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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Voters reclaim their right to optimism in 2008

<rlier this week, we sat in separate cars, facing bumper to bumper to traffic for almost an hour, to travel less than five miles to the Northfield Middle School. Why take nearly three hours out of a busy night? In order to participate in Super Tuesday’s Minnesota Democratic caucus.

The crowds did not thin upon arrival at the voting site. Carleton students should be proud—the Northfield District voting line boasted a half hour wait because so many turned out to caucus. Though the crowds were difficult to navigate, it was inspiring to see so many members of our community making the effort to support a presidential candidate. Regardless of political preference, the simple expression of commitment to the democratic system is an important step in improving the political atmosphere of the United States.

While we each support a different Democratic candidate, we recognize the value in each of the three leading Presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama.

The election has shown that this country has the capacity to defy expectations. Historically, voter turnout in the United States has been one of the lowest in the world. Within the Democratic race, voter turnout in this election is almost twice that of previous years.

Recently, the political tone has been pessimistic. Today, this country is still engaged in the Iraq War and faces the threat of economic recession under the Bush Administration. As a result, it is difficult to feel hopeful about this country’s future.

However, the 2008 Presidential race has shown that U.S. voters understand a pressing need for change. Maybe the current administration, though detrimental to foreign and domestic policy on many levels, has inspired the nation to actively participate in the democratic system.

Personally, we hope for a Democratic victory because we feel this is a crucial step in “undoing what has been done.” In light of the last eight years—a time that many regard as a tumultuous and flawed period of political administration—this country can and should look forward to the potential optimism that a new executive administration can offer. Ultimately, we believe that any change is an improvement.

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