Commentary: Students’ responsibility to follow elections

I write this not only for those who keep a close eye on the political scene and current events in general, but also for those who have not yet come to see the benefits of watching and reading news on a regular basis.

Recently, U.S. General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said “homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral.” When asked to share her own feelings on the morality of homosexuality, New York Senator Hillary Clinton responded by saying: “I am going to leave that to others to conclude.” When posed with a similar question, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who is battling for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president, initially declined to comment altogether.

Though Clinton and Obama later released statements declaring homosexuality was not immoral, their initial reluctance to clarify their feelings on the issue comes as a disappointment, especially considering that both represent a sector of the population that has long been fighting for equal rights. It seems as though both refused to take a stand for fear that they may alienate a large portion of the voters, the particular portion dependent upon what each candidate’s beliefs truly are.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, has encountered his own stumbling block on the road to the White House. Not too long ago, The Boston Globe reported that a law firm that counts Giuliani as a partner is a lobbyist for Citgo. Some may wonder why this would hurt Giuliani’s candidacy. Citgo is based in Venezuela, a country under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of U.S. policy and President George Bush, in particular. Though he appears to be the Republican front-runner, any connection with the socialist president is an undeniable blow to Giuliani’s chances at the nomination.

Most, if not all, of the Northeastern population is either now of voting age, or will be by 2008. When the next election rolls around, everyone of us will have a say in which man or woman will represent and lead this country through 2012, and perhaps beyond. Pay attention to the news and get to know the candidates. I urge you not to take lightly this privilege to elect a president that stands for what you believe in.

– Jared Sugerman is a freshman journalism major.

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