By Dan McGuire
Illustration by Holly Randall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Webster's says a politician is one who engages in politics for personal or partisan aims. But, do you know what politicians really are? Liars, plain and simple.
There existed a long time ago a popular government of the people, by the people and for the people. Now the government is of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, regardless of the party.
How it is: It's expected that politicians will break campaign promises.
It's understandable that not all the promises or goals of a certain politician can be fulfilled. Bureaucracy, politics and the system itself act as balancing tools to prevent radical changes in policy. That's fine. But when politicians consistently vote counter to what they've campaigned for, they are no longer truthfully representing the people.
Of course, this depends on the citizenry's knowledge of the government, and since most people can identify Bob Barker more easily than their Congressional representative, it might not be realistic. Our government can only function if citizens take an active and informed role in the process.
How it should be: Politicians should be held accountable for their actions, both political and personal, while in office.
How it is: College students, as a whole, are more liberal and likely to vote for Democrats.
It is also true that the large majority of people age 35-65 votes Republican. Why is this? Well, for the most part, it is because college students aren't affected by the government's policies as much as middle-aged adults are. Middle-age voters are raising families, working 40 or more hours per week and are looking toward retirement. So when Democrats implement policies that alter and taint the family and moral structure of our country by promoting homosexuality and abortion, raise taxes and financially endanger the future of Americans, they don't care for it too much. Truthfully, college students don't know anything about real life, as much as they'd like to think they do.
How it should be: College students should vote based on what's right for everyone, not on what's popular in their own collegiate society.
How it is: Democrats are thought to be champions of the poor and the disenfranchised.
If this is true, then why are nine of the 12 richest members of the Senate Democrats? John Kerry, because of his marriage to Teresa Heinz and his entitlement to her family's wealth, is worth $675 million. John Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and former trial lawyer, is worth $15 million. The Kennedy family is one of the richest families in America, with
Ted Kennedy, senator from Massachusetts, alone worth $30 million.
If Democrats are enthusiastically fighting to help poor citizens, why do they vote for rich politicians and then criticize rich Republicans? Seems rather hypocritical to me.
How it should be: Democrats, as well as Republicans, should vote for politicians who embody the characteristics of the people they claim to want to help.
How it is: Most politicians are not representative of the citizens they serve.
To be fair, Republican politicians are just as wealthy as Democrats. But, regardless of party, when was the last time a teacher ran for president? An even better question is when was the last time a teacher won an election? We, as Americans, are brainwashed by the media and big-money campaigns to believe that there are only two candidates capable of effectively being president, when many others are out there.
How it should be: I'd put my money on the ability of Chris Wright, the owner of Jimmy John's, to run the country over Kerry or Bush any day. Have you seen how fast they make a sandwich?
The fact is the American political system is in turmoil. Our politicians are more concerned with pleasing campaign contributors than representing citizens. The McCain-Feingold bill that imposes campaign finance restrictions is a step in the right direction. But, what is more necessary is a change in the attitude and mindset of Americans.
We must stop voting for bureaucratic politicians and start voting for who is best equipped for the job. The more campaign ads a candidate has, the more likely they're not someone who will be an honest and trustworthy representative. Go to debates, read about the small candidates in all the parties (except Ralph Nader and that nut, Pat Buchanan), and vote for who's real, for God's sake.
And in the future, remember to vote for McGuire in 2020. Only in America.
Dan McGuire is a political science and journalism senior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.