Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Democracy needs participation

I won’t lie to you. Wednesday was not a good day for me. It’s never an enjoyable experience to watch your candidate lose, especially when you invest yourself emotionally and believe your man will come out on top.

That rainy Wednesday afternoon, some people cheered. Others sulked. Still others plotted to move to Canada or create their own respective nations.

But the important thing to remember, regardless of whether you supported President Bush or Sen. Kerry last Tuesday, is that now is not the time to stop being politically involved.

The Presidential Election of 2004 did us as American citizens a great service. These elections got people to invest themselves into the American political process — people who may have never been involved before.

Citizens packed rallies and waited for hours in crowded lines to cast their ballots. America saw a renewed faith in the power of each individual voice to influence this country.

As the campaigns took their respective courses, both candidates acknowledged that the U.S. has some serious issues to tackle.

These issues affect us as Americans — not Democrats or Republicans, nor any party in between and on the peripherals of the political spectrum. We cannot allow partisan politics to stop us from making a resolute effort to understand, address, and attempt to resolve them.

Our public education system is weak compared to other developed nations. In international ratings of high school graduates, the U.S. consistently ranks much lower than other developed nations such as Japan and much of Western Europe.

Our children are not less intelligent than children in Japan, nor do we have insufficient resources to educate them. There is no excuse for our consistently inferior education systems.

Education gives people the resources for empowerment, and helps them be productive — a better education system helps ensure the strength of this country in the future.

Also, our economy has not recovered from its recession.

For us as students in Ohio — a state having one of the worst economies in the country — this is a serious concern.

If we expect to see jobs after graduation — and many of us know we won’t, at least not right away — this needs to be among our top concerns. If you aren’t especially concerned about the nation’s economy, you can at least be concerned about your own economic prospects.

As we speak, millions of Americans are lacking basic health care. Other nations have found solutions to this problem.

The failure to have basic health care for all American citizens does not reflect the hopelessness of this goal — it reflects a need for innovative thinking and new approaches.

The war in Iraq remains at the forefront of our political focus. Regardless of whether or not you support the war, the bottom line is that the U.S. is, and will continue to be, involved in Iraq. We may or may not have originally had reason to be concerned with Iraq, but now have real, tangible reasons to be worried: explosives are missing, guerilla and rebel forces are attacking American and Iraqi troops, and we have alienated ourselves from long-time American allies. These are not petty problems.

But there are also reasons to be hopeful. We have been told that there will be 125,000 Iraqi troops trained by the end of the year, as well as elections in Iraq at the beginning of 2005. Our American troops and the Iraqi people are depending on the support of this country, even if you don’t support President Bush or his motives.

Without a doubt, the next four years are going to have a major impact on history, and people were right to take these elections seriously. As a nation we need to continue in this direction by staying as informed and involved as we were prior to Nov. 2. Read the newspaper. Write your representative in Congress.

Be involved with political groups that support your beliefs. This campus has dozens of student organizations that lobby and fight for their own causes. These groups — and the exchange of ideas and different ideas that they promote — are the keystone of a strong democracy.

Our democracy is based on people being actively involved with their government instead of sitting idly by and allowing decisions to be made for them.

No matter whom you voted for in this election or why, America is still your country post-election, and you have both a right and a responsibility to be involved in molding it.

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