Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Election

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I've been trying to get an idea of what my students are feeling in terms of the two tickets for President of the United States. Believe it or not, many students watched both Obama's speech and Sarah Palin's speech, with lower numbers watching either Biden or McCain, and almost no one watching the other speeches. The results are interesting, although not totally surprising.

Barack Obama's speech got the most reaction from the students. Not much of a surprise there. Most were impressed by his ability to give a speech, though some were not really sure about the ideas of "change". Apparently Obama did not give enough detail to answer the question about "change". Biden was considered "boring" by almost everyone I talked to. Sarah Palin was watched by the most students, but almost all of them had no clue about what she stood for. They all stated that it was about Palin, but didn't address issues at all. Most of the same was said about John McCain, who gathered some respect by the students who watched the speech, but was left with the same questions about issues. I'm guessing that Obama's energy and McCain's party affiliation will make students gravitate towards Barack Obama, and we'll find that out during our mock election on Election Day.

My thoughts are that if you read into the voting records of both candidates, you will find that both lie their asses off about a variety of issues. Barack Obama has yet to take on any real cause at all since entering the Federal government, and one needs to question whether or not he really has a clue about taking a definitive stand on anything. John McCain's message about alternative energy is so contrived that it is slowly making me lose much respect for the man. He's voted against alternative energy so many times that he might as well park the bus outside of the Chevron headquarters in San Ramon and ask for donations. Joe Biden might be the most sensible candidate in the bunch because he'll freely admit that he's a loud mouth, and I like that. Sarah Palin is not only a joke, but a frightening joke. It's a sign that the Republican Party has not accepted the idea that the country is more moderate and instead tries to side-slip that fact by inserting a young woman on the ticket that many of my students think is do-able. I follow politics like crazy, and the first thing out of my mouth was "Who!?!?!" when she was selected.

The Democratic Convention was a contentious affair that was more about the Clinton's than Obama, although his speech was by far the best out of both conventions. Still, all the back room talk was that the Hillary supporters are still pissed at Barack, and the Barack supporters are pissed that the Hillary supporters are pissed. Not good if you want a unified front. The Republican Convention was something out of the mid-1980's. I have to think that Joe Lieberman is looking back at his choice and saying, "I didn't sign up for this". After watching Romney and Huckabee, I was beginning to think that the Republican Party had officially lost it's mind. Every time I heard "Drill, baby, drill", I shook my head in disappointment as the party of strength turned into the party of denial. It has not been a good start for political parties.

I haven't decided who to vote for yet.

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