Monthly Archives: September 2007

American Politics or American Idols?

Rick Derringer sings: “I’m a real American. Fight for the rights of every man. I am a real American. Fight for your life, fight for what’s right.” The bronzed Viking in yellow underwear and remnants of freshly torn t-shirt dangling off his oiled person busts onto the stage.

And…

Celine Dion sings: “High above the mountains or across the sea, I can hear your voice calling out to me…” The mid-western suburban girl turned Manhattanite in yellow Donna Karan suit and a string of white pearls busts onto the stage.

I see some similarities here- do you?

The theme song is essential in the world of wrestling. There is no room for subtleties. An excessively buff man in tights is walking down the isle and will shortly be tussling to and fro, in and around, a ring with another excessively buff man in underwear. There is little to no time to get to know the individuals or explain why they’re fighting, so the theme song tells the world who we’re dealing with.

But in the realm of politics, I’m not sure if this is necessary. Obviously candidates would like to reach as many voters as possible, including the younger generation, so they need to reach us on our level. But to put it frankly, this is not how we get down Hillary. It seems like whenever the youth are involved, there is a tendency to dumb things down, or to put it politely, over simplify. But my opinion is that young people can understand a lot more than we sometimes get credit for.

But then again I could be wrong about this whole thing. I mean theme songs can be a source of great motivation. Just take the theme song from the movie “Rocky” for example. I mean who doesn’t get a burst of inspiration immediately upon hearing “The Eye of the Tiger”? That song hits you like a jolt of caffeine, right?

Historically, political movements have been able to find meaning amongst the youth of the day without over simplifying the issues. Student activism has been gained effectively not with the employment of trends and gimmicks, but by explaining to young people why the political implications of a certain issue are important to them and how their inactivity could result in their demise. For example the anti-Vietnam War movement included many young people who knew that they could play a role in the contribution or elimination of the war. During the civil rights movement, leaders depended on young people to help guide their efforts and spread their message.

It’s important that young people are involved in the political processes of the country they will one day soon, inherit. Our political involvement should not be limited to the picking of theme songs for the campaigns of candidates.

Senator Clinton’s strategic move to ask young voters to help her choose the right theme song to embody the inspirations of her campaign has caused much whispering and whoa-ing within the political arena. Will it bring her enough votes to allow her to leave the political ring with the presidential belt fastened snuggly around her waist?

Ultimately, it will just be chalked up to the newest fad in advertising to young voters, but certainly not the last one.

-Jordan Monroe

Young Republicans

If I were to ask you to picture a Republican in your mind, what would you see? Do you see a mid to older aged white male in a dark suit demanding tax cuts for the rich and less government intervention in the economy? I have often viewed Republicans as being out of touch with the needs of the youth. This may not be so. There are a number of youth who identify with the Republican agenda. That’s right. After careful nurturing and direction from their forefathers, the new generation of young Republicans has emerged.

Even though college campuses are known for being a nesting ground for liberal thought and activism, conservatives have maintained a steady and dominant presence on many campuses across the country since the 1970’s. What has enabled right wing politics to thrive in such a liberal setting?

One of the main reasons Republicans have had such success on college campuses is the parties deep monetary wells that can be tapped into to fund the cost of recruiting, training and employing college students.

But let’s go a little deeper. It’s easy to see what’s on the surface, but what lies within? Historically the process of brainwashing the youth of America to adapt and carry on the ideals of the past generations has been excessively implemented. This is what has allowed ideals such as racism, classicism and sexism to endure in this society. To what extent does this play a role today?

An educational phenomena is been taking place. I may be naïve, but I have always believed that we seek higher education to nourish our intellect and by doing so will be able to contribute to society. However, these days, and I’ve heard it from students and teachers alike, people are going to school for the money. That is, for the financial benefits that goes along with being educated. We all know people who choose a major based solely on the fact that “that’s where the money is.” It seems as if becoming more intelligent is merely a bi-product of education. This may explain why the economically inclined Republican Party can attract young students who aspire for “success”.

-Jordan Monroe