Opinion: Great threats to our nation

Matt Yurkanin

Matt Yurkanin

By Alex Dunkel

As another presidential campaign season winds down, millions of people across the nation prepare to go to the polls on Tuesday. On behalf of the millions of disillusioned voters out there, I would like to take a moment to thank the Republicans, the Democrats and the media for one of the most uneventful, childish and least-informative presidential races. If I were Christian, I’d say, “God help us all.” Since I’m not, I’ll say, “We’re screwed.” In essence, that’s what happened this year – we got screwed.

First and foremost, we have the Bush campaign to thank for spinning all of us like a top. The resulting nausea felt by both liberals and a growing number of conservatives has been most unpleasant. I must commend them on their successful labeling of Sen. John Kerry as a “flip-flopper.” However, it takes one to know one. After all, for the past four years the Bush administration hasn’t been able to remember or decide which of their own faulty reasons they have used to justify their actions. How many times have we had to watch Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice or Vice President Dick Cheney claim that they never said Iraq was an imminent threat, despite numerous statements and interviews showing the opposite?

And what about those tax breaks for middle America? First, they weren’t for the rich, and then, when it came down to hard economics, suddenly they were. Now that Bush is out on the campaign trail, the tax breaks once again are all about the middle class and not the rich. Either the Bush administration thinks we’re idiots, or they decided to pin the “flip-flop” tail on the Democratic donkey before someone else could pin it on them.

Furthermore, thank you, Mr. President, for crippling this election by refusing unscripted debates. If you’re such a charismatic leader who stands strong in the face of conflict, then why can’t you duke it out with your political opponent? You strike me more as a pawn than as someone in charge.

As for John Kerry and the Democrats, they couldn’t have run a more lackluster campaign if they had tried. When an incumbent’s approval rating hovers below 50 percent prior to an election, most would consider it a total failure not to leap ahead of the competition. But given the party to which I’m referring, there should be little surprise. Over the past four years, Democrats have done little to stand up for themselves and their voters. Even lapdogs don’t roll over as much as the Democrats have.

On top of all that, the Kerry campaign’s greatest disappointment has been the presidential debates. Rather than agreeing to the restrictions set by these debates, Sen. Kerry should’ve demanded unscripted debates. If his opponent had refused, he could’ve used that to his advantage during his public speeches.

I do, however, feel sincere gratitude toward Kerry for one thing. Despite all of the Bush campaign’s monotonous rhetoric and criticism, he has largely focused his speeches on the real issues facing this country. Yet, for what he’s done, our blessed media have made great strides to downplay it.

Over the past decade, our media have done an exceptional job at playing along with the major political parties and their talking points. The media have focused on unimportant scandals and downplayed important issues. Over the past few months, the media have tried to turn the presidential race into a Jerry Springer episode. They have crippled democracy in this country by preventing many voters from making informed decisions.

Last but not least, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to anti-U.S. terrorists worldwide for showing us that a relatively minor threat to our day-to-day existence can overshadow the greatest threats to the future of our nation – honesty, integrity and meaningful debate.

Alex Dunkel is a University employee. His column appears alternate Fridays. He can be reached at [email protected]