A Good Yarn

Friday, November 12, 2004

Maybe the future is in good hands...

Earlier this week I posted about my concerns about young people not voting and my hope that cultural icons of the younger generation would help activate and educate their audience. This letter in the Minneapolis Star Tribune demonstrates that at least some young people are very thoughtful and articulate about this election:

Why George W. Bush appeals

I have attempted to figure out what attracts people to this president, and perhaps I'll never succeed. How can a state like Ohio, which lost over 270,000 jobs in the last four years, and with two-thirds of the population voting that the economy is "not good," give its 20 electoral votes to the administration responsible? Ralph Nader is not alone in recognizing George W. Bush as "the most impeachable president in American history," as he has made countless errors regarding the war thus far. How could anyone have watched the three debates and rationally called them close? What makes this president so appealing?

Perhaps what attracted voters to Bush is the fact that "moral values" was the No. 1 issue in this election, over "the economy" and "terrorism." However, the "moral values" utilized in this election are not the moral values I have grown up with. Personal morals of mine include tolerance, acceptance, compassion, empathy and equality. In my opinion, the fact that 50 percent of Bush voters believe that gay couples should get no recognition, as opposed to supporting civil unions with couple benefits, is morally wrong. As far as abortions, the fact that fewer abortions occurred during the Clinton administration than George W. Bush's administration proves irrelevancy. How can a group of people (religious affiliations) declare ownership of "values"? Aren't diversity and freedom the features that make this country celebrated?

George W. Bush has appealed to many different elements, including fear and simplicity. He undeniably oversimplified John Kerry's Senate record to appeal to simple-minded voters. He indisputably played into voters' fears, as every speech has been extremely intimidating, as if we're constantly under bombardment of terrorist attacks. Ironically, the states that were under bombardment from the 9/11 attacks (New York and Pennsylvania) voted dominantly for Kerry (as he swept over 80 percent of the New York votes). Unfortunately, as weak an argument as one may make, their vote happens to count the same.

I am extremely lucky to have grown up in a community that prepares me for college-level learning and a well-paying job. Not all Americans share my privileges. I also recognize that I am especially lucky to be able to outspokenly protest our administration in power. I am exceptionally proud to be a Minnesotan in this election, as we are among New York, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and other liberal and progressive states that supported Kerry in his endeavor.

Liz Gunderson, high school senior, New Prague, Minn.