WWE tag team debate

An unprecedented event took place when Mick Foley and John “Bradshaw” Layfield entered the wrestling rink – except with no rink, no metal chairs, and no drop kicks. There was only friendly banter and respectful criticism on political issues. The tag teams consisted of UM students Tiffany Yelder and Alex Acosta, as well as State Rep. Marcelo Llorente and State Sen. Dave Aronberg. Instead of the typical WWE body slamming competition, each team debated the political, economic and social issues concerning voters between the ages of 18 and 30.

The issues:
The economy, Iraq and financial aid.

Round 1:
Mick Foley was paired with UM debate student Tiffany Yelder against John “Bradshaw” Layfield and UM debate student Alex Acosta as Democrats vs. Republicans.
Bradshaw and Acosta gave statistics like “The [Bush] administration has created 1.7 million jobs” and “The Democratic Party has given us a guy who’s invented the Internet and a guy who’s invented Flip Flops.” The Democrat team could not respond to these attacks and Yelder’s stumble on mathematical calculations of federal funding by Bush cost them the round. Republicans drew first blood.

Round 2:
State Sen. Aronberg accompanied Foley and Yelder and State Rep. Llorente joined Bradshaw and Acosta. Neither side won this round, due to equally shady and poor responses to questions.

Round 3:
Phrases like “we have a suck it Presidency” by Mick Foley and “when Bush finds himself in a bigger hole, he buys a bigger shovel,” by Aronberg enabled the Democrats to recover from Round 1’s defeat.

Audience Decision:
“Both sides did a great job, but I would pick the Democrats even though that’s a little biased,” Daniela Recabarren, junior, said.
“Both sides were really interesting,” Emerson Davis, freshman, said. “I don’t necessarily watch WWE but I think a lot of people tonight were encouraged to vote.”

Final Decision:
The winner is…the voters.
The demographic of voters between 18 and 30 is the crucial swing vote that may decide the winner of the presidency. According to the 2000 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, only 36 percent of the 64 million people between 18 and 34 years old voted in that year’s election. Furthermore, it has been reported that a narrow gap of 544,000 votes determined the 2000 Presidency. Many feel that the same could occur in this upcoming election. This explains why there is a surge of political climax by youth groups and celebrities to position young voters on the political offense. The ability of such programs like the WWE Smackdown Your Vote, MTV’s Choose or Lose, Rock the Vote and Sean “P.Diddy” Combs’ Vote or Die to enlist voters could make the difference in November.

Myriam Clerge can be contacted at m.clerge@umiami.edu.