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As the 2012 election gets nearer to Nov. 6, the race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is going to get closer, and it’s going to get ugly. My call to you, voters and citizens, is to ignore the hate, be above the name calling and as you discuss your views and cast your ballot, keep it classy.
The U.S. is lucky in how our political system works. Every four years we get to, basically, have the opportunity to overthrow the executive branch of government. We, as American citizens, choose who gets the most powerful job in the country and determine what path the nation goes down. The practice of voting is a privilege that many people around the world don’t get.
The problem is, instead of revering this privilege and duty, politicians and their supporters have started to treat this year’s election like the candidates are running in a high school prom queen election or a yearbook popularity contest. Men and women fought for our right to vote. Instead of respecting their service with care, many Americans are creating or viewing fake “Paul Ryan Gosling” twitter accounts and memes of Obama with a Hitler mustache and enjoying them.
From both sides there is name-calling, hate spewing and general disregard for facts and truths instead of past years when favoring rhetoric, opinions and truthfulness were political strategies. Obama has an American birth certificate and isn’t a Muslim trying to create Sharia Law. Bain Capital, which Romney helped found, isn’t some villainous company bent on destroying lives. Yet, it’s hyperboles and lies like these that fill the airwaves and mouths of people who we are supposed to trust to run this country.
Please, as Americans, we can be better than this. We can treat this election seriously, and take the time to get informed on the issues of candidates. Whoever you plan to vote for, go and learn about what they represent. Do not call one candidate “un-American” or say one is trying to “destroy our country,” and for the sake of human decency, don’t compare any candidate to Nazis or communists (unless they are running under those parties). Instead, turn off the negative ads or back away from the extremist websites and take a minute to think about your country, and who you want to lead it and why.
Neither candidate has an agenda that will “destroy our way of life” and just because Obama’s camp says they want to “move forward,” it doesn’t mean Romney wants to move backwards. This isn’t The Dark Knight Rises, no one is Batman, and no one is planning to set off an atom bomb. These are two incredibly smart men who want to do what they think is right for America.
Healthcare, education, the economy, national defense and other issues are serious and need to be treated as such. Boiling down these complex issues into simple “he said, she said” kind of arguments are not the way to treat this election.
Students, citizens, voters, make it a goal over the next two months to ignore the hateful rhetoric, to not buy into the oversimplified analogies and false accusations. Get informed, educate others and treat the 2012 election with the class it deserves.
Contact CU Independent Managing Editor Isa Jones at Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org.