Sep 252008
Authors: Alex Stephens

What I’ve seen in the past few months, and indeed the past eight years, is a complete reversal of everything Republicans have once stood for (except abortion, but not universal healthcare — that’s way too charitable).

Bush has done everything possible to divide Americans against each other and wreak havoc on our global image. He’s slapped every American in the face by driving our debt to obscene proportions. The apprentice, though, has a shot at redemption.

Sadly, McCain seems lost in the mix lately. One day he claims the fundamentals of our economy are strong. The next day our markets take a hard dive, and immediately he redefines what he meant by ‘fundamentals’ to actually mean workers (those few in production or the many in service?), not the greedy elite at the top in Wall Street he was “shocked” to learn exist. Ironically, don’t they control all the money?

Controlling the major institutions of the economy sounds fundamental to me. Oh well.

A few weeks ago, McCain admitted economics are not his strong point. I won’t demonize him for this. I appreciate his honesty. Unfortunately, economics are now at the forefront of policy debate and on everyone’s mind.

Is a prosperous future still secured, or is the recession inevitable? Do we really need a president who is knowledgeable in economics?

It’s OK, though, because in America, presidents get to pick the vice president who will compensate for areas they lack in. So choose wisely.

Find a sensible running mate: one who’s experienced in economics, who knows a thing or two about foreign relations and knows how Washington really works so you can get things done. Don’t underestimate Americans; we expect a lot from our presidents.

Or maybe we don’t?

Sarah Palin, oddly, knows none of these things, yet John McCain selected her to become, upon his death or incapacitation, the leader of the U.S. Those are some big shoes to fill. Her resume must be incredible to be accepted for such an important position.

Palin was mayor of some little town for 10 years, governor of Alaska (which is the largest state geographically), staunch pro life supporter, mother — but where’s all the super cool stuff like foreign policy expertise, sitting on national finance committees and the likes?

Women have seriously been disenfranchised in this country. For too long, they have been overshadowed by men in most every aspect. Having a woman on a presidential ticket is unprecedented and remarkable. I’m sure many people are amazed it’s finally happened.

However, being a woman does not exempt you from requiring qualifications. Does it?

Turn off the TV! Do some independent research. Read the newspapers, surf the Web. Take a step back from your party lines and really look at the situation: McCain acted on an impulse to bring over the disillusioned Hillary supporters by foolishly selecting a horribly under-qualified running mate.

And now he counts on you keeping your eyes, mouth and, most importantly, your mind closed.

Wake up. We’re allowing the wool to be pulled over our eyes (again). That’s exactly what McCain is counting on now: Don’t think, don’t demand some level of experience in your vice presidents.

Just know she’s a woman. And vote for him. Is it a coincidence that McCain chose a female after Hillary wasn’t nominated? Would he have chosen an equally unqualified black running mate to bring in the black vote if Hillary had won the nomination?

Why aren’t you demanding a VP pick, regardless of gender or race, to be qualified? John McCain is using a woman solely as a novelty to win your vote. Period. The sooner you realize this, the better.

God forbid someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing becomes president. We’ve already seen enough of that. Thanks, but no thanks.

Alex Stephens is a junior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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