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Column: Part-time Pundits Ruin Election Season

This story was written by Kyle Robisch, Independent Florida Alligator


After two years of hearing them babble endlessly into my ear about how Sen. Barack Obama is a Muslim, Sen. Hillary Clinton is a socialist and Rudy Giuliani used the NYPD as his own personal paramilitary, the weekend warriors of the political scene have begun to crawl back under their respective rocks.Theyll have to wait another four years to pounce.

Hailing from all corners of the University of Florida,these engineering, biochemistry and sometimes even political science majors pop out of the woodwork every two to four years to drop their preferred political knowledge on our feeble minds.Did you know Obama is actually part Arab? You do now.Ever wonder if actor Fred Thompson is actually senile? A fiveminute conversation with one of these aspiring politicos would definitely clear it up for you.I am certainly not saying people are in the wrong for sharing their uniquely deep thoughts; everyone is entitled to an opinion.To the contrary, I think individuals should share as they wish, regardless of whether they are a political science major or are permanently interested in politics. Like a game show or a horse race, the presidential race and sometimes even congressional races can be entertaining.The more attention people pay to political campaigns, the more educated on the issues and candidates they will become.I cant stand the people who assault you verbally if you cant name all of Rep. Dennis Kucinichs children, or if youre left speechless when asked to name Rep. Duncan Hunters birthplace (yes, he did run for president this year). These weekend warriors make the political process a pain for the rest of us.By all means, share your thoughts, feelings and opinions I would be glad to give your point of view a listen.Unfortunately for all the fauxpundits, having an opinion does not make you an expert.Too many times, conversations with one of these temporary political geniuses leave me questioning the intellect of the average American voter.Simply pulling obscure facts regarding the presidential races out of a hat doesnt qualify you to be president or to tell me how I should feel about the race.About two weeks before Election Day, I was sitting in the Hub reading for my public health engineering class and eating my lunch when an aspiring neoconservative noticed the Gators for Obama pin on my backpack.Naturally, he couldnt resist the opportunity to bless me with his unparalleled understanding of the political universe.Did you know Obama supports Irans desire to nuke Israel? he asked me.I was caught off guard and left speechless. He walked away reminding me to do my research before backing a particular candidate.Clearly, this isnt true even if one believes Obama is soft with regard to foreign policy, very few believe he wants Iran to destroy Israel.Somehow, though, this newfound political science buff had the gall to walk up to me and inform me of my candidates political beliefs.People like this make life hell for the rest of us by refusing to allow us to enjoy our beliefs.If you want to share your thoughts, then feel free. Dont tell me Im wrong because we disagree.

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