I'm sitting on my floor watching the last presidential debate for the 2008 election. I really don't know what to think about all this. I was barely too young to vote in the last presidential election, and am very excited to be able to vote in this one. When I turned 18, my Grandma sent me a card with a check and a note saying "happy birthday, now VOTE!" I have always felt a responsibility to vote, following the example of my parents and other adults I respect. I have always taken it for granted that I would vote in every election that takes place from the time I turned of age until the time I die.
However, I also feel unqualified to vote. I felt much more informed about the political system and the race when I was still in a high school government class. Now that I have to educate myself on political issues and candidates, I feel caught in a whirlwind of slogans and soundbites that tell me nothing about what each candidate will actually do when in office. I'm taping this debate so I can watch it again, hopefully with a fresh perspective. I want so badly to gain some better understanding from these debates, but my hopes are not very high.
If it were up to me to organize a debate, I would seek out some of the smartest, most respected professors in the country, let them listen to what the candidates say, and then translate it into plain English, putting it into a historical and global context. That would be great, but I realize perhaps a bit too much to ask for. Whatever the result, I hope every college student votes, being as informed as possible.