When I was younger, I dreamt of becoming the first woman president. I wanted to make a difference in the world and show people that girls had power, too. Then I began to get a little more involved in politics. Now, I never want to be anything remotely political — ever.
My first exposure to the disillusionment of politics was probably in junior high when I decided to run for student body president. I thought to myself, “I’m smart, a good worker, and teachers like me. I can totally win this.” I didn’t win. It took me all of junior high and losing three time to figure out why I wasn’t winning: I wasn’t the popular kid.
I wish that this was an exclusive issue revolving around prepubescent and hormonal teens, but sadly it is not. The game simply changes slightly.
Now, in my senior year at college, it is once again time for student-body elections. I can’t help but notice the similarities between these elections and the juvenile junior-high elections I experienced, as well as the presidential elections we are witnessing.
First, I’d like to point out the infantile way some of our candidates still campaign. I feel like I’ve been transported back to seventh grade when I walk through the Union during elections. Honestly, the way candidates promote themselves should be based on their platforms, not silly rhymes or commercial ripoffs.
College should be a steppingstone to the professional world. Yes, politicians have slogans for the electoral body to latch onto. But these slogans are short, professional and intelligent, with the less intelligent or less flattering idioms attached because of the media. It is not done that way here. Most college candidates have resorted to childish tactics to gain votes.
One of these tactics is pure bribery. A good politician should not have to buy a vote. This week, I can’t get through the Union without being bombarded with something that might help “remind” me why I need to vote for a specific person. I don’t necessarily hear how this person is going to help make a difference, but I get free stuff.
Of course, money will always play a role in politics. The more money a person has, the more advertising and promoting he or she is able to do. I don’t agree with this, but it is what our society has degraded to. So, much like the presidential campaign, our student-body elections have come down to who has what.
In reality, it should be who has what to offer. Have you read all of the platforms? Or are you just voting for who you know or who has given you cool stuff?
When I was reading the platforms, I gave myself two guidelines to judge candidates by: How is this candidate going to help me and how well did he/she write the platform? Sad to say, there weren’t too many platforms that I was impressed by (I ended up choosing based on grammar, being an English major and all).
Really, it’s just sad that we have such great potential candidates who go unnoticed because they have less money, are less known or don’t have a cute catchphrase. They might be the ones with the best ideas, work ethic and leadership abilities. We’ll never see this, though, unless we look past the pomp and circumstance to what is truly being said.