To vote, informed opinions are a must

Rachael Palinkas

Working in town I hear a lot of different types of people talking about the presidential election, most specifically choosing between Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Despite what I may believe about either of the candidates, the decisions people are making should be informed ones. But this is not what I am hearing.

I have heard countless comments on the candidates’ sex and race. Some say they would vote for Obama simply because they don’t want a woman in office. Others say they want Clinton because Obama sounds too much like Osama or because he’s African American. The fact that these thoughts ever crossed the mind of the public is offensive and discouraging.

I thought people voting this year would take advantage of this opportunity to become informed citizens and make decisions on the issues that matter most. We keep hearing this is a year for change, but how can change happen when issues of race and gender stand at the forefront of everyone’s mind?

Is it different because of these issues of race and gender, or is it different because the candidates have issues the public can relate to in their platforms?

This isn’t the only thing that bugs me about how people are making decisions about the Democratic candidate and who gets their
presidential vote.

Facebook, MySpace and YouTube are all playing huge roles in each of the candidates’ campaigns, and many of the things made popular on these sites are created by us, the people, and not by the presidential hopefuls.

This year, more than any other, the popularity and celebrity endorsements each candidate gets seem much more important to us than ever before.

Voting is important and those of us who can vote should feel privileged to be able to do so. But when votes are based on issues of race, gender and popularity, is it really a privilege anymore?

I seriously question some people’s thoughts about their right to vote. Luckily, there is still time to become educated and make decisions based on the issues rather than superficial topics.

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