by Crystal Dundas
I have once heard someone say “ovaries over gender”, at first I didn’t know what to make of it, but now that the primaries and the dirty political tricks is half done I could say that not everyone felt the same way. Not everyone fell for the already broken promises of the Clinton campaign, except for a few including me. But now that she’s out and Obama’s’ in I think I have no other choice, but I will explain that later.
This year was the first time I have ever voted for anything let alone a presidential campaign. It was 2 years ago that I had turned 18 that I realized how much power I had but it wasn’t until February 5, 2008 that I realized I had the ability to change the world, by my one vote. I am not saddened that I voted for Ms. Clinton and she didn’t win the democratic nominee, I am upset however that now I don’t have a choice because most people see it as If your black so your vote has to go to Obama… No it doesn’t! It goes to the best qualified person. For me that’s how it was done for the primaries and that’s how it’s should be done in November.
As a young person I have many influences that I have chosen to influence me and inspirations that I have chosen to inspire me but there’s nothing like an inspiration that you try to deny knowing it might change your outlook on things if you took the time to listen to it or read about it. That’s what an Obama speech can do. One of my math tutors and a dear friend of mine appreciates philosophy like myself, explained a time he listened to an Obama speech. He remembers he had an urge to cry and he felt really emotional. He expressed that Obamas’ presentation captured the audience with his choice of words which somehow brings people “hope” and convince them that he is the change that the world needs. I really didn’t think this could be I thought to myself as a reader of philosophy it causes a person to appreciate every word and become very analytical and at times emotional.
Though his words were convincing, I didn’t watch one of his speeches until a couple of weeks ago when he made his victory speech on June 3, 2008. Senator Obama said to the people of Michigan “16 months has passed, thousands of miles have been traveled and millions voices have been heard and because you’ve decided that change must come to Washington and because you believe that this year must be different than all the rest because you chose to listen not to your doubts and your fears but your greatest hope and highest aspirations. Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another”.
As his speech came to a close, goose bumps filled by body and unbelievable thoughts showered my head, was I turning into an Obama supporter or at least a fan, was I really experiencing something or someone who actually had the power to bring this “change” to the world that he talks so highly of? My concerns grew and did get the best of me. So now I was forced to do my research and question myself? The question changed from “who is this guy” to as a young person what makes him qualified enough to meet the needs of my future? What influence the transition from Clinton to McCain to Obama that made me realize that he is the better candidate for the White House?
Education is my number one focus right now and will be for a couple of years. So therefore in looking for a leader I tried to find one that will have solutions for topics that are important to me. Yes, every candidate has his or her views on what educational plan for college is going to be best fit for students now and to come in the future, but only one will work.
John McCain touched on many subtopics within education. Though he mainly focused on public schools and not college as much, the solutions that he made had been promised already by post presidential candidates and within the years things have changed. Public schools are held to higher standards from when I went to public school. Before now attending private school either meant you were privileged, smart and receiving the best education there is that automatically meant you’re set for the future. Now public schools are held at that same standard.
Hillary Clinton also made speeches about education and college. She promised that once she got into the White House she would make college more affordable for students. She goes on to say that if 3,500 tuition tax credits is provided more than 50 % of the cost of tuition of the average institution and increasing Pell grants, young people will get the opportunity to attend college. Her points interested me because as a student the cost of going to school is tough and student aid forms don’t make it any easier. She promised to simplify the process as well. Clinton believes that college shouldn’t be for the “wealthy” but for everyone. When I heard that she had valuable promises, I knew that she would the better democratic candidate. But it wasn’t until June 17, 2008 when I came across an article by The Associated Press that headlined “Obama promises tuition tax credit”, and I realized “he got me”.
The article states that Barack Obama would give $4,000 to students for college in exchange of 100 hours of community service. Wow, I thought to myself, he promises to help struggling students pay for tuition, no matter if its university or college. Though some students will get half of the money others will get the full amount but they are still receiving the financial help. He also states that since he got a hand of living his dream, he wants to give others that opportunity as well. In the article, he revealed the debt that he and his wife, Michelle had when they first met. About 60,000 dollars in debt they were from student loans which took about nine years to pay off, so he knows the struggle and damage that college tuition can bring to a person financially and personally.
Not because he’s black, not because he’s a man and not because I’m black and not because Hillary is out of the campaign that I should feel I have no other choice. This choice of mine to jump on the “band-wagon” (so to say) is because he makes valuable points that I can bet on and win. He backed up his points with stories that he himself went through letting people know that he knows what we are going through, he knows that we may not have a voice, and we know that he knows that we need a change.
He has been making a name for himself even as Senator of Chicago. He has been known for his leadership in education issue such as tuition. He persisted on passing a bill to increase Pell grants that would be an aid in college tuition for students. As a young person I feel strongly about opinions and choices. You should be a firm believer in something or someone that may bring positive solutions to your problems; someone who has a good track record and is qualified. I used this word qualified so many times because that is what it boils down to…qualification! Not because of gender, age or race but because of qualification, and inspiration. Obama inspires me because he relates himself to my needs simply… he went through it. Him being this “hope” shows that there is an American Dream, it may not be your “white picket fence, 3 kids and a dog” the ones that we were programmed to know. The American Dream is really your reality and what opinions and choices are sent to you. The American Dream never dies but lives in you only if you open your eyes and believe in it.