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October 29, 2004

Candidates Need To Answer THE Question

Derek Shackelford

Earlier this week the Democratic Party candidate for President, Senator John Kerry, made most front page newspapers and led newscasts by appearing with former President Bill Clinton.

The joint campaign appearance took place in Pennsylvania. Most political analysts believed this appearance was to appeal to mostly African American voters. Mr. Clinton is still held in high regard in the African American community according to the pundits. And, according to the analysis after the appearance, many believed this could do nothing but enhance Senator Kerry's appeal to the black community.

Recently the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies polling showed that current President Bush has doubled his percentage among African American voters since 2000. The data showed President Bush with 18% of the vote up from 9% in the 2000 election. Most of the national polling has the President ahead anywhere from 2 to 6% points.

I know that most campaigns do scientific polling to analyze their candidate' s chances. One question that needs to be asked is who does this polling? In all my years as a registered voter, I have never been polled in any election cycle. Furthermore to my knowledge neither have any of my acquaintances.

This does not mean that polling does not exist, because the world is definitely larger than my circle of friends. By the same token I would beg to ask, who do these pollsters questions in reference to the vote tabulation?

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies attributed President Bush's gain among African Americans to his stance on gay marriages and abortion rights. It is definitely nice to see that African Americans cannot be placed in a box and not been seen as monolithic people.

I think African Americans need to have representation in all political parties. It has been thought for years that the Republican Party does not care about the interest of African Americans and that the Democratic Party takes their votes for granted.

This election cycle is crucial and will determine the future path of this nation. America's youth has registered in record numbers and young people will definitely have a say in this election.

I would just request that anyone who votes, please do not play into the politics of fear being perpetrated by the candidates. Maybe it is the young people of this country who are asking the difficult questions and wanting straight answers.

Yes, there is a war in Iraq, but the question that young people have asked and neither candidate has given a straight answer to is, who is going to pay for it? And where is the money going to come from?

Neither President Bush, nor Senator Kerry has given an answer. Maybe that is why both candidates think Pennsylvania is so relevant in this race.

Somewhere in the background I can hear Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes singing "Wake up everybody that is sleeping in bed." This is definitely a song the older generation needs to listen to once more.

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