This story was written by Editorial Board, The Rocket
In less than two weeks, Americans all across the country will head to election ccenters to cast their vote in the 2008 Presidential election. Many of them are college students who are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.
At The Rocket, we feel that it is important, as educated young adults, to make our voices heard. The 2008 Presidential election is, without a doubt, the most important election of our generation. Our country is in a state of economic and social decline, and the only way that we, as Americans, are going to help fix the problems ailing our country is if we go to the polls and cast our vote.
For many weeks, The Rocket has taken time to throughly and thoughtfully educate ourselves on both parties and it has become clear to us that the United States is in need of change. Therefore, The Rocket is choosing to be one of the many newspapers in America that proudly endorses Senator Barack Obama for President.
The United States is a country based on freedom, opportunity and choices without the restrictions of class, religion or race. Obama is the first African American to be nominated by a major presidential party for president, and his life story is a true American story. Regardless of whether you support Obama or not, everyone should agree that our country is making great historical strides.
For the last eight years, the Bush Administration has lacked adequate leadership and judgment. The questionable decision-making of the last eight years has left Americans with little faith in the government.
We have seen our national debt increase dramatically and in turn, seen more hard-working Americans lose their homes.
That is why America needs a change. The change that we believe Obama will bring.
At the forefront of America's problems is the failing economy that has seen the recent collapse of some of the world's largest financial institutions.
Even though John McCain chose to suspend his campaign during the financial crisis, he had little to do, and exploited it more than helped it. When asked by a reporter how many houses he owns, he said, "I'll have to get back to you."
The McCain campaign is saying that Obama is going to raise taxes. This is a tiring argument for those who are informed. The real information is that under Obama, middle- class people's taxes will be cut and no one making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase. Even those people who are making over $250,000 won't pay higher taxes than they did in the 1990s. In fact, rates would be 39 percent lower than President Bush's 2001 tax cut proposal, according to barackobama.com
When it comes to McCain on the economy, he admits that he "still needs to be educated."
George Bush has been in office for eight years and still has no idea how to manage our economy. Do we really want another uneducated person calling the shots?
We wonder if 'Joe the plumber' knows how similar McCain will be to 'George the president.'
Another driving factor for The Rocket's endorsement of Obama is his plan for education. Obama has a plan to make college affordable for all Americans with an American Opportunity Tax Credit. Under Obama, if a college student does 100 hours of community service, they will receive a $4,000 credit that will make community college completely free for most students, and will cover more than two-thirds the cost of tuition at an average university, accordng to Obama's website.
And as most of us at SRU are finding out, the price of higher education does not come cheap.
While Obama gives a concrete plan for education, McCain's view seems detached and is more abstract. His website says things like "America is facing increased competition from overseas like never before" and "Earmarking is destroying the integrity of federally funded research." At a time when our economy is failing, the last things on our minds are competition and earmarks. We want help financially, and we want concrete information. We aren't fooled by excessive verbiage, and avoiding the point.
We also support where Obama stands on Iraq. We feel that we are spending too much money, and too many lives are being lost in the war. We are proud and have a profound respect for our troops for the service they do for our country, but we feel that a carefully planned withdrawal is necessary. The cost of the war is starting to carry over to other aspects of the United States' economy. We need to work on things happening in our own country.
The Rocket does not just endorse just a presidential candidate, but a whole ticket. We believe that Joe Biden was a noble choice. He was chosen because of his experience and qualifications.
The choice of Sarah Palin as vice-president was a reckless decision by McCain. At first, Palin seemed like she would be a party-energizer, with her tough speeches and her way of relating to all of the 'hockey moms' and 'Joe six-packs.' But more recently, her lack of knowledge has become embarrassing. It also shows that McCain is more concerned with winning the election than competently governing our nation.
Sarah Palin is also going over-board with her "tough talk" speeches at her rallies. She didn't say a word to rebuke the people in the crowd who yelled things about Obama like "he's a terrorist," "kill him" and "off with his head."
The Rocket staff does not approve of the Republicans' excessive negative campaigning, not only on the national level, but also here on our very own campus. Right above an ad that was focused less on voting for Obama, and more on just voting, there was an ad that accused Obama of bringing socialism to the country. Instead of focusing on the issues, and the importance of the youth votes, the Republican Party decided to criticize Obama. Negative campaigning is plaguing our campus, and it was brought by the GOP.
McCain is a traditional 'politics as usual' candidate. That is not what we feel the country needs. We can't honestly expect change with the same types of people with the same idea's as the last eight years running our country.
Obama transcends racial lines and is crossing generation lines as well. The voice of youth is very important in the 2008 election. The Rocket believes that Obama is the most effective in adressing this, and that he doesn't overlook our demographic.
Senator Barack Obama is bright, innovative and mature, and he will do an outstanding job representing our country and, most importantly, us.