Pick an issue and vote

If this were a poem, I would title it, “Ode to Stupidity.” And I would like to dedicate it to a great number of people.

I would like to dedicate it to those who are seeking the perfect candidate who embodies all of the qualities they are seeking in their government representatives.

The reality of the matter is there will never be a perfect politician. The most people can hope for is a candidate who aligns with them on an issue that truly makes a difference to them at this moment in time.

The political process cannot be designed to meet all of an individual’s needs. Candidates attempt to select the stance they feel holds closest to their personal ideals, yet appeals to the widest segment of the population. So, the goal of voters must be to align themselves with the candidate that presents the best solution to issues they’re passionate about.

This means it is the responsibility of the voters to stay abreast of the candidates’ stance on at least one issue.

With the current presidential candidates, it is not difficult to pay close attention to the candidates’ stances on some of the most important issues that face the U.S. population today.

Because of the partisan nature of American politics, certainty may be placed on the fact that the candidates lie at polar ends of almost every issue. Just a look at the stances on the Iraqi war and taxation give clear evidence to this factor.

President Bush believes the United States should stay the course in the Iraqi occupation. Sen. John Kerry is directly opposed.

Kerry supports no tax breaks for individuals with an income of $200,000 or greater. Bush is directly opposed.

All of the issues may not be this clear but most are. This makes it extremely easy to rally behind a particular candidate on a specific issue. So, those seeking the perfect candidate must put this idealism aside and evaluate what is truly important and make a stand.

However, the nonvoters still hold an especially tight bond with stupidity because they remain ignorant of the democratic process.

These people often cite the fact that one vote does not make a difference. Unfortunately, the 537 votes that made the difference in the 2000 presidential election point to the contrary.

This year,it can be almost guaranteed that 537 people in Tallahassee will not vote . And those people will have the joy of stewing in their stupidity for four more years.

There should be no sympathy or concern extended to the nonvoter that chooses to refrain from participating in the democratic process.

This election year, there is a rallying point for every individual because the political issues that this country will be facing in the next four years -the Iraqi occupation, nuclear disarmament, gay marriage, health care, the War on Terror, and dozens of others – will have an extremely prominent impact on not just the fate of the United States but on the entire population.

Because of lofty idealism and laziness, people are walking away from one of the greatest opportunities to change the course of global history.

Jason E. Hutchins is a senior business administration student from Athens, Ga. He is the Opinions Editor for The Famuan. Contact him at je_hutchins@yahoo.com,