Candidates make false promises to students

There is no collegiate demographic. Partly because college students are elusive — these students that find time to not only follow immediate political trends, but evaluate, scrutinize, and blog their conclusions in MLA formatted Tumblr posts — and partly because it doesn’t exist. Aside from implausibility of delegating an entire population to a handful of half-thoughts, there’s also the problem of negotiating the academic attention span. It isn’t much longer than your average Snickers bar. And if our president and the guy running against him have their way, it’ll probably stick around.

The evidence from this week’s debate was ample enough. There are plenty of catalysts, but the Achilles’ heel is our organization. Every non-hostile reference towards the students that fill these buildings was quickly followed with vague promises that can never be kept. The undocumented college athlete might accomplish his hopes if he has what the country needs. The ostracized 20-something couple could one day get married, if their state makes it around to swinging that way. When the clock strikes midnight noting your student loans are due, there’s a chance they might one day be forgiven.

They do it because they can get away with it. They get away with it because there aren’t any consequences. And there aren’t any consequences because, regardless of the party’s claims, the questions being asked are ultimately unanswerable. The candidate that answers these questions with a coherent response is either a liar or a prophet; neither is the man we ought to put into office. Since we let them get away with this business of formulating pretend questions, only to respond with answers that make just as little sense — ours is an audience that’s two steps behind.

Not that it has to stay that way. It’d just take some work. One of the first steps to cementing an accurate collegiate demographic would be acknowledging that it won’t ever be done. But the second would be to emphasize to the president, his opposition and any interested constituent that this is no longer an excuse.

The youth vote’s perspective may not be as obvious as the National Rifle Association, or the Green Party, or the National Audubon Society, but the president shouldn’t need help reaching the right conclusion. That’s why he’s the president. It’s the sort of thing that says a lot more about the man in office than the people who put him there.

Gov. Mitt Romney has all but written on his forehead what he thinks about environmentalism and women’s rights. In his steed, the incumbent has sewn grand notions on civil liberties, illegal alien and gun-laws. But that’s all they are now — notions. If the collegiate voter’s going to survive, or at least make their existence relevant, these are ideas they’ll have to start incorporating into their daily lives. We’ll have to start shouting. And while there are a number of ways to instigate this awareness, in lieu of a million megaphones, caring would be a good start.

Bryan Washington is a media production and English sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].


  • What the “collegiate voter” needs to worry about is that everyone left the table and you-all, more than any other generation in history, are left with the check.

    Now, before you’re eyes glaze over and suddenly studying for that Chemistry exam sounds interesting, think about these facts:

    We are currently >$16 TRILLION in debt. At the current rate of spending, we will add another $10 TRILLION in the next ten years. To put that into perspective, Obama’s plan to “tax the rich” is touted to generate $800 billion in ten years, that’s $80 billion a year. Yet we will still be borrowing ~$1TRILLION each year. There are 1,000 Billion in a TRILLION, you don’t have be a math major to see this doesn’t look good.

    In 2019, the interest payments alone on our debt will exceed the (evil) Defense budget.

    Medicare is predicted to go broke in 2016-2020. Currently it’s 23% of our budget. You might think, “hey, I’m young, that doesn’t effect me”, but you’re incredibly wrong. Recipients and future recipients of Medicare outnumber you exponentially and they will be at the gates of Wash D.C. with pitchforks and torches, to find somebody to pay for their “entitlement”. Who must that be?????? All of you!!!

    Should I go into Social Security????? Nah, I’ve probably depressed you enough already.

    Think seriously before you go to the voting booth.

    • How can you say Medicare is 23% of the budget when the billions spent every day on “defense” and in two wars for the past 6 years are mostly unaccounted for in the budget? Defense gets blank checks, with no transparency, in the name of national security. The deficit was in the billions before the “wars” began. Those are the real expenses, not the bailouts, not medicare, not government programs overspending.

      The only role of government is to care for the populace. How does that justify war in foreign lands where the only American interests being harmed are financial, but not justify Medicare and Medicaid to provide medical care for the poor and elderly?

      • I could have so much fun with your comment, but I’ll be nice and just suggest you brush up on your facts. Oh, and don’t forget to vote on the 1st Wednesday in November.

      • And there in lies the problem with spending out of control. The belief in the nanny state you stated. That is what will bankrupt this nation and leave you and me holding the bag when the music stops.

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