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Opinion

First presidential debate reminds columnist of elementary school

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October 2, 2008

When I ran for class president in the third grade, I won. The runner-up became my vice-president. Our differences were what made us a great team as we worked hard together to represent our class of 30 students and to sell the most heart-shaped lollipop Valentine-grams of any other classroom that year.

  I often think about what our grand country would be like if this system was used for the president of the United States. I imagine a well-rounded decision making team that includes both parties’ ideals. Everyone thinks their own opinion is the right answer. What if there was a way to incorporate all of the ideals, although opposite, into one? A probable clashing of heavens, I assume.

  The first presidential debate between our candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, was held Sept. 26. All day long people asked me what time it was scheduled to air, if I planned to tune in and asked if McCain would show. People planned ahead to leave their dinner parties prematurely to watch the debate on TV. After-parties popped open the beer bottles in rejoicing their candidate that won the debate.

  Although the viewership is slightly below what is was for the Bush-Kerry debate in 2004, and about half of the viewership of the Super Bowl, it still raked in a 33.2 household rating. Why did so many tune in for this debate and why do people find it important? Because it is our two candidates arguing in front of us about matters that concern us and they want your vote to be our freaking leader.

  For the first time ever I can really look at both candidates and pick at them with things I like and don’t like. I like McCain’s experience and ideas on foreign policy. I don’t like McCain’s lack of confidence or his choice of a vice president. I like Obama’s ideas on health care, college tuition, the war in Iraq and education, but having so much faith in hope is somewhat useless.

  McCain started off shaky with his pathetic move regarding the current financial crisis. First he wanted to postpone the debate because his role as senator called him back to Washington. When he was proved wrong he had to show his face at the big fight. This brings me back to the third grade again. The kid chickens out for the big fight he wasn’t cut out for in the first place. His excuse is that the teacher needed help cleaning up the classroom (suck-up). But the teacher already cleaned up the mess and kicks the kid back onto the playground to meet his opponent at the flag pole for the duel.

  Obviously, Obama won the debate. He proved confident in his role as a leader and brought forth his ideas and views that seemed logical and successful. McCain was shot by Obama with his own wrong-doings and his nerves got the best of him. I want a proud president that will fix the country’s problems and do it with confidence, consideration and encouragement from his fellow citizens.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.