It is now decision day 2012. November 6, 2012 is the day we decide as a country who will be the next president of the United States of America. It is also my first time being able to vote in a presidential election, as is the case for most of us. I remember 4 years ago the momentum and the excitement that was riding behind Barack Obama. It was almost as if the sheer excitement alone won him that election, and it truly was an amazing thing to witness, even though I was not able to place my own vote. But this election, Campaign 2012, is so far removed from 2008. There were no Boondocks episodes and songs featuring Will.I.Am and Thugnificent promoting Obama’s presidency. Neither was there the active Diddy “Vote or Die” movement. That is not to say that we are any more apathetic; which is the claim that is placed on us as a generation. But the excitement, that relentless energy, hope and optimism is not the same. Instead, we are caught in the real grind, muck that politics truly can be. It cannot and will not be as fun and entertaining as 2008. And we have come to grips with that in the nation in different ways.
Nothing can be more revealing of the actual climate that we are in than just the talk and reactions surrounding the campaign trail and especially the debates. It started with that first debate where our own Qaim Wynter, Class of ’14 stated “What seemed to be a sure fired Obama victory was put in question after his lackluster performance in the first debate, and conversely Romney’s impressive performance.” That followed with a Biden-Ryan debate that attempted to curb the Romney ticket’s momentum, and admittedly President Barack Obama did right the ship, or turn back up the heat in the campaign during the next two debates. But the mood was different in these debates than in 2008. Even the most die-hard of us could feel it. I personally heard from people who said that at times, viewing parties that were attended by those of one side would frequently turn to opposition jeering events. But even through our jeers, we could see what was happening.
This is best captured by Michella Ore ’16 who wrote concerning the third debate “Throughout the debate I couldn’t help but feel that I was watching two children bickering with each trying to prove to their mother (the moderator) that they were right and the other was wrong. While I felt Obama made some great comments, I felt they were overshadowed by his somewhat childish interjections that detracted from the importance of his message and which also could feed into the notion from the opposing side that he is not suitable for the respectable role of president.” Indeed, that has been the sentiment amongst many. But through it all, we all have made it to this day, November 6th, and we have seen the ups and downs of each candidate as they have probably revealed more to us than they have intended.
But nonetheless, we have a decision to make. Reading an article in The Economist magazine, even they are not on an emotional high entering this election. As a matter of fact, they worded it more harshly when stating they would endorse “the devil we know”, (referring to Obama) rather than “the devil we don’t” (referring to Romney) if I remember it correctly. While I strongly condemn that kind of language, the message is clear. They, along with many others are approaching this election cautiously, if not begrudgingly. But I must urge us all, not to avoid the polls. There are those that without a clear devotion for one candidate over the other, would rather abstain. But I cannot stress enough the need we have for you all to make sure that if you are registered to vote, you make your sure to go to the nearest polling center today. Even if you only like one candidate slightly more than the other. Your vote is vital, and I will not push you in any direction over the other. The only direction I’m pushing you to is to the voting booth. After that, we will all witness what our collective American voice is saying. With that I will leave you with the words of Qaim Wynter again, “In this election Americans have a choice between two men who each represent completely different worlds within America. What’s your America?”
Don Polite Jr. ‘13