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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

EDITORIAL: With Debates, Little Choice

Over the last several weeks, we’ve seen Senator John Kerry and President George Bush redefine the term “clash of the titans” in presidential debates for the seat of commander in chief.

Kerry outlined his plan and delivered a well-researched solution for diplomacy, while Bush charged Kerry with changing his mind on issues, and continued to press his idea of freedom and standing firm in Iraq. Hundreds and thousands of viewers sat by their televisions and their radios awaiting a resolution to the fight. None came. Before and after the debates, we hear the newscasters, pundits, bloggers, and titular party leaders spewing out the same catchphrase: “This is the most important election [insert adverb].” That’s what they say every year, and maybe every year they’re right, but that’s not the point. The point is that this popular vote, which will be conducted on Nov. 2 to indirectly choose the president, is a bit of joke.

We have to choose from Sen. John F. Kerry or current President George W. Bush. From watching the debate, it seems that it’s either we cast our vote for the devil that we know (Bush) or the devil we don’t (Kerry). We know where Bush stands on many issues, and he has made it blatantly clear that he is pro-war, anti-homosexual, and, admittedly, a bit of a meathead. Sure, he’s the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind knocking a couple back with one night, but the thought of him in power is a tad unsettling. That and his father was a former president, and director of the CIA. And his vice president, Dick Cheney, had an affiliation with the Halliburton company, now under investigation.

Then we have Kerry. Not many in the American public really know what he stands for. He isn’t quite anti-war, and he isn’t quite pro-war. During his youth, Kerry was an avid activist, rallying the hippies and returning disillusioned veterans against the Vietnam War.

During the debates and various interviews Kerry has never said anything definite on the subject of the Iraq war in general (except for the recent piece in the New York Times Sunday magazine, which the Republicans have already seized on to mock). He may or may not be against war, but he is against gay marriage. Maybe, kinda, sorta. At least the candidates have some common ground: they don’t want gay people living happily ever after. So, it’s time to decide who’s the lesser of two evils. But why does it have to come down to picking the one that doesn’t suck as much? Is that what democracy has come down to? Compromising? What matters to many are the issues of health care reform, healing a wounded economy, affordable education, and national security. We need a leader who is not a warmonger or a pretty face; we need someone who can get the job done in Iraq.

Neither of the two parties or their nominees for president really represent the American people’s interests, just a small portion of them. We’re not saying stay at home on Election Day and get “trashed off Listerine,” but that democracy and freedom are about choice. A vote is something too precious to waste on “the lesser of two evils.”