PAGE 11 ELECTION / ISSUE FIVE
With Nov. 4 a week away, the presidential candidates will be facing harsh scrutiny from American citizens and each other. See pages 12-18 for exclusive election coverage.
// TYLERROSTE // TYLERROSTE
PAGE 12 ELECTION / OCT. 27, 2008
Different ends of the SPECTRUM Andrew Sweeney- Abortion
ERR OST E
Carl Cornwell- Stem Cell Research
Junior Carl Cornwell’s joints are stiff each day as he rolls out of bed. Sharp pains constantly shoot throughout his body during the day, keeping him from playing sports. Rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in joints, is what limits Cornwell. Stem cell research could drastically improve his situation (which he normally alleviates by wearing knee braces), but because it is no longer federally funded, he must suffer through this condition. “It should be legal because it can help many people, including myself, who have problems that can be potentially cured by stem cells,” Cornwell said. Stem cells are cells taken from human embryos. They can divide and develop into specialized cells, like red blood cells, brain cells, or bone cells, and then be used as replacements for damaged cells. Stem cells’ ability to treat a vast number of debilitating medical problems is what makes them so exciting to scientists. Moral issues are what keep stem cell research from being federally funded. Many people across America have problems with taking cells from human embryos. “People think that it’s killing babies, but it’s really not, because it’s just an embryo,” Cornwell said. “It’s not an actual child yet.” Cornwell does not campaign in support of stem cell research, but still remains interested. “Whenever I see it on the news I always like to listen to it, see what people think about it,” Cornwell said. In 2006, President George Bush vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill that would have given federal funding to the cause. Things are looking up for Cornwell and others with diseases that can be aided by stem cells. Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama both support federal funding for stem cell research. “If [Obama and McCain] support it then obviously more people will think about it,” Conwell said, “Hopefully, [the government will] get more involved in it and accept it more, because a lot of people don’t.”
Senior Andrew Sweeney did not utter a single word last Monday, his voice suppressed by the red “LIFE” tape worn over his mouth. This “humbling” event is called the “Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity,” and Sweeney has led and organized it the past two years. “We lose our voice for one day to signify the 4,000 babies that have their voice taken away every day,” Sweeney said. Sweeney’s strong feelings about abortion come from his religious beliefs. His parents brought him up as a Christian, which instilled in him the belief that conception marks the beginning of life. “The issue of abortion to me, because it is a religious belief, it is more important than a lot of issues,” Sweeney said. “It is very important because I believe that we, the government and the voters are supporting the homicide of all these children.” Sweeney made it clear that there is only one way to stop abortion. “It is very, very, very important for us to vote against that and vote that down,” Sweeney said. “So then we are not just killing our own children.” Aside from leading the “Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity” at East, Sweeney regularly volunteers to help campaign for prolife politicians. He is a major proponent of the pro-life McCain ticket (Obama is pro-choice). The choice of Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate only boosted his support for the presidential hopeful, because her pregnant 17-year-old daughter recently decided against abortion. Raising awareness is important to Sweeney. He thinks many kids don’t factor abortion into their thinking when filling out a ballot. “A lot of people consider abortion to be a petty issue, it shouldn’t be involved in politics, and it’s not really a big deal,” Sweeney said. “I think the ‘Day of Silence’ really worked against that and showed that it really does matter, and that it is a big deal, and it should be considered when voting.”
Phil Roach- Military
Oil. That sums up junior Phil Roach’s feelings on why America entered Iraq. “We went in just for the oil,” Roach explained. “If we look around at all the problems going on in other countries that don’t have oil, we don’t go and help them. It was just for our own personal gain that we went in.” A number of things have shaped Roach’s interest in the war. He loves American History, especially war history. He has friends in the military. He and his family regularly discuss current events. And he takes Reserve Officers’ Training Corps class at East. During ROTC class, Roach said that students do anything from exercise on the track to class discussion of military protocol. “It broadens your outlook on different opinions of the war,” Roach said. Roach’s plans for the future include attending college and then joining the Marine Corps, a decision he made before enrolling in ROTC. “Nothing is going to make me not want to join [the Marine Corps],” Roach said. “I hope I don’t get sent over there, but if I do get sent over there I know it’s for my country and I won’t say ‘I’m not going.’” Now that the United States are in the Middle East, Roach thinks that a total recall of every soldier would be irresponsible. He favors a slow pullout of troops that would leave a few thousand troops permanently stationed. “If we pull out immediately, it’s going to be shoved back into an anarchy-type state where somebody like Saddam [Hussein] could get power,” Roach said. According to Obama’s web site, he has been against the War in Iraq since day one, and has a strategic plan to bring the troops home. McCain’s web site states that he wants to achieve victory as soon as possible before leaving Iraq. Roach is not supporting a presidential candidate this November because he feels neither candidate has taken a stance and stayed with it. “They [John McCain and Barack Obama] both flip-flop on their ideas,” Roach said. “And I, for once, would like a straight-forward candidate expressing his ideas no matter what the political community thinks, no matter what the media makes of it.”
A look at three students who are passionate about various issues
the results of the Harbinger’s mock-election poll held on Oct. 16 and 17 are as follows:
Obama: 359 Votes (57%) McCain: 238 Votes (38%) Other: 29 Votes (5%)
Most important issue students want to be see addressed by the next president: the economy
On a scale of 1-10, how closely did the students follow the presidential race: 8 out of 10
PAGE 13 ELECTION / ISSUE FIVE
// ALYS S
ONE -ON- ONE Obama vs. McCain: comparing the issues in a showdown for policy supremacy
SEN. BARACK OBAMA
SEN. JOHN McCAIN
//LOGANHELEY *Invest in clean energy to create 5 million new jobs *Provide tax relief for small businesses and start up companies *Ensure freedom to organize *Raise the minimum wage *Protect home ownership and crack down on mortgage fraud
*Create a $4,000 tax credit to help student pay for college *Help states move towards voluntary, universal pre-school *Fully fund and reform No Child Left Behind to improve accountability by helping schools that need improvement
*Make math and science and education a national priority *Double the funding for the main federal support for after school programs *Create an initiative to increase the number of high school students taking Advanced Placement or college-level classes nationwide 50 percent by 2016
*Create 700 thousand jobs by building 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 *End dependence of foreign oil, creating lower gas prices for American families *Create cheaper drugs by introducing generic drugs faster
*$1,000 emergency energy rebate for American families *Eliminate income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 *Fight for fair trade around the world *End tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas
*Create a “gas tax” holiday between Memorial Day and Labor Day *Repeal tax on imported sugar based ethanol *Balance the budget by 2013
U.S. History and Economics teacher Robert Bickers’s view - “Foreign ethanol solutions are far better than corn.” “Jobs after nuclear plants are built?”
Legal Studies and American Government teacher Ron Stallard’s view - “Presidents have very little control. Good luck.”
*Supports school vouchers that help parents send their kids to private schools *Voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, but says it is only the first step in education reform *Rearrange Title II funding for better accountability
and retention of good teachers and more money to individual schools for specific needs *Devote more money towards creating “virtual schools” and expanding online classes
*Fast-track alternative fuel technologies to break America’s reliance on foreign oil *Create five million new jobs by investing $150 billion to develop home-grown energy technologies *Require higher mileage standards and support auto makers in developing new advanced technology cars
* Expand domestic oil exploration *Promote and expand the use of domestic natural gas *$5,000 tax credit for buying a zero carbon emission car *Will commit $2 billion towards clean coal technol-
that get 150 miles per gallon *Provide a tax credit to families that purchase a car that gets more than 50 mpg *Provide a $1,000 emergency energy rebate to give families relief from skyrocketing energy costs
Stallard’s view - “Same Democratic platform as in years past. Hasn’t happened yet.”
Bickers’s view - ” Accountability’s a good thing.” “The No Child Left Behind Act is a ridiculously bad plan.” ogy *Wants to construct 45 new nuclear power plants by 2030 *Create a “cap and trade” system that will reduce carbon emissions
Bickers’s view - “Nuclear is best long-term bet.” “Tax credits - where’s the money coming from?”
* Create a national health insurance program for individuals who do not have employer-provided health care and who do not qualify for other existing federal programs *Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions *Ensure a tax-credit for everyone who needs help on
their premiums *Help small businesses pay for health care for their employees * Require coverage for all children * Allows individuals below age 25 to be covered through their parents’ plans.
*Supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions *Keep trade embargo on Cuba until they release political prisoners *Fight global poverty by supporting the Millennium Development Goal and doubling our foreign assistance to $50 billion
*Amend NAFTA after talking to the leaders of Mexico and Canada *Eliminate tax breaks for companies sending jobs over seas *Ensure a strong U.S.-Israel partnership *Says expelling Russia from the “Group of Eight” would be a grave mistake
Stallard’s view - “Concern: Some companies may drop their health insurance for employers. Need to lower costs!”
Stallard’s view - “Diplomacy equals good. Plus rebuild America’s reputation.”
FOREIGN POLICY HEALTH CARE
Stallard’s view - “Expensive! Is it worth it? Yes.”
*Opposes federally mandated universal coverage *Supports health care tax dividends for low-income Americans *Encourage small businesses to band together to negotiate lower rates with health care providers
*Says he would foster greater competition in the drug markets “through safe re-importation of drugs and faster production of generic drugs.” *Wants to give individuals a $2,500 direct refundable tax credit and families a $5,000 credit
Bickers’s view - “Greater patient choice.” “Why re-import drugs if we can renegotiate while they’re still here?” *Supports free trade agreements such as NAFTA *Says military action is an option in Iran, but would talk to congressional leaders first *Keep trade embargo on Cuba and not allow economic aid to enter the country
*Has stated he is “proudly pro-Israel” *Has called for Russia to be expelled from the “Group of Eight” *Favors NATO membership for former Soviet countries like Georgia and Ukraine
Bickers’s view - “Lack of unilateral invasion plan shows diplomatic potential.” “Cuban embargo? Really?” // barackobama.com, johnmccain.com, cnn.com
PAGE 14 ELECTION / OCT. 27, 2008
By grouping people under the age of 18, the educated opinions of high school students are deemed comparible with those of children so that all of them are ineffective an opinion of It’s everywhere. All forms of media from your car’s radio to every news website and blog on the internet have been covering it non-stop for over a year. It’s going to change our lives and it’s completely up to… only a few of us. The upcoming presidential election seems to be on everyone’s mind, and many here at East are quite vocal about who should be the next leader of our country, but what they don’t realize though, is that many opinions are totally irrelevant, including mine. No matter how much I like to discuss my political opinions and argue with supporters of the opposite party, it’s entirely useless. None of us can even vote. American law states that one of the many privileges you earn when turning 18 is the ability to vote in elections. You must first be viewed as a legal adult before you are allowed to make “adult decisions” like voting. This means that everyone at East who isn’t an 18-year-old senior who has registered to vote, doesn’t have that right. This law seems irrational though, because with so many students speaking up for the candidate they believe in, whether it be John or Barack, there are many potential voters who are well informed and could be making a difference. The only thing holding all of them back is an age barrier. Lowering the voting age, even to 17, could drastically change the outcome of an election. Many students seem to know so much and feel so strongly, but they have absolutely no impact whatsoever on how things will end up. This can be seen a lot on the social networking site “Facebook”, where senator John McCain’s “Politician Page” has over 500,000 supporters. The thing is, many of them are still in high school. While this seems impressive, the number of them who are actually of “voting age” will easily cut that amount down drastically. Teenagers aren’t the only ones who are attempting to take a stand. Senator Barack Obama’s official campaign website even has a few ideas for how to get children 12 and under involved in the race, one of the more clever ones being “Host a Sena-
tor Barack Obama House Party or sleep-over.” What have we come to when mere children begin hosting sleepovers and parties themed after presidential hope fuls? What’s next, a Kofi Annan prom? Then, during the primaries there was 11-year-old Dalton Hatfield of McAndrews, Kentucky, who sold all of his video games and a beloved bicycle, just so he would be able to present Hillary Clinton’s Campaign with a $440 donation. Guess it didn’t help much. The kids shouldn’t be blamed. Any parent can put a McCain/Palin onesy on their infant, or an Obama/Biden button on their 1st grader’s backpack, but that doesn’t give that child an “opinion” or really change anything, but this is how the law seems to place all of us under the age of 18. As simpletons who merely vote as we are told to and without taking actual issues into account. I’m not against people being vocal about their thoughts. An opinion is a powerful thing, and makes all of us the fantastic people that we are, but there needs to be an understanding as far as things go politically. If you’re under 18, your voice doesn’t matter to anyone but yourself. It’s a hard thing for me to accept. I personally debate about politics all the time. Often, I think that my peers and I likely know even more than some those who will be voting come Nov. 4th. For example, Minnesota voter Gayle Quinnell referred to Barack Obama as “An Arab” when asking Senator John McCain a question on camera. That’s why no matter how useless supporting one candidate or another is, if we can be smart about it, we need to keep it in our minds. Then we don’t end up like little Dalton, stripped of a bike and unable to make any sort of difference in the politics of our world.
Republican clothing for kids courtesy of zazzle.com
(not endorsed by the Republican Party)
10 WAYS KIDS FOR OBAMA CAN GET INVOLVED: -Create a Kids for Obama Group on My.Barackobama. com. For example, Chicago Kids for Obama or DC Kids for Obama and throw a party! -Write a letter or editorial to your local news paper, expressing “Why Barack Obama should become the next US President”. -Find a Pen Pal - it could be in your school, city, state, or another state. Write and discuss different ways you can get involved. -Draw a picture of Senator Barack Obama or “an expression of Democracy”. For example, the Senator sitting in the White House or working on Capitol. Hill. You can send your drawing to the Obama for America Campaign Headquarters in Chicago and it will be posted for the Senator to see. -Implement t-shirt Thursday. Get friends to wear an official Obama for America t-shirt to school. Take an adult (voting age) to the polls on Election Day and encourage them to vote for you, by voting for Senator Obama. -Post an official Obama for America Campaign sticker/ logo on your school bag. -Wear an Obama for America Campaign button and/or clothing. -Host a Senator Barack Obama House Party or sleepover. -Contribute to the Kids for Obama Blog . // BARACKOBAMA.COM
ELECTION // ZAZZLE.COM
Wee-publican for McCain Palin
Peace, Love, McPalin
PAGE 15 ELECTION / ISSUE FIVE
Frustrated with current leaders, students choose third-party candidates in their search for
The youth interest in the 2008 elections is a striking phenomenon. Youth turnout tripled in the Missouri primaries. Obama and McCain shirts are prevalent in East’s halls. Candidates have Facebook and Myspace pages. Yet, there’s something missing. Third party candidates. Few, if any, third party shirts can be seen. There are Republican and Democrat bulletin boards on the third floor, but no third party boards. No television commercials. Candidates this year are stressing moderation, a compromise between Democrats and Republicans and independents seem out of luck.
Regardless, some East students are voting for a third party candidate. Senior Matt Hallquist is endorsing and plans to vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. Barr’s platform includes repealing all gun control, leaving same-sex union laws up to states and abolishing the Department of Education. Hallquist was a Democrat until he learned that several Democrats, including Obama, voted for the Patriot Act or (its reauthorization) and the bailout bill. The Libertarian stance on issues like domestic spying and foreign intervention appeals to Hallquist. “I really don’t think that we should be po-
The Political Spectrum See what the traditional “right” and “left” believe about key issues...and where modern-day parties fall
• Liberals want more government - the extreme form of liberalism is communism - including more taxes and government programs. • The Democratic party (Obama) leans towards liberalism. • Liberals are typically pro-choice, want gun-control laws and support gay-lesbian rights.
// TYLERROSTE licing the world,” Hallquist said. “Bush said he would have a non-intervention policy before the 2000 election, but went into Iraq and Afghanistan anyway.” He also feels like Libertarian candidates talk about things that McCain and Obama avoid. “A lot of the things [Obama and McCain] say are just criticisms of the other candidate, which doesn’t really say anything about their policies,” Hallquist said. “They both tend to avoid difficult issues, like the economy.” According to University of Wisconsin political scientist Barry Burden, published in a recent Kansas City Star article, voters like to pick winners. Burden says that as many as a third of voters consider themselves independent. However, they may consider a third party vote to be wasted. So, they vote for a major party. Hallquist disagrees with this. “I think it’s more important to vote for what you really believe in rather than just following a trend,” Hallquist said. “For me, less government in my life is important.” Government teacher Fred Elliott covers third party politics briefly in his classes. H. Ross Perot and Ralph Nader are usually mentioned, along with the Libertarian and Reform parties.
But that’s about the extent of it. Elliott says that in three senior classes, he’s had only one student talk about voting for an independent candidate. Though some talk about their dislike for both major candidates, they are only “a handful.” Elliott, who himself voted for Perot in 1992, agrees with that people like to vote for the winner or at least a reasonable contender. “I do feel like a lot of people like feeling like [they influence the election] and so they vote for a major candidate,” Elliot said. But, more than peer influence or trends, Elliott believes that students generally vote how they were raised or how their family votes.” “I’ve found that most high school students don’t stray too far from how their parents vote,” Elliot said. Hallquist believes that trends influence voters, especially teenagers. While candidates may talk about one thing, he says, it’s important to look at what they actually do. “You really have to look at what candidates actually do in office and how they vote as opposed to just listening to their rhetoric and what they say in debates,” Hallquist said. “That’s why I’m voting third party.”
National Leading Third-Party Candidates
• Conservatives want less government - the extreme form of conservatism is anarchy - included less taxes and less government. • The Republican party (McCain) leans towards conservatism. • Conservatives are typically pro-life, want no gun-control laws and fight against gay-lesbian rights. // SME’s American Government Concepts
We take a quick look at the leading third-party candidates and some of their issues in the election
Charles Baldwin (running mate Darrell Castle) - Baldwin believes that abortion is always illegal and that all federal income taxes, which he deems unconstitutional, should be replaced with tariffs. He wants to reduce gun restrictions; he support school vouchers. Baldwin wants to end the war in Iraq.
Ralph Nader (running mate - Matt Gonzalez) - Nader says that we should tax “things we don’t like (speculation, addictive industries)” and “stop taxing things we like (labor).” He supports eliminating private prisons and having universal health care. Nader also supports same-sex marriage and says that abortions should always be legal.
Robert Barr (running mate - Wayne Root) - Barr wants to increase almost all defense funding. He wants to broaden the use of the death penalty for federal crimes. He supports the use of school vouchers. Barr “believes that America has lost its moral way,” so he wants governments to be able to display the Ten Commandments.
PAGE 16 SPREAD / OCT. 27, 2008 NEW ENERGY PLAN
With the Presidential election a little over a week away, East students choose w
L W A L NE IC A LIT ND PO CA S
TOWN HALL MEETING COLORADO
COME WITH QUESTIONS
WH ST TR TO
Teachers show students how to affect change through involvement KANSAS VO // ANNIESGROI
On Nov. 4, Junior Tara Raghuveer will arrive at work at 6 a.m. She and her classmates will help hundreds of people through the voting process. They will teach people how to understand forms, check registrations to make sure they’re completed and activate polling machines throughout the day. Then they will help the Supervising Election Judge close the polls at 7 p.m. after 13 hours of hard work. But these students aren’t working as paid elections officials. They’re volunteer poll workers who got involved when East history and government teachers connected them to the election process. U.S. History and History of the Americas teacher Brenda Fishman is one of the teachers trying to open the door to the election process for her students. Fishman gave her students poll-working forms at the beginning of the year and mailed them back to the Johnson County Election office when they had been filled out. “We may have some budding politicians at East - many are involved in debate and forensics,” Fishman said. “I hope they have a lifelong interest in community, service and understanding of the political system.” American History teacher Vicki Arndt-Helgesen is also trying to connect her students to the political process, but in addition she is offering extra-credit to “sweeten the learning.” Arndt-Helgesen offers extra credit to her students for working at the polls, volunteering on any campaign, working for any one issue, and fact-checking political ads. Although she said that many of her students are already involved with campaigns and issues that are important to them, extra credit helps encourage those that aren’t. “Points become our commodity,” Arndt-Helgesen said. “It becomes a way we can say, you’re doing this, it’s a part of my curriculum and I really applaud you.”
hope to show their students that they can affect change. “There are so many things we can do,” Ballard said. “If you’re not going to be involved in public service, who’s going to be involved in it? Who’s going to make the difference in your community?” Ballard also says that she wants students to know that it’s everyone’s responsibility to help people and serve their communities. “If you live in this world you have to give something back,” Ballard said. Over the two days the teachers focused on how they could encourage students to be active in politics all the time, not just in an election year. Shawnee Mission West American Government and International Relations teacher Lisa Benge was also invited to the workshop. “This a democracy and everybody who’s elected works for you.” Benge said “ If you want them to do something you need to call them and tell them what to do.” Raghuveer was one of the students who got a poll-working form from Fishman last year. She helped out during the primaries this February and is excited to work at the polls again in the national election . “I’m looking forward to seeing a big turnout this year,” Raghuveer said. “It’s anticipated that it’s going to be one of the biggest turnouts in Kansas election history. I think this election had been particularly controversial, so people are more interested.” Working at the polls during the primaries was Raghuveer’s first experience with politics and the election process. She is now considering applying for an internship with the Democratic Party in Kansas City after the election to pursue her new interest . That spark of interest is exactly that Arndt-Helgesen said she and other teachers
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NEW TAX PLAN
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E H T E O T HIT SE W OU H // TYLERROSTE
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Presidential ca ndidates often manipul ate facts to defame their opponents or promote them selves. It’s important to find out the truth about is sues. Check out these impartial fact-check websites:
“I decided to do it because I was really interested in the Presidential Election and wanted to be involved in somehow,” Lafferty said. “It was the next best option [after voting].” She worked the election in August, putting in a long 13-hour day with a one-hour nap break. Although she wasn’t working to support a specific party, Lafferty still believes that she helped by supporting the principle of voting. “It’s your opportunity to voice what you want in your government,” Lafferty said. “Everyone should vote who can.” Sullivan, too, thinks that voting is important. She also says that the election is just as important, even if you can’t vote, because of the state that our nation is in. “Whether you care about politics or not, it’s still going to affect you even if you can’t vote,” Sullivan said. Lafferty thinks that being involved in politics before you can vote is important. Whether it’s going door-to-door, calling undecided voters, or working at the pols, both students want to do all that they can. “It’s best to get involved early,” Lafferty said. “Then you can really get involved when you can vote.”
Junior Olivia Sullivan has gotten four votes for Obama without submitting a ballot. “I registered four Democrats to vote,” Sullivan said. “So I think it helps. Even though we’re a red state, anything can help Obama.” Sullivan is a Democratic Party volunteer, working three days each week for the Party. She ‘canvasses’ on Sundays, going door-to-door to talk with people about their votes. Even though she comes across a lot more Republicans than Democrats, she still thinks she’s making a difference. “I swayed Republicans to vote for Obama,” Sullivan said. “They were confused on the issues.” Despite Republicans still dominating Kansas, the Democrats are gaining. In 2004, 46.2 percent of Kansans voted Republican and 26.8 percent voted Democrat. On Oct. 9, the Republicans had lost 1.5 percent and the Democrats had gained 0.3 percent. Although these changes are small, Sullivan believes anything can happen. “It’s important to work for what you believe in,” Sullivan said. “If you have a strong believe, you should work for it.” Junior Holly Lafferty is also working at the election, but she doesn’t support a specific party. At 17-years-old, Lafferty can work at the polling stations.
arguments. “[In classes], people do talk about it,” McGannon said. “I’ll argue some points… but I don’t bring it up.” He doesn’t believe in sticking up for a single candidate, though. “[My parent’s] have kind of said it’s not something you need to advertise – just talking about who you’re going to vote for isn’t really a big deal in my family,” McGannon said. “It’s a private matter, kind of like your salary or something.” Although McGannon understands why students might volunteer to work at polls, he doesn’t think it can help specific parties. “Someone isn’t going to show up to vote,” McGannon said. “And be like, ‘this 15 year-old wants me to vote for Obama, so I’m going to switch from McCain to Obama.” Riley agrees. “I don’t actually know how to work in polls – if I had the knowledge, I’d probably do it,” Riley said, “[But] it probably wouldn’t help a specific party.”
Sophomore Riley Watson would rather “man-gossip” with his friends than talk about politics. Watson can’t vote in the next presidential election – in fact, he can’t vote for a president for another six years – so he just doesn’t see the point. He wonders why he should talk about running mates when he could talk about his friends? Why discuss economic policies when he could go see a movie? Why beef up on the environment when he could be aiming for the next videogame high-score? The election rarely comes up in conversations with anyone, even his parents. “They kinda stage in and out,” Watson explained. “They change the [TV] channel.” His friends and he have other things to talk about, too. “[My friends] don’t know what politics are,” Watson said. Sophomore Patrick McGannon also makes a point to not bring up politics when talking with his friends. Unlike Watson, though, he doesn’t do it because of a lack of interest. In fact, McGannon doesn’t mind jumping into other peoples’
or o D o t Door
For privacy and lack of interest, students avoid politic discussion // MELISSAMcKITTRICK
l Voters a i t n e t o
HISTLE TOP RAIN OUR
PAGE 17 SPREAD / ISSUE FIVE
Showing support for your candidate is a great way to get involved in the election. You can put a sign in your yard, a bumper sticker on your car or wear a t-shirt.
How you can get
In volve d
PAGE 18 ELECTION / OCT. 27, 2008
ELECTION // LOGANHELEY
Exchange students come to America in the height of election season, and comment on global issues that affect their families as well as their host-families.
// GABYTHOMPSON Bigger streets. Bigger cars. Bigger drinks. Bigger portions. This is what foreign exchange student Mariell Eikhovd noticed when she arrived in America. But Eikhovd knew something else big was going on in America. An election. An election her teachers in Norway made her write essays about. An election that has everyone talking, no matter what language they’re speaking. This year’s foreign exchange students have come from political hot spots, geographical cold spots and spots in between. They have descended upon the United States at the climax of the 2008 presidential election, knowing full well this election could affect not just America, but their homes they left months ago. English is Eikhovd and Norway’s second language. Networks such as CNN broadcast in Norway, so many Norwegians stay up to date with what is going on in the U.S. Eikhovd says adults in Norway pay attention to U.S. news because America plays such a large international role. “ Norway is not a big country, so for us America is like the country,” Eikhovd said. Norwegians call the U.S. “the land of opportunity” still today, long after customs officials left Ellis Island. According to Eikhovd Kids in Norway think the only way to become like their idol is to move to America. In fact, Eikhovd’s teachers actually made her write a paper about how America was the “land of opportunity.” Before Eikhovd came to East, she leaned towards Obama because of his appeal to young people. She also thought that Obama would bring a good change from President Bush because she considers them complete opposites. After watching the debates and making friends who were mainly McCain supporters, she decided to not take a strong position on the election. “It’s kind of hard for me to decide who is the better one than the other because I don’t
know what the American needs are right now,” Eikhovd said. Coming from Norway , where she says most people dislike Bush, she was surprised to see how many students strongly supported McCain. Feeling reserved about taking an opinion on the election, she doesn’t talk politics much with her new friends. “I don’t feel that I have the right [to support a candidate] because it isn’t my country,” Eikhovd said. Eikhovd’s mom liked former Pres. Clinton, so she has leaned towards the Democrats in this election. According to Eikhovd, people in her community make jokes about Bush, and she feels not as many people would do that if Obama were elected. Exchange student Adeeqa Nazir was surprised to see how peaceful the politicizing in America is in contrast to Pakistan. In Pakistan, election rallies hold the threat of a bombing, cars will be decked out in support of something and streets, houses and walls will be painted to advertise a cause. In America, a simple yard sign does the trick for most. Nazir says sometimes rallies will even cancel school. Nazir’s house in Pakistan is about five minutes from where Benazir Bhutto lived. Last December, a bomb went off at a rally that was held near Bhutto’s house in support of Bhutto’s presidential campaign. Nazir could hear the bomb go off from her relative’s house nearby. “At the time of the rally we were not there, but we got home around the time of the bombing we heard noises and went out and saw that there had been a bomb,” Nazir said. Though she was not hurt, the bomb was close enough to cause commotion near where she was. Her family ushered women and children from the packed streets into their home to protect them from the turmoil outside. The streets were so crowded that
Nazir says it took Bhutto three or four hours to get from the airport to her house, a drive that usually takes Nazir about 15 minutes. With the War on Terror still an issue in America , Pakistan has played a key role in American politics as of late. Nazir supports Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama because she likes that he doesn’t “call himself superior to others”, but that he cares about working class people. Obama has said he would go into Pakistan if he knew Osama Bin Laden were there. McCain has kept his plan for Pakistan more secret. Nazir wants the next president to take a neutral stance on the issue by allowing the Pakistani government to deal with Bin Laden and the terrorists. “The Taliban is destroying Pakistan’s territory as well,” Nazir said. “They’re not just harming America. The people of Pakistan are not involved in such terrorism.” Nazir’s host mom, Janet Baker, is an Obama supporter. Nazir says Baker has campaigned for Obama. Baker also showed Nazir MoveOn.org, an online civic action group. Nazir says she has used MoveOn. org as a research tool for election issues. Nazir has also watched the debates and has come to like Obama’s view on health care, because she believes it will provide for more people. One thing Nazir doesn’t like is that Obama did not select a woman as his running mate. Nazir likes Republican vicepresidential nominee Sarah Palin because of her confidence and courage, but thinks she lacks experience. Nazir believes there needs to be a balance between men and women and hopes that Obama will keep a balance if elected. In his school in Germany , Maik (Mike) Jakish says students have a negative opinion of Americans mainly because they dislike Bush. Jakish doesn’t fully know why Europeans don’t like Bush, but he
LOCAL ELECTION ISSUES: JOHNSON COUNTY QUESTION #1: Should the method to selection of judges be changed? Currently, the 10th Judicial Nominating Commission has 14 members, with seven non-lawyers appointed by seven Johnson County Commissioners and seven Johnson County lawyers. The Commission interviews the applicants and selects three, with the governor making the final decision. If the majority votes "yes" on the vote, each judge will have to have to be elected every four years and possibly face opponents in primary and general elections.
JOHNSON COUNTY QUESTION #2: Shall the Johnson County Education Research Triangle be created and supported by a non-expiring1/8 cent (.0125) sales tax? If the majority votes "yes" to question two, the Johnson County Education Research Triangle would be created and invested with a sales tax increase of 1/8 cent (about $15 million a year), which would create an economic stimulus of $1.4 billion in the next 20 years, and would be split between three institutions: the KU Cancer Center, the KU Edwards Campus and Kansas State's food security institute. // www.jocoelection.org
recognizes it as a recurring theme in most people he knows. “We learn that President Bush is bad, so the resolve is that all Americans are bad.” Jakish said. Jakish hasn’t gotten involved in the election too much because he says he doesn’t really care about American politics. Srisuwat (Bank) Thanaphat is an Obama supporter because he is disappointed in the Iraq War. He says the Iraq War is a big issue for people in Thailand, his native country. Thanaphat believes the war should be over because Sadaam Hussein has been captured and killed. “War is not a good thing,” Thanaphat said. “The time for war is over now. We shouldn’t send people to go fight wars in other countries.” Thanaphat also thinks Obama offers a new point of view and he likes that an African-American would finally get a chance to prove themselves in the White House. If Obama is elected, Thanaphat believes it would show the U.S. is not a racist country. “Even a black guy can be president.” Thanaphat said. “[We] are all equal.” In this election, Thanaphat doesn’t think it matters who becomes president, because both candidates want to improve America , they just use different strategies. “It’s not like McCain will improve the country and Obama won’t.” Thanaphat said. But Thanaphat does believe Americans have to choose which improvement strategy they want to follow. “[The American people] have to decide which way they want to move, left or right,” Thanaphat said. “It’s not forward or backward.”
THE LOCAL BALLOT:
UNITED STATES SENATOR: DEMOCRAT: Jim Slattery REPUBLICAN: Pat Roberts* LIBERTARIAN: Randall Hodgkinson REFORM: Joseph L. Martin DISTRICT ATTORNEY, TENTH DISTRICT: DEMOCRAT: Rick Guinn REPUBLICAN: Steve Howe
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE, THIRD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: DEMOCRAT: Dennis Moore* REPUBLICAN: Nick Jordan LIBERTARIAN: Joe Bellis REFORM: Roger D. Tucker
With Nov. 4 a week away, the presidential candidates will be facing harsh scrutiny from American citizens and each other. See pages 12-18 fo...