Student Voice


December 6, 2023




Selfish political hopes explained with poker

February 2, 2007

Despite the next presidential election being nearly 21 months away, it’s weighing on my mind. Through talking to some of my friends and family, I know I’m not the only “average Jane” with it on her mind. While I’ve usually been pretty exclusive with whom I choose to talk politics with, this seems like an appropriate venue to open up.

I’ll proudly admit it, OK I’m selfish.

I want the Democrats to have control of both the congressional chambers and the White House. The dismal State of the Union has been documented and the ink in the history books is still wet from when the republicans had their hand at control.

It’s fair to say the hand looked more like a pair of deuces than a royal flush.

That being said, I want the Dems to shine and cash in while we’re ahead. While watching the Grand Old Party folds before the turn.

Here’s why I’m selfish: I’m scared the polarizing characteristics of U.S. senators and presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton are jeopardizing the possibility of a Democratic reign in two of the three American branches of government.

While I have strong confidence in both Obama and Clinton, I’m only one of many voters, and I can see how other voters will steer away from them because they’re different.
Both would be “firsts” for this nation, a black man -- who is young and has not been involved in politics as long as others; or a woman -- who is ... oh my god a woman!
Raised as a little Lutheran school girl, I know how people are intimidated by change, but hear me out -- sometimes it’s not so scary, and you’ll love the results.

If either of these potential candidates is elected, things will change, no doubt about it.

Both could be the exact vehicle of change our sweet land of liberty needs. My hope is through the sharing of these personal views, I can help other voters put their chips all-in on the Democrats in 2008.

There’s no denying Obama hasn’t been involved in national politics long -- only since 2005 -- but I think that could be a positive attribution.

He’s had less time to get caught up and consumed in the “politics” of politics. He is still able to effectively connect to his electorate, and being young, he can appeal to other young U.S. citizens.

I don’t think experience is the only characteristic we should look for. As further support for my notion that experience doesn’t equal qualification, consider the fact that President Bush was no rookie to politics.

In his eloquent speech announcing he will be considering presidential candidacy, Obama said changing how politics work in Washington is the first change that has to be made.

Sharing a self-motivating mantra with Smoky the Bear, he puts the fate of change (or prevention of forest fires) in the hands of “you.” He doesn’t say it will be an easy task, but one having to be initiated by people who are willing to work for the transformation.

When it comes to situations of sinking or swimming, Barack grew up in Hawaii... he knows how to swim.

Looking to another “radical” option, Clinton also wants the flop cards to be in favor of the democrats. I have a feeling she’s itching to get back into the 900-thread-count sheets in the White House and have her name on the desk plaque in the Oval Office this time around.

When she delivered “I’m in,” her speech confirming she was seeking presidential nomination, she too put responsibility on the people.

Seeking to have a “conversation with America” Clinton wants to know converse with people to see have to say about issues ranging from healthcare options, oil and the looming threat of social security deficits.

Neither of these two White House seekers want to engage in foreign wars or get back at someone for something their failed to satisfactorily execute; can we agree to listen to them and not be afraid of their potential because they are black or female?

Que the dramatic cinematic music here: let’s make this happen, let’s be the match that lights the fire of change, let’s unite as a population of young people and cause a metamorphosis.

We’re young people who like to see how things can be better. We’ re the next generation of leaders.

Let’s be responsible political-news consumers in the next 21 months and make our cards, as the young voters dominate the table.

Keighla Schmidt is a student at UW-River Falls.