Opinion

EDITORIAl An eerie silence

Our campus seems to have shut down this past week. After all the positive stress, adrenaline rushes and excitement from debate week, everything else in the University seems boring in comparison – even if it’s not. Regrettably, UM now appears sleepy and empty.

As much as the University has been promoting political involvement on campus, interest in politics appears to have vanished in our post-debate universe. We have forgotten that our debate was the first of three presidential encounters, plus a fourth vice-presidential showdown. We may have eagerly watched these debates, as we mentioned last week, but there was little long-term buzz on campus surrounding them.

The debate we hosted was – or should have been – the beginning of a stimulating last month of campaigning. Instead, it feels like it was the end of it. We’re almost back to our apolitical South Beach-and-football existence.

Granted, we needed time to rest after the debate partying and to catch up on the class work missed while attending debate events, but this is not an excuse for losing the energy on our campus. Where have the College Republicans and Democrats been these past few days? Besides some members handing out a few buttons and bumper stickers, and the Council for Democracy selling “Voters are Sexy” T-shirts, the UC Breezeway was ominously vacant last week. This is uncharacteristic for any moment of the school year, but it’s particularly shocking after the Breezeway had been the main hub of activity during the debate.

Election season is not over yet. The presidential race is tighter than ever, particularly in unpredictable swing states like Florida. Rather than shy away from politics, we should be intently following the news and the campaigns until Nov. 2. Furthermore, we should be getting informed about the important (and often overlooked) races for the Senate and House, as well as the issues that will also be on the ballot on Election Day.

Elections drive a democracy. We are privileged to have a democracy where the system generally works quite smoothly, where we trust our institutions and where we can make informed decisions about whom we elect to office. In other countries, citizens must stand in lines in the sweltering heat for four or eight hours in order to vote, only to find that there was corruption in the election, and often to lose their democracy to a less-than-democratic ruler. Just this Saturday, Afghanistan held its first presidential election amid rumors of fraud when 14 of the 15 opposition candidates withdrew from the ballot in the middle of Election Day.

We take our relatively well-functioning system for granted, and we do a disservice to our democracy by tuning out of politics in these last crucial weeks before the election. We must keep up the momentum we gained by hosting the first presidential debate. What a better way to start than by voting in the Student Government Senate elections this week?

October 12, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Is there an apt comparison for this year’s American League Championship series between the Boston Re ...

If the University of Miami defense isn’t boiling with frustration by now, it must be simmering in an ...

Miami Hurricanes redshirt senior Gerald Willis was the lone UM football player chosen for the Associ ...

A new batch of evidence presented Monday at the college basketball trial in New York seems to furthe ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that globalization and technolo ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

Dr. Ralph Sacco, a top neurologist and researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medici ...

U.S. Congresswoman and Chairman Emerita of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Ileana Ros-Lehtine ...

Nearly 400 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service da ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

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.