<Table oF Contents> Editorial
Hannah Geldzahler abd Kelly Staples- Page 3
Nine, Eight Seven...
Casey Matthews- Page 3
Emily Carmosino- Page 4
Hope Braue and Disha Gupta- Page 4
Thoughts on the Election
Peter Schimdt- Page 5
Impact of Sandy
Hannah Geldzahler- Page 6
The Voice Staff Editors in Chief Kelly Staples Hannah Geldzahler
Technical Editor CJ Blasi
Effect of Sandy on New Jersey Voting Kelly Staples- Page 6 Civil Discourse Sandy Gooen- Page 7
What did you VOTES for?
Kensey Olsen- Page 7
Road to the Presidency
Emma Clayton- Page 8
Kelly Staples- Page 8
Go Vote it makes you feel big and Strong!
Scott Geldzahler- Page 9
Foreign Policy: Mitt Romney Lost
Kensey Olsen- Page 10 Samantha Murray- Page 11
Catey Matthews Peter Schimdt Kensey Olsen Emma Clayton Emily Carmosino Casey Puglisi
We apologize for the delay of this edition of The Voice. The edition was scheduled to be released on November 6th- election day- as an all-election themed edition. However, due to the detrimental effects of Superstorm Sandy, the edition was pushed back to today. As an editorial staff, we decided to rearrange the format of the issue to include the articles planned for the original issue which were all pre-election based as well as articles written post-election and post-Sandy. The original issue would have contained articles, pictures, and middle school works, all pre-election based. We found it very interesting to have the opportunity to read articles written before the outcome of the election and we hope you do too. It is amazing to be able to compare opinions before and after the election took place. Plus, the issue allows its readers to see the true affects Super Storm Sandy had, on not only the election, but also the lives of all 8.5 million Americans affected. Again, we apologize for the delay of this issue. We hope everyone is continuing to rebuild from the affects of the storm, and we are confident that everyone will be able to return to their normal routines as soon as possible. Enjoy this election and Sandy-themed edition of The Voice! Sincerly, Hannah Geldzahler and Kelly Staples
“Nine, Eight, Seven…”
Disha Gupta Katy Bednardsky Sandy Gooen Samantha Murray
Faculty Advisor Mrs. Wengel
The Voice staff would like to extend a special thanks to LFD and its members for their collaboration on this issue, as well as this issue’s faculty contributors, Mrs. Wengel, Mrs. Tierney, Mr. Ripton and Mr. Schmidt.
Catey Matthews I hurried through the dusty streets keeping my eyes downcast and my tongue still. How I wished to condemn these men for the horrors they have brought upon us all, but to do that is asking to feel bullets rip through you. It is much too hot out to be wearing all black. I can barely breathe with the jahid covering my face. How I long to remove the suffocating cloth from my face forever but like I said, I should not like to feel bullets. For nine years the Taliban have controlled our valley. And for nine years we have all lived on pins and needles just waiting for the day when bullets will rip through us all. Suddenly, the ground beneath me shook as a shell exploded in the distance. I stumbled then picked up the pace. I tried not to think about the poor soul now splattered upon the ruins of a temple, a town square, or a home. At the thought of home, my feet picked up the pace even more and I was
nearly sprinting. I shot past nine men with guns as they watched me with beady black eyes that tore holes in my confidence with one glare.
“Do not run,” Mother’s voice rang in my head.
“They will think you are hiding something,” Grandmother’s voice, wise with age, added, her eyes staring through me into my soul, knowing and cold. You are hiding something, the tiny, tiny confident voice in the very back of my brain said. Images of the nine shiny covers and thousands of pristine pages filled my mind. Shakespeare, Frost, Homer. They were all hidden under my bed, shrouded by a dusty lambskin. People of my sex are not allowed to have books like that or any educational material. The men with the guns enforce the will of the men who say that, so I fear them. I fear them all. I scanned the hazy road, cracked by lack of water and abuse, for any gunmen lurking in the shadows of society, but none were in sight. The tiny, tiny confident voice shouted at me again to run but my leaden feet did not respond. As in all animals, instincts prevail. Mine just need to be sharper than others.
“Young Voting” Emily Carmosino Young adults should take the opportunity to vote seriously, and understand not only our government but, the candidates. This election, people seem to be very indifferent towards the two presidential candidates, due to their negative appearance in media. If people are unconcerned about our future president, do they care less about the future of our country? The media only conveys the mistakes of the candidates and the debates have become a source of ridicule. Young adult voters are surrounded by the media, whether it’s the political satire of Saturday Night Live, their peer’s passionate debate ‘tweets’, or politician’s slogans. Young voters should not succumb to the peer pressure surrounding this election, instead they should want to learn more and form their own opinions.
educated about politics and our government, they will then be able to form an opinion based off the facts rather than the misleading media. Young voters will be the future of our country and our government; therefore, they need to create personal, firm opinions to lead the country.
“VOTES Speeches” Hope Braue and Disha Gupta Our school is one of many that participates in the VOTES program, and on October 16 speeches for the presidential election were held. The Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Socialist party all conveyed their plans and ideas to use. All were able to tell us what they would do if they were elected. Most addressed the main issues pressing our country and how they would fix current problems. They explained how they would be able to bring our country back from the dust. This event was organized by Mr. Diamond, Mr. Ripton, and the A.P. U.S. Government class. Altogether, it was a well planed and executed event that gave the crowd lasting impressions. First to take the stand was the vice president, Joe Biden (Max Libleich). He addressed Obama’s (Ryan Lapre’s) opinions on creating new jobs and lowering the unemployment rate. Biden conveyed to the audience that Obama had the difficult task of inheriting a country in a depression when he was inaugurated as president. After a great introduction from his vice president, Obama readily took the stand. He spoke to us about the importance of new job opportunities which he believed could come about by searching for a new renewable energy source. Next, he exercised the need for a stable economy and denounced Romney’s idea of tax cuts on the rich, emphasizing their uselessness. Think about it, why would someone cut taxes on societies class with the most money? Obama wishes to raise the taxes on the rich and cut the taxes on the middle class. Which is really the only sensible thing to do to get the country out of a ditch we dug ourselves into. It wasn’t to long before the Republicans took over, not exactly graciously to say the least.
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Politicians rely on the malleable teenagers to sway the vote, with numerous opinions being forced on them; young voters become easily influenced by peer pressure. During the debates, social network sites are flooded with one-sided, passionate posts about their favorite candidate, from their own peers! Other forms of entertainment satirize politics, sometimes to sway opinions towards one party. If young voters are
The Republican’s vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan (Craig Pilla), argued that in order to get out of this depression, tax cuts were necessary because of the immense number of jobs they created. Without many examples or details to back up his points, Romney (Stark Kirby) quickly took the stage. It appeared that his strategy was to avoid talking about relevant and important issues, so he focused his
speech on small businesses. The one thing he actually agrees on with Obama is the need for new energy, but where the sources come from may vary. While delivering his last line in the most confident way possible, Romney quickly added he would defend the institution of marriage, obviously avoiding the argument of same sex marriage. No one in the crowed seemed to notice, they were all too busy clapping away when it was likely that most didn’t know what he was talking about. The crowd should keep in mind this is a presidential race, not a popularity one. The next three to deliver their plans were the Libertarian, Green, and Sociliast party. Judge Jim Gray (Scoey Young), very strongly, to say the least, delivered his opening speech. He used most of his time to provoke the crowd to his party’s advantage while mentioning the awful effects of voting for the Democrats or Republicans. A very persuasive and enthusiastic Gary Johnson (Katherine Giordano) spoke to the crowd regarding no government interference. She argued that because of this overbearing government, the national debt had risen to colossal heights. The Green Party vice president, Sherry Honklen (Kasey Collins), tried to interest people in the need for a healthy environment. The president, Jill Styne (Dylan Rowell), focused on decentralization. According to Styne eliminating weapons of mass destruction was required. The Socialist parties vice president, Phyllis Scherrer ( Jenna Araism), concentrated on the importance of defending civil rights. The president, Alexander Mendoza (Laura Wood), was also motivated by the idea of the involvement of the people. She argued that withdrawing from the Middle East would help the country, and that a larger minimum wage would suppress the great depression our country has gotten into. In our opinion the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, came off as a power- seeking tyrant. He had a strong personality that proved to be to his benefit. He voiced his opinions on tax cuts and corporations, but he failed to elaborate on his plans, leaving us slightly disoriented. Romney was able to deliver his speech in an evasive and powerful way, whereas Obama was rather soft spoken. Since Romney was able to portray himself in such a convincing way, he received a better response from the crowd, even though his plans and ideas for the future didn’t add up. Although Obama was able to point out all of the various holes in Romney’s points; Romney’s oversimplifications were able to destroy Obama’s soft spoken facts. Obama did deliver one point that personally stuck with us; he put Romney’s tax plan into perspective, saying that an eight-trillion dollar budget will be impossible to accumulate by closing loopholes and tax cuts without creating burdens for the middle
class or increasing the deficit. Overall Romney seemed to receive a better response from the crowd, most likely an effect of his overbearing and self consumed personality. Voters should keep in mind that even though Obama wasn’t able to come off as a powerful and convincing candidate, he delivered the most sensible plans that would benefit every single person in the country. Overall, these speeches were great to watch and should have helped the students form their own opinion about politics. Students should remember that their opinion is based off of their own thoughts and shouldn’t be influenced by parents, siblings, friends, or peers. When voting one should vote for the one who they think will best represent their own opinions, not for someone their parents like or since one more popular than the other. This event helped make the election feel closer to home and hopefully pushed student’s to increase their involvement in the matter. The youth should realize that soon enough we will be the ones making the decision of who will reside over our country. Some people might think that one vote won’t do anything, but enough votes can change our future. Even though our views clearly swayed towards the left, all of the speeches made at this event had great points and the participants voiced their views in a truly intriguing way.
“Thoughts on the Election” Peter Schimdt For the past several years, the pundits who follow American politics and particularly the cycle of Presidential elections, have made it clear that the economy and the financial well-being of the individual American voter, trumps all other issues as the motivating factor for whom voters choose to support. I would like to call into question this narrow, self-interest and offer a different perspective on the upcoming election on November 6th. It is my belief that we should never treat any single issue in isolation and therefore, the economy, as important as it is to each one of us, cannot be disconnected from matters of importance in American foreign policy, critical choices that we face regarding the environment and climate change, and the implications of huge issues of social justice and our capacity to better the lives of those who have been denied the bounty of American growth for too many generations. In other words, my pocketbook is never as full as it could be unless the world in which we live and share with billions of others is safe, secure, nurtured to its fullest beauty and strength, and approached each day with humility and reverence.
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“The Impact of Sandy” Hannah Geldzahler After the devastating superstorm Sandy, power started to be restored, and the tristate area started to rebuild itself. Like most families in the area, my family and I were affected by superstorm Sandy. We would consider ourselves lucky as we only lost a few trees, some groceries in the fridge and freezer, and power for a few days. Superstorm Sandy hit the tristate area on Monday, October 29. Eight days after the storm had hit, we were still not back too normal. Unfortunately, during those days, something huge was happening to the country that only occurs every 4 years. The election. As I hope most of you know, election day was November 6 (I hope you went out and voted if you could!). Yet millions of people were scrambling to figure out how the election would take place in the heavily affected north east. Many people were still without power well throughout the length of the election, and were completely out of contact with the rest of the world. As election day approached, many people were left confused as to how they were going to vote. Many New Jersey citizens were unable to vote because they did not know where their districts were supposed to go, or they were just to indisposed to leave their houses. As it normally goes, the election results are broadcasted on television. Whether one chooses to watch CNN or FOX, the majority of people had the election results on their television sets. The millions without power had to go to bed on Tuesday night without a clue as to who would be running the White House for the next four years. The results would not come out in the newspaper until the following morning, and smart phones can only hold a battery for so long, so these people were left clueless. Regardless of who you vote for, every American deserves the right to know who the president is… right? With the effects of Sandy some people were stripped of this right. Millions of people will never be able to regain the experience of the 2012 election.
(Continued from Page 5) As I write this morning I am moved and angered by the story of the young woman in Pakistan who was gunned down by Taliban thugs as she rode her school bus in Karachi. Her crime, according to the Taliban: for the past three years, this courageous young woman whose name is Malaia Yousafzai, spoke out against the horrific and tormenting policies of the Taliban who believe that any young woman who expresses her interest in becoming educated and contributing to the lives of her fellow citizens, is in their own words, an “obscenity” and that her shooting must be “a lesson to others.” Regardless of how much money we have in our purses and wallets, we are poor in comparison to the life this young woman has led in the face of the brutality and savagery of those who claim to speak for God in their actions. If we fail to connect the dots that are represented by economic progress and the most courageous aspirations of those who are denied even a basic right to education, we have, at least in my view, accomplished nothing. By the same token, if we don’t understand that mindless economic growth will at some point, if it hasn’t already, collided with the necessity to take better care of our fragile planet, I don’t know what good a larger paycheck will do for me down the road when there is nothing worthy of my purchasing power other than another pile of plastic this or that. So friends, it is my humble opinion that the election is bigger than any economic question and cannot be separated from other pressing issues such as our foreign policy, environmental policies, and the urgency to put a picture into focus that is more complete than either major party candidate has expressed thus far in the campaign. Malaia Yousafzai understood this better than most American voters. Remember her name and recall her spirit on November 6th and every other day we spend a few dollars on something we don’t really need.
“Effect of Sandy on New Jersey Voting” Kelly Staples Superstorm Sandy was one of the most devastating natural disasters to ever hit the North East. As it hit the New Jersey coast on Monday, October 29, 2012, it left a path of confusion behind it. Houses destroyed, 133 or more dead, thousands of dollars lost, and a long road to recovery. The lack of power, food, and gas left people wondering if life would ever return to normal. As the powerless days dragged on, the election day quickly approached. Many worried that the effects of the storm would influence the outcome of the election. Although Sandy caused major environmental and psychological problems, the outcome of the 2012 presidential election was not influenced tremendously. Sandy alone was a major issue for the citizens of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and so on. With 113,000 fallen trees in New Jersey alone, and hundreds more broken, roads and buildings were blocked and destroyed. Along with the 8.5 million outages in New Jersey, the election was the last thing on the minds of the effected population. However when election day did come around, the circumstances grew worse. Buildings still did not have power. Many voters could not even get to the polling places due to downed trees, or the lack of available gas. Figuring out a way to get voting locations up was a priority. In fact, 150 polling locations in New Jersey were changed. People had to drive to the closest location to vote, causing the gas crisis to become even more
prominent. Many people even voted electronically from their cell phones, for example by e-mail. Others voted on paper ballots, last used in 1996. However, statistics show that the majority of New Jersey voters were able to vote in some way. Overall, the election was not terribly effected. In 2008, when Obama was first elected president, 2,215,422 people voted for him in New Jersey. In the 2012 election, the number of voters in New Jersey that voted was very close to the numbers that voted in 2008. Although less people were able to vote, Sandy had virtually no effect on the outcome of the election.
“Civil Discourse” Sandy Gooen
“What did you V.O.T.E.S For?” Kensey Olsen For the seventh consecutive year, Gill St. Bernard’s has participated in the Voting Opportunities for Teenagers in Every State (VOTES) mock presidential election. In the 2012 school’s election results, the Republican Party won with 132 votes. The Democratic Party came in second with 82 votes, followed by the Libertarian Party with 56 votes, the Socialist Party with 6 votes, and the Green Party with 5 votes. Overall, 130 schools, more than 54,000 students, participated in V.O.T.E.S. 2012.
THE VOICE IS OPEN TO ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS
With the election approaching, both in the real world and the VOTES program here at GSB, communities nationwide are abuzz with political discussion. This can be fun, but it can also create tension between friends and family. Why? Because people put so much stake in their own opinions. Civil discourse is the ability to tolerate and respect the opinions of others, for it is to listen when other people are talking and to not fight them and tell them that they are wrong. There is no such thing as one correct opinion, and often in times like these, where the two main parties are at extremes, people are more likely to find common middle ground and come to a resolution somewhere in between the two. If someone were to closely follow the current belief system of any party, they would find hypocrisy no matter what. It is important to discuss politics and be informed because no one likes to go on Facebook and stumble upon those people who harp on an issue. It is highly possible that they are only repeating everything that they hear their parents say, or what the people on the news say. The general public is not the only culprit. Media and politicians themselves are having trouble meeting in the middle. Between the campaign advertisements and the debates, most of what people have been seeing is fighting. People continuously say, The other guy’s wrong, I’m right.” If the “other guy” is saying the exact same thing, then who is right? America was founded on compromises, but where is it going now? If the candidates try to make each other look like buffoons, then who is supposed to be the victor? Low-balling is intended to be something that children do, not leaders of the free world. While they fight about how a statement was phrased and “facts” that no one is sure of, who is looking out for the country? Government is supposed to protect the country and its people, not act like a reality television show. At the VOTES debate at our school on October 16th, there was a mess of clapping and booing. There were a lot of comments pointedly directed at our president. While at our school, the candidates themselves handled the debate with decorum and respect. Al-
The V.O.T.E.S. 2012 issue poll mimics the matters voted on during the election. The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allows corporations to spend money to either support or oppose a political candidate. When asked if they agreed or disagreed with this ruling, 186 of Gill St. Bernard’s students opposed it while only 88 supported it. Only 128 students concurred with the Keystone pipeline project of extracting fossil fuels from the sand and shale resources, while 168 disagreed with the continuation of the construction of the pipeline. With the controversial solutions to the nuclear development threat in Iran and North Korea, 87 Gill St. Bernard’s students agreed by using positive incentives as a solution, 73 students believed that UN diplomacy was the best option, only 62 students supported US led military action, and 50 students agreed with economic sanctions. The majority of students (155) believed that reducing taxes and cutting federal spending was the best way to moderate the federal budget deficit. In only a 26 student difference, 64 students favored combining tax increases with federal spending cuts over raising taxes on Americans who earn $250,000 or more per year. Out of 262 students, 182 students did not support a Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. In only a two student difference, 137 Gill St. Bernard’s believed that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all American have health care coverage. The V.O.T.E.S 2012 nationwide issue poll of 23,500 students matched the results
though that was the case here at Gill, this has not consistently been the case in the real world. The audience booed and cheered mostly during the section about personal liberties, which made me feel disappointed. The point of personal liberties is that they are personal.
(Continued on the Page 8) (Continued from Page 7) They are opinions, and it is not right to shoot down the personal opinions of others. People get worked up and offended too easily to run the risk of not trying to show tolerance and understanding. A reminder: the government is meant to protect the needs of the many and the needs of the few; not just the needs of the few. My respect goes to the first candidate to reach out past party lines in the interest of protecting the integrity of this nation. This is when it comes in handy to remember that the First Amendment protects everyone’s freedom of speech, not just your own. Having a political opinion is wonderful, and necessary (when informed). You are free to discuss it with others, but just realize that other people have a right to their own. You don’t have to force someone else to have the same views, but you may explain why you have them. I resolve to start hearing out the opinions of others to stop the needless fighting this election season. Will you?
war and were also fearful of the low employment rates at the time. And so, voters were straying further from the Republican Party. Obama was a more relatable, family man, who brought something different into the government.
hands of the young adults who are beginning to become part of the political scheme as they turn eighteen. If these teens continue to be influenced by political bias, then the future of America will be subject to the strength of each political party.
In May of 2007, Obama failed to prove himself in early debates andeven addressed his performance as one that did not meet up to his standards. He is someone who is very self aware, which made him a great candidate for presidency. However, Obama needed to get used to campaigning for he wanted to be something that the other candidates were not. This was a unique trait that Obama had.
Not only does the split between parties create a divide between the followers of each party, it also creates the occurrence of extremists in political parties. It is human nature to want to win. Survival of the fittest. Many people believe that “strengthen[ing] the parties” will in turn strengthen the government (Oreskes 3). Yet, a stronger government creates even more of a power struggle then their already is. Although political parties do have many necessary roles in American society, their effects will be detrimental to the government. For example, there are numerous commercials that advertise against certain parties. Their purpose is clear, sway the audience to vote for the “better” candidate (AKA the man who is paying for that commercial to air). In a world taken over by technology, advertising is essential. And biased. Being in the age of technology, image is everything. With the media continually strengthening the parties, the parties themselves are taking over the election.
With support, Obama was able to regain the confidence he’d need to succeed in the election. Although he went through ups and downs on his campaign trial, he was able to stay true to himself (a relatable, hardworking politician) and come out victorious in the race. But, will he be able to do it again this time around with a race that is even closer than the last??
“Political Parties” Kelly Staples
“Road to the Presidency” Emma Clayton We have all seen a debate, or two, between presidential candidates. But, does anyone truly know what it takes to be taking part in those debates? Most of us do not.
Political parties, and the media they foster, majorly influence the future voting generations. Political parties have been part of the American society since the 1790s (Nichols n-page). However, political parties have transformed in modern society. With help from the media, parities are becoming more polarized. Has anyone thought about the outcome of this? Almost all the information about the election is coming either from different (and biased) media sources, or from other adults in the community. With endless information being swirled around in the world of many teens, the future voting generation is being brainwashed into believing what they hear from a media source or even their parents.
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Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 to be the first black president in United States history. But, he did not simply gain so many votes over night. It took a lot of work to achieve such an outcome. In order to last through the election, he needed to be very ambitious. Someone not of this quality would never be able to survive all of the obstacles that Obama went through throughout his campaign. The Obama family refused to look at the campaign for presidency in a negative way, as some may have. Instead of seeing it as a chance to deteriorate their family values, the Obamas looked at is as an opportunity to make history. Many of Obama’s AfricanAmerican friends had advised him not to run for office due to the potential attacks he, his wife, and kids could face. Some even feared a possibility of him being killed while campaigning. Michelle Obama mimicked the worries of Barack’s colleagues. However, it seemed that the cards were in Barack’s favor as the elec tion approached. Citizens were tired of the Iraq
Are the beliefs of each party necessarily the exact beliefs of the parties followers? Possibly. However the majority of votes tend to vote for “their” party. As if they would pick anyone with the affiliation of their political party, just so the opposing party will not win. Teenagers who are nearing the age of eighteen are already limiting themselves to their own preconceived political views. That philosophy goes for adults as well. When you say “I am a Democrat” or “I am a Republican” are you locked into that decision? America is home to the philosophy of be who you want to be. Pick a candidate off of their views, not off of their political party. Teenagers are missing the point of the election. The election is not about which party wins or loses. It is about picking the best leader for America. The future of American politics is held in the
Hasn’t your mother ever told you “don’t believe everything you see on TV”? Apparently not. New reports and commercials effect their audiences so dramatically that an election without bias from the media is virtually impossible. Why else would appearance be so important for the candidates and their spouses? People in American society are quick to judge people from their appearances. With the continual influence on teens from these media sources, political parties will become the most influential aspect of the election. Yet that is the exact problem with the presidential election. That every article, every picture, every slice of media counts. Is the future of American government really in the hands of Time magazine? Not yet. However as time goes on and media begins to play a larger role in elections, the candidates true opinions and beliefs might get covered up by more commercial topics. The future voting generations will be subjects in the grand scheme of the political parties. Pick up a newspaper, watch debates on TV, get yourself emerged in the true controversial topics that are being debated. Decide on your choice of candidate through your personal beliefs. Not on whether the candidate is a Republican or Democrat, pick the candidate that is right for you.
“Go vote. It makes you feel big and strong.” Scott Geldzahler Every four years, people are reminded of everything they simultaneously love and despise; the presidential election process. This year is no different in the grand scheme of things; the campaigning is just as brutal, the mudslinging just as disappointing, and the promises just as hollow. But it has provided me with
the interesting vantage point of being a college student during this time. Technically, all college students get to experience an election at some point in their higher academic career, but being a freshman during this time has its perks. Election time on a college campus is a special thing to behold. I remember being enamored with the VOTES program back when I was a freshman at Gill, and my love for the democratic election process has only grown in these past months. First; EVERYONE is involved. Everyone. Perhaps it is because the concept of actually voting is so new to many students. But my theory is that everyone truly cares about the issues. It seems almost ludicrous, but these issues actually matter to us, and the following years of our lives will be very different depending on who sits down in the Oval Office come January 20th. Be it student loans, or the job market, as college students, these things become very, very real. And, being new voters, there isn’t the same sense of jadedness that resides in our parents and elders, which works out quite well, because, as stated, these decisions will have a huge impact on our lives. But you may be asking yourself, “Scott, what’s so different about being in college during an election?” Great question! And, unlike the candidates, here’s a direct answer; to put it bluntly, you become a target demographic. When walking into a dining hall, it’s near impossible to avoid being accosted by students in support of Obama, or Romney, or ones involved in the local elections. But here’s the catch, they don’t really care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, at least, not at first. They want you to register. And they make that very clear that they want you to do so. And wow, are they persistent. In fact, there’s often rewards, or unofficial “for fun” contest amongst the various groups seeing who can get the most people to sign up. I play a game every day where I see if I can go without seeing an Obama or Romney sticker on a computer, or a pin on a backpack. I always lose. Same thing goes for tweets and Facebook posts. And a heated debate or discussion can always, always be found. I was hard pressed to find a dorm room that did not have the debates on television. College comes with a very tangible sense of independence which transfers to political thought. If someone is undecided, it does not mean they are uninformed, nor does it mean they don’t care. If someone ascribes to a specific political ideology, they do their research on the opposing ideas, and make their own decisions. They don’t simply listen to their parents, because the nature of college is learning both in the classroom and through living. College students are exposed to a mess of new ideas, and living independently, are granted the space to make their own decisions. Whether viewing voting as an expression of civic responsibility, as a right, a duty, or a privilege, it remains clear that voting somehow exemplifies an important transition into adulthood, both as a citizen, and as a human. Having your voice be heard is a new concept for college students, and one that everyone jumps upon with enthusiasm.
10 “Foreign Policy: Mitt Romney” Kensey Olsen “You look at the record of the last four years and say: Is Iran closer to a bomb? Yes. Is the Middle East in tumult? Yes. Is Al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No. Are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement? No.” Governor Mitt Romney On Monday, October 22, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney delineated their plans for foreign policy. As Obama was on the offensive and made frequent sarcastic remarks, Romney replied with precise answers to questions concerning defense spending and the Middle East. The two candidates for the 2012 presidential election differ in their plans for foreign policy. Romney, with a traditional military perspective, wants to keep America strong by increasing the defense budget and Navy shipbuilding. Obama focuses on transnational threats like nuclear proliferation, climate change, and international terrorism. These non defense elements of national power allow for incremental defense budget cuts making the United States’ military weak, and America susceptible to attacks. Governor Mitt Romney wants to compete with Asia by shedding the protectionist approach. He plans to open international markets by reducing tariffs, bringing down corporate taxes, and by employing competitive advantage in the market.
11 Picturesque Pages
In June 2011, Romney stated that the Afghanistan troops should “come home based upon not politics, not based upon economics, but instead based upon the conditions on the ground determined by the generals.” Governor Mitt Romney will make America stronger and more united. His foreign policy succeeds President Barack Obama’s not only in defense spending but in the Middle East as well. His more combative approach will insure the security of Americans, and instill America as a powerful force.To learn about President Obama’s plan for foreign policy, read Margaret LaPre’s article in The Fourth Estate.
When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he took an “apology tour” around the world. He only cares about improving our country’s image overseas. Pertaining to this topic during the debate, Romney interjected to correct Obama: “You said that on occasion America had dictated to other nations. Mr. President, America has not dictated to other nations. We have freed other nations from dictators.” Governor Mitt Romney wants to improve and advance our country with a stronger military. He wants to increase the Air Force budget and reverse the cuts, placed by Obama, to active Marines and Army soldiers. Regarding the Middle East, Romney favors a more aggressive approach compared to President Obama’s. Governor Mitt Romney desires to defeat Jihadist’s through a threepronged plan. First, he wants to employ military options and pressure. Next, he wants to maintain diplomacy with regional and international players. Finally, he wants Muslims to reject extremism by sending in forces to work on synergy with locals to contain terrorism. Romney states, “We don’t want another Iraq. We don’t want another Afghanistan.” Obama only wants to hold
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a regional conference with Iran and Syria to discuss Iraq’s situation. The Afghanistan policy has not fluctuated drastically since the twelve years America have been fighting there. Governor Romney dislikes President Obama’s no mas policy and wants the generals to dictate his policy.
Taken by Teri Cosentino
“Lost” Samantha Murray
Taken by Teri Cosentino
I have been sitting in what is the inside of god-knows-where for about two hours. This little room is no bigger than a janitor’s closet. There are some old boxes lying around and two chairs. One is turned on its side in the corner and one I am sitting in. The room is very dusty and dirty, which is why I’m not sitting on the floor. I stare down at the roll of tape I’m playing with, that I found on the ground. I wrap it around my hand, over and over again. I need something to do, because I’m going to be hiding out in here all night and tomorrow morning. I don’t even wanna imagine the look on Kenny and Peter’s faces, as they are probably running around like wild chickens with their heads cut off trying to find me. Kenny and Peter are my Secret Service men who practically don’t even let me pee in privacy. Don’t even ask how I managed to slip away from them to get where I am now. It’s a long story, but the point is that I’m so deep into the walls of my house, that at this point I don’t even know where I am. After I got away from my boys, I immediately crawled into this door out in the yard that lead to a cellar. Then a hallway in the cellar lead to a bathroom that no one uses, and a closet in there had a really tiny door in it that I had to crawl to get through, and then I was in the oval office which has a secret stairwell that leads to the part of our house where we live, and the
12 room that I climbed the stairs to had a secret door in the corner of the room which lead to a big pipe that only I am probably small enough to crawl through and then I fell through the ceiling of this room and now I am here. This is my home, full of secret rooms and secret passage-ways to those rooms. It is the type of place somebody wanting to play an intense game of hide and seek would want to go. But tomorrow, this house was going to be taken over by the man that ran against my dad and won. That’s right, stupid butthead Mitt Romney won the election. My daddy is obviously the better pick, and he did such a great job running this country. I can’t even imagine why everybody didn’t vote for him. It seems as though I am the only one who is upset about this. I know that Malia, my older sister who is fourteen, is actually happy to be leaving. She always Picture By Teri Cosentino complains that she misses her friends from her old school back in Chicago, and the private school which we’ve been going to for the last four years was full of nothing but preppy clones and she hated the dress code. Well I don’t care about the dress code because at my old school I was picked on. I was happy to leave that dump and I never want to see those stupid kids again. But now, my family is being forced to leave, so they can make room for “Miiitttt Romnaaaayyyy,” this new so-called “president.” Butthead. Well I’m not going to have it. The rest of my family’s going to let them kick us out of the house, fine. I don’t need them.
make me feel like I don’t even exist. They don’t think I’m weird because I wear my hair in pigtails sometimes. I remember the first day of school there. A girl named Marley came up to me and introduced herself. When I introduced myself, she said that my name was pretty. And then for the whole day, I hung out with her and her friends, who then became my friends. It was the first time I actually felt like I belonged. I didn’t feel invisible like I did at my old school. I also remember my first night in the house. I felt so small in the dark of my huge bedroom. I was only seven back then. I ended up sleeping with my mom and dad for the first two weeks. And then there’s the time when Malia broke the big screen TV in the playroom with the Wii game controller, because it slipped out of her hand during Wii Tennis. One of the Secret Service guys covered for us and immediately ordered a new TV which they brought to the house before Daddy came home. There’s also the time when we lost my really fat hamster, Pipsqueak. (I named her Pipsqueak because she was originally a lot smaller.) She escaped from her little cage in my bedroom and then disappeared. The four of us searched the house for three whole hours, and even Kenny and Peter helped me search. Kenny finally found Pipsqueak in my closet….in my bedroom. I think it would have been a better idea to look there in the first place. There’s the time when my daddy thought that because we were now in a bigger house, he could hide easier from my health-nut of a mom. Then, he could sneak into our huge kitchen and eat whatever he wants. It was late at night and he thought that my mom was asleep already. He snuck down to the kitchen and made a double-decker ham sandwich with cheese and mayo. I was there too, so he said that this was “secret daddy time that mommy
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But I’m not going anywhere. I’m just going hide out here until they all leave tomorrow. And then when those Romneys move in, I’m going to confront them and assert my authority in my house. And I’m going to stay at my school here too, because here I actually have friends who like me. They don’t exclude me or
13 can’t know about.” I promised not to tell, but it didn’t matter anyway because mommy caught him and started scolding him that he was going to become obese and drop dead during his presidency. As she scolded him and then marched him up to bed, he kinda looked the way he did during his first debate with Mitt Romney. I don’t know why my daddy had that look on his face during the debate. Maybe it’s because he was eating a sandwich before the debate, then Romney stole it from him. That sounds like something he would do. Jerk.
Daddy leads me out of the tiny room, and now I am standing in an office. He sits me down on the couch in the corner of the room. “Now Sasha.” He sits down next to me, “I know you’re upset that I didn’t win the election. I’m bummed out about it too.”
The door suddenly creaks open and the little room lights up. I am startled, having been so lost in thought before.
I open my mouth to protest, but then I think about what he just said. He’s right. A president can only serve two terms in office and then they’re not allowed to run again. I sigh, “Why did they even have to have another election? Why couldn’t you just stay the president forever?”
“We found her, Mr. President.” I turn around and see Kenny and Peter standing in a doorway, which I didn’t even know existed until now, along with Daddy and his Secret Service. Uh-oh, busted. Kenny crosses his arms, “What’s going on here?” It takes me a moment to realize that the question is directed at me. “I uh…..” I nervously wrap the loose tape around my hands. On the inside, I’m saying some words that Daddy would shake his finger at me for if I said them out loud, “How did you find me? You weren’t supposed to find me!” “Young lady,” Peter says sternly, “Do you have any idea how worried we were? We have searched the entire perimeter of the residence!” “And to think,” one of daddy’s Secret Service men mumbles, “We thought for once we would go four years without losing one of the president’s children.” He chuckles. “That’s not funny,” Daddy’s other man snaps. “Thank you, gentlemen.” Daddy walks over to me, “What in God’s name do you think you’re doing?! Get out of that dirty room.”
I roll my eyes. Please, like he would understand. Stupid adults think they know everything. “But you know that no matter what happens, this still isn’t going to be our home forever.”
“Well Sasha,” My dad explains, “that’s part of what America is all about. Freedom of the people to decide who represents him.” “America is stupid!” I huff. “No, no. America is a wonderful country!” He tells me, “And these past four years as president have been great. But now it’s time for somebody else to be president, and he won the race fair and square.” “I bet he cheated.” “Now Sasha, Willard Mitt Romney is a really good guy. I may disagree with him on many things, many many things….” He sighs, “But that doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad person, and I know he’ll do a great job running this country.” I roll my eyes, “I guess he doesn’t seem all that bad. I like his shoes, I’ll give him that. But can’t he just move into another white house? Would it really make a difference? We were all happy here.” “We’ll be happy back at home too. We have a beautiful
“No.” I pout, “I’m not going anywhere. I am never going back to Chicago! I like living here!” My daddy suddenly looks less angry with me. He turns to the Secret Service men, “Would you gentlemen mind giving me a moment alone with my daughter?” “As you wish, Sir.” Even after the men disperse, I know that they aren’t really gone. They never are because apparently if they do leave us alone for a measly two seconds, an army of flying ninjas could crash through the windows and attack us! Oooooh!
14 house in Chicago. And you’ll still get to see your friends from here. I’ll make sure you can visit them as often as possible.” “But now I’ll have to see my old “friends” every day.” I complain, “They all stink!” “Well I have a feeling they’re gonna feel pretty sorry for treating you like that,” Dad tells me, “Now that you were the president’s daughter.” That’s true. It would be nice to go back there and stick it right up their noses. They’d be so sorry for being mean to me before, they would be on their knees begging me to be their friend. And I’ll just laugh at them, like they used to laugh at me. I smirk at the idea. “And who knows? You may even be back here one day,” He smiles at me, “As the first woman president.” That really gets me thinking. Sasha Obama, first woman president. My first proclamation is that we would build houses for all the poor people. And all the rich people have to help. Then, we would build houses for all the deer, because outside of the city area, they get hit by cars all the time because they have no place to go. We would also keep Obama care…..whatever that is, but my daddy came up with it so I like it. Once again, I am lost in thought. Watch out, America. Because before you know it, Sasha Obama will be your president, and she’s here to stay!