Elections 2012: Who’s looking out for students?

Who deserves the youth vote? The predominant concerns of young voters often differ from the rest of the electorate. Older voters are primarily concerned with economic issues, such as unemployment, the depletion of Social Security funds and the budget deficit. Most presidential contenders emphasize fixing these problems.

Rita Yeung | Daily Trojan


Though economic issues should continue to be part of the national conversation, not enough attention is brought to fundamental issues that must be fixed to guarantee a persistently positive future for the United States.

The gradual erosion of individual liberties and the increasingly costly and dangerous system of American imperialism have only worsened since President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Young people — especially college students, whose education will make them the leaders of the future — will inherit the problems created and left unaddressed by today’s leaders. It is thus in students’ best interest to boldly advocate whoever will make America better in the long run. In the upcoming election, the ideal candidate, in this respect, is Rep. Ron Paul.

The tides of political sentiment are already turning, as evidenced by a surge of support for Paul and his libertarian, anti-war philosophy. In last week’s Iowa caucuses, for example, third-finishing Paul won the most votes in the 18- to 29-year-old age bracket.

Still, Paul has been dismissed by many as nothing more than a senile ex-obstetrician.

Criticism aside, there are undeniable upsides to adopting his philosophy of making liberty a top priority.

Today’s college students have grown up in a world of dire economic straits, hatred and war. We have been taught that we must cede our rights of due process in order for the corrupt to be swiftly caught.

For example, there has been widespread uproar regarding the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Signed at the end of last year, sections 1021 and 1022 of the act allow for the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, including American citizens, without charge.

We need a president who will directly address these issues. Obama has only propelled these threats further by such actions as signing the NDAA. Among the GOP presidential candidates, it seems that only Paul has been outspoken regarding such threats as these.

College students must begin to bring their concerns to the public’s attention. We can spark debate that could lead to more serious change in the future.

Paul has lauded the excitement for the cause of liberty on college campuses nationwide.

Young voters should not be afraid to stand up for what they believe in, despite questions of electability. What really matters is making our voices heard. Hopefully, we will be in a position to turn things around in the future.


Sarah Cueva is a sophomore majoring in Middle East studies and religion. Point/Counterpoint runs Fridays.


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