By Max Knoblauch Now that the election is over and Barack Obama has retained his status as President of the United States for another four years, I’d like to propose a truce. It’s a truce to all of my Republican, Libertarian, Green Party and Illuminati friends. It is as follows: let’s all just chill out and talk about how the Student Center’s cereal prices are too high again. We can take a political break for a week or two; it’s over.
Except, let me say this one last thing.
The outcome of the election was good for this country. I know what you’re thinking: you want me to shut up and draw more of those fantastic political cartoons so beloved by the entire student and faculty population. That’s okay; just let me explain.
Aside from presidential politics, this election also saw three states approve same-sex marriage. This election saw the defeat of anti-intellectualists such as Todd Akin, who said that “true rape” cannot result in pregnancy. There was also a strong challenge against Michelle Bachmann, who is anti-birth control and denies the existence of global warming.
This election defeated the myth of the self-made man, an ideology that has helped only to further the American class divide. Prior to the election, we had to choose between two identities: the Übermench made of grit, elbow grease, and eagle blood who requires zero governmental aid; or the bottom-feeding, parasitic welfare queen, a lesser being who is immediately known by receiving food stamps to be lazy and corrupt. But no longer are we expected to choose between these two extremes.After this election you can be a regular citizen again; a citizen with your own feelings and beliefs.
This election was a victory for college students and young people. Under Obama, students have received more money in Pell Grants, and are greater protected from student loan interest increases scheduled for this year. According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, the 18-29 age group represented 19 percent of the entire voting electorate this election, putting to rest the notion that this generation is lazy and apathetic about the country’s policies.
This election saw steps in the right directions. So here’s what I ask of you: please do not assume that your political counterparts are evil. Young Republicans, do not assume that a Democratic victory means a limit on your Constitutional rights. Your freedom of speech is safe; your right to vote is going to stay right where it is. Oh, and now you can smoke pot in some places too. You do not need to escape to Canada or Australia; you are still needed here. Young Democrats, please do not assume that every Republican is a woman-hating, science-denying fool. The sound bites of loud, outspoken congressmen are not the voice of an entire party. Encourage discourse over disgust. Maybe Washington, D.C. will take the hint.
The election was not a landslide by any means. Clearly we’re divided on some issues. Obama’s victory does not ensure world peace, it does not guarantee economic stability, and it will do nothing to lower the cereal prices in the Student Center. Without the pressures of re-election, I expect stronger solutions to be offered from the White House.
As a voter, I demand that stronger solutions be offered. We need solutions to climate change, solutions to rampant political partisanship and solutions for our economy.
So let’s sit back and wait for those to happen. In the meantime, remember that a bowl of Captain Crunch is about five dollars right now.