Daily wrong to just portray GOP as running unethical campaign

In Wednesday’s editorial about the Center for Ethics in Public Life, the Daily called out members of the Republican presidential ticket for their ethical lapses (The moral imperative, 09/17/2008). Not surprisingly, the editorial neglected to mention the opposing ticket’s lapses. I can play the same game as the Daily, though.

Remember when Barack Obama said that John McCain wanted to wage war in Iraq for 100 years? It turns out that this statement was taken out of context in order to misrepresent McCain’s meaning and scare voters. That sounds pretty close to a flat-out lie to me, even if it’s a lie that Democratic partisans would like voters to believe.

This is a contentious election, and the discourse has been ugly on both sides. Of course, candidates will continue to call for a focus on the “big issues,” but they’ll be producing negative ads while they do so. Political views are too closely linked to a person’s identity for any campaign to remain completely clean. It doesn’t take much to start the process; a Republican claims that someone’s opposition to the war in Iraq is unpatriotic, or a Democrat claims that someone’s support of the war in Iraq makes that person a warmonger. And the sparks fly.

I would encourage the Daily to stop pretending that this political bile is exclusively the product of one party.

Mike Saltsman

With higher education becoming unaffordable, Obama has answers

Matt Aaronson’s article Wednesday about the struggling college loan market highlighted a brutal reality for many college students (As lenders shy away, ‘U’ students still finding loans, 09/17/08). Over the past five years, the cost of college has risen more than 35 percent across the country. The recent crises in the private lending sector have only augmented this problem.

Barack Obama supports policies that will allow more students to be able to afford college. Unlike John McCain, Obama favors increased funding for Pell Grants and wants to streamline the student loan process. In fact, his first act as a U.S. senator was to introduce legislation to increase the maximum Pell Grant allowance.

This type of policy is an investment in our future. Higher education not only benefits the individual (college graduates earn, on average, 61 percent more than those with only high school diplomas), but also strengthens the economy and the community in which everyone lives. Those of us who attend the University understand this and are fortunate enough to have this opportunity. But many Americans can’t attend college without financial help.

Funding our education is funding our future — if nothing else inspires the student electorate, the high cost of education should. Take it personally, and take action.

Dana Cronyn
LSA junior

Democracy may not be the answer, but violence never will be

In response to Thursday’s column about why democracy is not the form of government Pakistan needs (Democracy is overrated, 09/18/08), I am sickened at Ibrahim Kakwan’s savage disregard for the sanctity of human life. According to his column, Kakwan was “relieved” and “happy” when former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto died.

What kind of human being is he?

I don’t care what Kakwan’s feelings are about the appropriateness of democracy in Pakistan. And I don’t care that he believes a dictator is a better leader for Pakistan than a democratically elected president or that he overstated claims about Bhutto’s corruption charges (fact check: former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf withdrew his charges against her in 2007). What was more upsetting to me (and, I’m certain to many other students on campus) was how Kakwan praised the assassination of Bhutto as something that made him “happy.”

Democracy, as a governmental structure and ideology, may not always function effectively in certain countries. But no matter how much one disagrees with a doctrine or idea, violence is never an appropriate means of expressing disapproval.

Kakwan should be ashamed of himself.

Ari Parritz
Public Policy junior

Republicans, not Granholm, are to blame for Mich. economy

Last Monday, the Daily reported that Saul Anuzis, the chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, attacked Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s handling of the Michigan economy (GOP aims to tie Obama to economic woes in Mich., 09/15/2008). In reality, the state of Michigan’s economy is a result of failed Republican policies and a failed economic ideology that has sunk our financial markets, sent jobs overseas and hurt middle-class Americans.

Granholm understands our economic problems, while John McCain believes, “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” This false belief in the strength of the economy has been exemplified by the federal buyout of American International Group and the general collapse of America’s financial sector.

Granholm has a bright vision for the future, which embodies the notion of putting people first, as opposed to padding the pocketbooks of big business and their corporate lobbyists. Her plan for Michigan’s economy focuses on creating green-collar jobs, where the now-dormant auto factories used to be.

Granholm realizes that reverting back to the political blame game will only delay the movement toward change and the revitalization of Michigan’s economy.

Ashley Harrison, Amy Parlapiano, Brian Hurd and Nathaniel Eli Coats Styer
The letter writers are members of the University’s chapter of the College Democrats.

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