COLUMN: Opinions writers decide most important issue

Sujay Kumar

“On November 4 whether I vote or not, this nation will change. There are plenty of issues to inspire you to get off your apathetic behind and vote this election, and you can look those up yourself. As a Canadian citizen, this means nothing to me. For those of you out there who can’t vote this year because you missed a deadline or hold a passport from another nation, we technically have no right to say anything about policy.

But we still live in this country and can make our voices heard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. So do your thing whether you choose to believe that Barack Obama is a socialist or that John McCain is no different from George Bush.

On Tuesday, we can stop by a polling place to check it out or sit and watch Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Or we could start that citizenship application. It’s our choice.”

Paul Cruse III

“I vote because I want a job after I graduate. With the declining economy, jobs have become a rarity. I know many seniors who are having difficulty finding jobs after graduation. The global economy has become more competitive and complex, thus, it is imperative to have a leader who can help put America back on track. I vote because I want affordable medicine. Our health care system is in desperate need of reform. Whether the solution is universal health care or government vouchers, this issue needs to be addressed. I vote because I want an eco-friendly car with inexpensive fuel. Our dependence on oil is crippling both our economy and the environment. Whether it’s bio-fuel, electric or hydrogen, an alternative fuel source is needed. ‘Vote or Die’ is the common slogan, but I vote not because I fear dying but rather because I don’t want to live terribly.”

Chelsea Fiddyment

“The cost of college and genuinely alternative energy are the biggest issues pushing me to the polls. With tuition guaranteed to keep rising, colleges and universities will bar an ever-increasing amount of students from attending, especially institutions that offer little merit-based aid. We’re already in the process of creating economic complications down the road due to the number of graduates leaving school with massive loans to pay off. As for energy, we’ve procrastinated weaning ourselves off non-renewable natural resources as fuel so long that we’re finally being forced to do something. We cannot wait any longer – our generation is already going to pay a heavy price as we become adults.”

Scott Green

“The most important issue in this election is which candidate is most pro-America. Of course, they all claim to be. They all say, ‘Hey, voters, I love and support this country, which is why I am running for a job that requires I ride in a limousine and have my own luxury aircraft and host an Easter Egg hunt wherein I know the location of EVERY SINGLE EGG HAHAHAHAHAHA.’ But of course, they would say this. Of course they would claim to know the location of all the eggs, and also that they were pro-America. Only one man really has the pro-America chops to lead the world’s second most pro-America country, after Mexico. That man is: Uncle Sam Flaglover Mount Rushmore Washington IV. Yes, it’s true, Uncle Sam Flaglover Mount Rushmore Washington IV wants to switch the national currency from dollars to McNuggets and eats boiled puppies three times a day. But he is very pro-America, and that’s what counts.”

Carlye Wisel

“Babies. They’re bouncy and cute and baldish and have tiny hands and feetsies, but I don’t want one for a long time. A very long time. So, I default to supporting the candidate who believes a woman has the right to choose, which in this case is Barack Obama. Abortion is never a positive event, and I assume a miserable process, but it’s not fair for someone in office to impose their personal views on another going through it, especially considering the religious connotation embedded in the argument. The right to choose is incorrectly viewed as a right to always abort, when in fact it’s just the right to let other people make tough, necessary decisions for themselves. Regarding the case of pregnancy happening unintentionally, I obviously wish women were more responsible, but it’s not my, Obama’s or McCain’s place to control what I or they do with our bodies.”

Annie Piekarczyk

“For the first time, my vote counts. So on November 4, I’m voting for John McCain primarily for his experience in foreign affairs, stance on abortion and unwillingness to ‘spread the wealth around.’ He has more than 20 years of foreign affairs experience and has shown that by supporting the ‘surge’ which has put us in a position to win the war in Iraq. He is ready from day one to lead our country in the global war on terror. McCain is also familiar with military strategy and willing to listen to the top military commanders in the region, unlike Obama who could be taken advantage of as implied by Sen. Biden and tested by other world leaders. And especially today, in a time of great economic crisis, we don’t need a president who is going to be tested and is inexperienced in foreign affairs.”

Henry Soong

“Shortly after Inauguration Day this coming January, I will be leaving to study abroad in Shanghai, China. With this in mind, I think the biggest thing guiding my vote has to do with the potential of the next president to lift international perception of the United States. Which candidate represents an America willing to lead with consensus? Which candidate embodies the diversity of the American people?

I’m thinking about which candidate can prove to the rest of the world that America is a strong, intelligent country. Regardless of where I am – from Shanghai to Istanbul and through London – I want to be able to speak proudly of the man who carries the weight of the American brand on his shoulders. And Barack Obama is ready to take and reinvent this American brand.”

Katie Dunne

“College students are full of complaints. Prices are too high, wages are too low, classroom buildings are falling apart, and 19-year-olds should be able to drink. We have a lot to say but very little opportunity to do anything about it. Well, here’s your chance. On November 4, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the political process. If you’re registered in Champaign, you will decide if a new sales tax should be implemented. You’ll decide if Illinois needs a constitutional convention. You’ll decide if one of your fellow classmates should be elected to the General Assembly.

November’s election is not just about Obama and McCain. It’s about legitimizing your opinion by becoming an actor in the political process. It’s about answering referenda questions and choosing local leaders. If you took the time to register, take the time to vote. And if you don’t vote, don’t complain.”

Jordan Harp

“Defending the free markets. With the economy in a tailspin largely due to the Wall Street fiasco, there has been a lot of anger at those responsible, and a lot of finger pointing on Capitol Hill. What is indisputable is how much this has helped Obama and the Democrats. With Obama likely to win and Democrats likely increasing their majority in both houses due to Bush unpopularity and public anger at Wall Street, there is likely to be a strong ideological shift left against free markets led by Pelosi, Reid and Obama. Some of their top priorities: expansion of government run health care, rejecting or renegotiating free trade agreements, carbon cap-and-trade programs and allowing unions to strong arm workers, among others. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce sees the coming anti-business climate and has taken the unusual step of donating money to many Republican campaigns. It is a real concern.”

Dan Streib

“Terrorism is the most important issue to consider when you vote because it, and the wars to stop it, directly involve life and death. The economy doesn’t. And abortion is determined through the courts. This should be changed, but the issue of terrorism is already discussed democratically. If you’re conservative, you may say, ‘If piracy was stopped by Great Britain in the past, then terrorism can be stopped by America, now. Wide ranging military action is the way to achieve this goal.’ If you’re liberal, you may say ‘If the drug trade can’t be stopped, then neither can terrorism. Thus, our military responses should be smaller and more targeted.’ Whether lives are more greatly at stake due to terrorist attacks or our wars is a deep issue. And what can be done about terrorism is another. Either way, these issues are important. So think about them and vote.”