Lose weight, buy a Kia

Oct 312006
Authors: Ryan Speaker

It’s almost midterms. And I still haven’t decided how I am going to vote. These are trying times, and politicians have been fighting for the votes of the moderates all the way. However, for Democrats at least, that means the base is being ignored.

True Democrats have become the Log Cabin Republicans of the party; they are being misrepresented but have to go along with the cause anyway because they so greatly disagree with the other party.

There are issues out there, too, important ones that simply have not been a part of the discourse this election cycle.

Heard of net neutrality? There is currently legislation being considered that, if approved, would allow for service providers to charge you and me more for services, and also make deals with Web site owners; if the owners pay the service provider some amount of money, the provider could allow faster access to the site, while slowing (perhaps even preventing) access to competitors. Make no mistake – the only beneficiaries are the major corporations, such as AT&T and Comcast.

There is the ever-great issue of stem-cell research. This summer, thanks to our current Congress, more than 450,000 frozen embryos, embryos that could provide stem cells but could never become humans, were thrown away. People have wrapped this issue up in a moral or religious ribbon, but let us be honest with ourselves: Is throwing away untenable embryos any better than using them for potentially life-saving research?

I fail to see why people hesitate with the issue. These embryos are typically around 150 cells in size; the brain of a fly has approximately 250,000. Do you hesitate with the life of the fly before swinging the swatter?

The environment is a pretty big deal – haven’t heard much on that, though. There is this idea you have to be a Young Earth, hippie-type to appreciate the fact we are doing no favors for Mother Earth; global warming is a liberal myth perpetuated to scare the masses. Yes, there is still discussion within the scientific community over whether or not global warming is real, but until a conclusion or “theory of global warming” comes around, let’s focus on the evidence.

The world is getting hotter. Ten of the hottest summers have occurred in the last 14 years, and they are the hottest summers since the last Ice Age. Ice caps are melting at almost frightening rates, carbon-dioxide levels are at all-time highs, about one species is becoming extinct each day and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that within 10 years, 25 percent of the species we know today will be extinct.

Frightening, right?

Our cars are getting larger, our bodies are getting larger and we’re using more fuel than ever before. American automakers have failed to create fuel-efficient vehicles, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars each quarter and hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Despite technological advances, fuel standards have not been raised since the 1970s.

A true patriot does not put a yellow ribbon on their $50,000 SUV and say they are doing their part. A real patriot, in these times, would get their weight under control and buy a Kia. Using less foreign oil, keeping more money in your pocket, doing a favor for the environment and encouraging domestic innovation – that’s traditional patriotism.

It is not easy finding candidates who are actually representative of their parties. This cycle, Democrats have been clamoring for the votes of moderate Republicans and ignoring the values of the their own party. The big issues are fun and all, but they should not dictate entire campaigns.

I say, let us teach Democrats a lesson: If you’re not going to represent our views, we’re not going to elect you. Instead, let’s give them the “F-You” vote: To third party candidates!

Ryan Speaker is a senior history major. His column appears every Wednesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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