Oct 252004
 
Authors: Matt Hitt

It’s Tuesday and the election’s a week away. At this point, I’m

sure everybody’s expecting me to ramble about President George W.

Bush or Sen. John Kerry, and blither on about defense, or abortion

or some other political football.

I could rail against Bush’s economic policies and decry his tax

cuts as nothing more than polish for the silver spoons. I could

point out that Kerry’s position on Iraq is like Madonna’s fashion

sense; if you don’t like it, wait five minutes – it’ll change.

But frankly, all those arguments really do is point out the

simple fact that both candidates kind of suck. I can feel the angry

letters to the editor brewing out there, so let me explain. Be

honest for a second. How many people really agree with the majority

of the things Bush or Kerry says/does, and feel that either one of

them would be an excellent choice for president? Or, is the choice

made as if the election were between, say, broccoli and spinach?

Both choices are pretty lame and it’s the voter’s job to determine

the least lame of the two. And a recent poll by the Denver Post,

indicates that many people feel that way: dissatisfied with Bush

and distrustful of Kerry.

Am I the only person who is bothered by the fact that I have to

choose the lesser of two evils to lead the free world? Can you

imagine a restaurant with only two items on the menu? And that’s

just a brunch issue. We have only two real options to fill the most

important job in this country.

We are long overdue for a change in the way we do things here in

America. The fact is, for every election, right on down to County

Commissioner or County Clerk, we only get to choose between

Republican and Democrat.

Why the limited range of options? After all, Republicans and

Democrats haven’t always ruled the political spectrum. And now, in

the age of mass communication, I think we need to change the rules

to allow other political parties a fair chance at gaining

influence. According to www.opensecrets.org, Bush has collected

over $430 million for campaigning, Kerry over $300 million

(including $74 million each from the government). The next highest?

Ralph Nader, at an anemic $3 million. And he’s relatively high

profile for a third party guy. Below him are the Libertarians, the

Constitutionalists and the Green Party, each weighing in at well

below $1 million each. When TV ads are so influential in every

election, it seems unfair that the major parties can buy so much

more time and coverage.

It’s ridiculous that there are so many strong ideas about how to

better our nation and the only voices that have a real chance at

being heard are the ones that most Americans dislike.

I propose that we put a low cap on spending for any political

campaign, say, $20 million for a presidential election and

decreasing on down the line. Then, make sure that those federal

election funds are distributed equally to every candidate who can

get, oh, say 1 million signatures on a petition. Why wouldn’t it

work? It would help get every significant candidate out there equal

airtime and influence, and help ensure that the president of the

United States is the best candidate for the job, not just the

wealthiest.

Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His column runs every

other Tuesday in the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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