect what they’re talking about because what they’re talking about is the continuance of the present system,” said Hawes.

Some angrily point fingers at those who opt to vote for third party candidates, blaming them, for example, for not preventing the reign of the current Bush administration.

“It’s absurd to say that Bush won because people voted for Nader. Even if Bush had more votes, it’s not because some people voted for Nader. It’s because a lot more people voted for Bush,” said junior Spencer Janyk. “Saying that Nader made Bush win is just another instance of the cannibalism and witch hunts in the left wing of American politics that the right preys on and enjoys watching so much.”

Voting for Nader, Hawes and Janyk believe, displays no more mere symbolism than voting for a major party candidate.

“Voting for Nader is certainly a symbolic gesture, but only in the same sense that everyone’s vote is a symbolic gesture. I don’t expect that my voting will make Nader win any more than anyone thinks their individual vote will garner a win for their candidate,” said Janyk.

Others are engaging in a radical gesture of a different stripe –– not just voting on election day but skipping work and school to get out the vote for Obama.

“To those undecided about taking the day off, fine by me. What they do with their free time is up to them, however if they are already planning on voting for Obama, then I would probably push them a little harder to get out and volunteer for his campaign,” said senior Riley Clubb.