Opinion

Party lines should not be uncrossable

The Nov. 4 midterm elections are almost upon us. The dedicated Americans who get up and vote have the opportunity to select the exceptional men and women who will lead us.

These voters will have impartially surveyed the campaigns and dissected the hundreds of candidates to find the ones most likely to provide a brighter future. After all, it’s our responsibility to safeguard our democratic ideals. These Americans would never be so callous as to simply vote for the party they most identify with. Right?

Let’s examine the post for Florida’s commissioner of agriculture. This is a position that enormously influences environmental policy in Florida. In a state that could face drastic consequences from climate change, the public is surely aware of who’s running.

In these elections, Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton is challenging the incumbent, Adam Putnam. They have wildly different views on policy and its implementation.

But I’ve left out the most relevant tool for selecting our candidate. Yes, I neglected to mention which candidate is a Democrat and which a Republican. And guess what? I’m not going to tell you.

Too often we fall victim to the corrupting trap that is straight-ticket voting. According to Mike Morris of the Houston Chronicle, it’s possible that two-thirds of Americans are filling the country’s most powerful positions with candidates based solely on their party affiliation.

This assumes that everyone in your party deserves to have this power. I hope we remember that politicians, deservedly or not, are commonly known as scumbags. Even if they are only as scummy as the average person, they should still be vetted before we let them decide who can be married or if a tree’s only use is as a campaign flyer.

I know it’s unfair to expect busy Americans to take the time to familiarize themselves with each candidate. Wait, actually it’s not unfair at all. If you have time to read Buzzfeed, you have time to pull up Florida’s election information page. I just did. It took about 0.453 seconds.

Research candidates on your own. Learn what their policies are and how they might be different from their peers’. Please don’t select our leaders randomly or uncaringly. Respect a process that allows us freedoms almost unprecedented in world history. But, above all else, please just close your laptop, and go vote.

Spencer Pretecrum is a senior majoring in psychology and creative writing.

 

 

November 2, 2014

Reporters

Spencer Pretecrum


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Here is some impressive news for the University of Miami football program: All but one of the remain ...

Lonnie Walker IV stood out on and off the court at the NBA Draft Combine, which ended on Sunday in C ...

University of Miami incoming prep star Will Mallory, the other half of the soon-to-be No. 1 freshman ...

View photos as Miami Hurricanes Coach Jim Morris ends 41-year career on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at M ...

The sullen, charcoal sky opened with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field in Coral Gab ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Maintenance mechanic Milton Davis has kept UM housing humming for decades. ...

Sinead Lohan and Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned ITA Southeast R ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry and freshman Freddy Zamora were among those recognized by the At ...

Senior Jeb Bargfeldt was recognized as ACC Pitcher of the Week following a dominating performance ag ...

No. 7 seed Miami opens its run at the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 22 against No. 11 ...

Although 17th-year head coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews has made Sweet 16 appearances commonplace the jour ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.