Kerry rally ignores students

It seems likely the presidential election will again ignore students.

If presumptive Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s rally last week proved anything, it proved he wants the veteran vote. Holding the rally two days before the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Kerry had a slew of veterans and old war buddies as supporters, including former Georgia Senator Max Cleland. Unfortunately, the veteran message has little impact among university students.

Kerry’s rally did not give a clear reason why college students, in particular, should vote for him. Despite being in the heart of campus, Kerry’s attention to student issues lasted half a sentence. Kerry did not once mention his innovative “Service for College” plan.

This board endorsed Kerry’s “Service for College” plan, and it is worth mentioning again. The program would remedy many problems by offering tuition to students in exchange for service to communities in need, at the same time making banks compete, ensuring the lowest possible interest rates on college loans. It was a shame Kerry did not take the time to inform University students that the plan exists.

The event focused on Kerry’s record as a veteran and supporting veterans, which is solid compared to President George W. Bush’s suspicious armed service record and penchant for cutting veteran’s benefits.

It seems likely the presidential election will again ignore young people and students, courting instead soccer moms, NASCAR dads, veterans and other groups.

Political conventional wisdom says politicians do not seek the youth vote because young people do not, in fact, vote. Perhaps this analysis has it backwards – many youth might not vote because politicians give them no reason to. But students must still fulfill their civic responsibility.

There are many important issues affecting young people, both now and in the future, even if politicians fail to properly discuss them.