Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Election has made a mess of U.S. politics

While skimming through a recent issue of the Daily Wildcat, I came across a letter claiming that the Democratic party has turned into a cesspool of hatred. This intrigued me, since the author, who is obviously not a Democrat, still seemed to pour every ounce of hatred he could muster into his letter. What a great example of a serious problem facing America today: So many are people pointing fingers and slinging mud that no real issues are being addressed in a constructive way.

Anyone up for a helpful analogy? Imagine two people standing side by side; the person on the left has his head turned all the way to his left, and the person on the right has turned his to look in the opposite direction. Now, place between them, oh, let' s say a pie, since those seem to be all the rage these days. Next, offer $20 to the first person who can correctly identify what it is without turning their heads. Sure, they might simply express the stupidity of this exercise and storm off, but for the sake of the analogy, we'll say that they begin to argue. Obviously, each person can see neither the pie nor their enemy, but they want their prize, so they scream and yell about knowing exactly what it is and why the other person must be wrong. Well, in the end, neither of them gets it right, and I leave with my $20 and a pie, chuckling merrily. This seems to be the ditch in which the American political system is stuck, spinning its wheels.

However, despite my chuckling, I don't enjoy the enormous mess that has been made of this election. I am proud to be a Democrat; that is a choice that I've made based on my opinions, and I try my best to respect the decisions made by others, even if they do not always agree with mine. That is my idea of America, and it differs greatly from what I've seen this past year whenever I turn on the television or open a newspaper or even try to talk to someone about politics. The bottom line is that people need to try to set aside their prejudices and take a long, honest look at both sides, even if they have to sift through all of the mass-media garbage, to find out what it is that they personally believe in and then learn to respect those who think differently. Otherwise, the state this country is in right now is only going to get worse.

Scott Miller
media arts junior

Half the country not angry without reason

I'd like to grudgingly complement Charles Reid for exposing the sinister truth about the Democratic Party. Here I stand naked, shivering, with my dislike of George Bush laid bare. How embarrassing and freeing.

Does Charles Reid really believe that half the country is angry for absolutely no reason? I'll admit, rage can make a person fairly incoherent at times, so let me swallow my anger for a bit and attempt to squeak out just a few examples of my reasoning.

I feel betrayed by my president. For one, a Republican-controlled government decided to cut taxes after increasing government spending and while planning to go to a costly war. The result: My tax break is more of a loan, because my generation is going to have to pay off the $400 billion running deficit. My president will look me in the eye and tell me he's for small government and the rights of the individual, yet will turn around demanding amendments to my country's constitution that would limit who can marry. Then he'll bulldoze through something like the PATRIOT Act, which allows the federal government to see lists of what I have checked out at the library. My president will look me in the eye and tell me we need to attack Iraq because they have WMDs, and then when we don't find them he'll say it's because they support terrorism. When it comes to light that bin Laden hated Saddam Hussein just as much as the United States, my president will say Saddam was a bad guy and needed to go. And then he will call his rival a flip-flopper.

Charles, I honestly think John Kerry would be a great president, one I'm not embarrassed of. But to tell the truth, I think a brick would be a better president than Bush.

Ben McMorran
physics graduate student

Petty bickering won't solve U.S.'s problems

I am so sick and tired of the same opinions being published over and over again. Republicans are bad ... but so are Democrats. Israel is just ... no wait, the Muslims are in the right. Geez.

We are all humans, people. Just because we fall under a particular political party that is different than yours, or a race that is different than yours, or even a religion that is different than yours, doesn't make us any less than you or any better than you.

I am a Democrat, but I don't dislike Republicans - I just don't necessarily believe in all of their ideals. But, isn't there a little bit of Republican and a little bit of Democratic ideal in all of us, no matter how tiny? And, in response to Charles Reid's letter in yesterday's Wildcat, I am from Miami and my entire family voted for Gore ... I'm still mad about that, and I'm voting for Kerry, hands down. Regardless of how the system is set up, don't you think it's only fair for the president to be the guy with the most votes? What if the tables were turned? Would you feel the same way? Nevertheless, just because Bush is in office doesn't mean that I hate him or the Republicans who put him there. Now, does this sound like a "cesspool of hatred and rage" to anyone? Simply because we believe in different ideals doesn't make any of us bad people. According to Kate Halcrow, whose letter ran in yesterday's Wildcat, because some Democrats fire pies, apparently we are ALL trying to suppress freedom. And because some Republicans are "hecklers," all Republicans are disrespectful and hate-mongers (and to many in the rest of the world, because we're fighting a war in Iraq due to a choice made by the American government, ALL Americans are evil and must die). Where did this hatred for each other come from? Maybe someone can explain to me why we have to treat each other so inhumanely. There will always be Republicans and there will always be Democrats, and we just have to live with it. The next time any of you categorize an entire party, remember: Some of your best friends and family members might fit into that category!

As for the debate about Israel and the Muslims in Palestine, why did we let this issue get so heated in this country? Who are any of us to take sides (unless you are from Israel or Palestine or have family members there)? I won't judge either side, nor do I think our government has any place in helping either side. It's not our war and we should stay out of it. I hear so many people walking around wishing for world peace - a wish that, sadly, will never come true. There has been war on earth for as long as humans have existed, and there is no reason to think it will stop anytime soon. Israel and Palestine will continue to be at war until some drastic measure is taken, until there are no more people in either place, or until leaders learn to communicate and compromise (ha!). I am an atheist and I don't even believe in organized religion. It seems to be less and less about having faith in something and more and more about an excuse to scare, suppress, or annihilate a group of people. Though it is totally cliché, can't we all just get along? The Jews and the Muslims are all people, and we should treat each other accordingly. Again, next time one talks about a member of either the Jews or the Muslims, you may be saying or doing something horrible to one of your best friends.

Erin Tucker
renewable natural resources studies graduate student