Changing The World

By Alyssa Fetera

Big things are happening in 2008. So far, the year has kicked off with the unforgettable Super Bowl (touchy subject), the recent Grammy Awards, Britney’s continuing rollercoaster ride – and, oh yeah, the presidential election. I think we can all agree that the candidate race isn’t our top priority. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t informed and don’t know enough about politics to care. It wasn’t obvious to me how dead the topic was on campus until I attended MTV’s Rock the Vote. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a sold-out event. I realized that college students don’t care because they don’t know.

This concept was recurrent as Syrus from MTV’s Real World Boston spoke. He spoke about, as he says, “real world issues, no pun intended.” The message was straightforward: If you don’t like the way things are, do something about it. Nothing will ever change unless someone changes it. That’s what is so great about being able to vote. This will be the first presidential election in which many students can vote, but more than half won’t. In general, people are under the misconception that their vote doesn’t count. Syrus explained that you have to see the “bigger picture,” and you can’t complain if you’re not involved: “It’s never going to be even or equal, but it can be better.”

“We have to know what we want to get out of it and help ourselves,” Syrus commented.  In other words, we have to be educated voters, so let’s break down the big political terms. In general, Republicans are conservative, which means they want to keep things the way they are. They are opposed to abortion, support hunting of animals, believe in “an eye for an eye,” and support private education. Of course, these beliefs vary from Republican to Republican. The main Republicans in this election are Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. On the other side, Democrats are liberal and support progression. They are pro-choice, believe animals should be treated like humans, oppose the death penalty, and support equal public education opportunities. The 2008 Democrats are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. This is the time to pick your candidate, so look them up and see what they’re about. Find causes of interest to you that they support.

As Syrus said, you have to vote for yourself. There are many parallels in life; you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t put yourself out there and do something. I later learned that Syrus was drawing on his personal experience. He spoke about the weak economy and the lack of money and suggested that people start building their own businesses. Later he told me about his four lines of clothing, one of which goes by the name of Hearts of Hollywood and has a rock star touch.  Now before you Google the name, the clothing can be a bit pricey. Famous starlets like Paris Hilton and Gwen Stefani have worn pieces from the collection because they can afford it. He told me that you can check out LF and to get the feel of the style. In addition, Syrus has his hand in video games. His latest has brought in over two million dollars. He is doing big things because he’s putting himself out there and taking risks.

The biggest message is to take action. If there’s something you’re passionate about, make it happen. You may not know which candidate you like best, but vote against the ones you don’t want. It doesn’t take a lot for you to educate yourself and find out what each candidate stands for. Maybe you like one because of what she says or how he dresses or which celebrity endorses him or her. Whatever your reason to vote, make it happen.

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