I would greatly appreciate it if you published this letter.
Your fellow classmates may not realize it, but they may have the power to determine the results of this presidential election.
In the 2004 election, there are about a dozen states that pollsters have declared “too close to call”. The 537-vote margin of victory in Florida in the 2000 election is evidence that every vote does count. In 2004, the election may be determined by the 18-24 year old vote, the group that traditionally has the lowest voter turnout in elections, but also has the most at stake in the results of an election. And Pennsylvania may turn out to be the deciding state in this election.
My advice to your classmates is this. If you have not already done so, register to vote, now. If you come from out of state (especially if it is not a battleground state), make sure you register to vote using your college address. By registering and voting in a battleground state, your vote is actually more important than it would be at home. Your vote can help sway all of the electoral votes of the state to one of the two candidates.
I plan to vote for Senator John Kerry and urge you to do likewise. I have met Mr. Kerry a dozen times, and he is a thoughtful, intelligent man, who deeply loves his country. There is no doubt that John Kerry, as president will defend us from threats, both domestic and abroad, while defending our rights as American citizens.
I am troubled by the war in Iraq, a war that we were told was begun because of the clear and present danger that Iraq posed to us, because of their possession of weapons of mass destruction and their ties to terrorist organizations. We were even told that the US knew exactly where these weapons were. Well, more than a year later, we have found no weapons of mass destruction, nor have we found evidence of any links between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. I am troubled by the corruption in our current administration, in that it allows vice-president Dick Cheney to continue to make millions of dollars in profit because his former company, Halliburton, receives billions of dollars of no-bid contracts from the government. I am also troubled, as I have seen George Bush and Dick Cheney dismantle much of the environmental protection that both republicans and democrats have constructed over the past fifty years. John Kerry, on the other hand, has worked tirelessly for nearly 20 years to protect our air, water, and natural resources. He knows that our economy, environment, and quality of life cannot and should not be sacrificed for the sake of some corporate polluter.
If you can find time in your schedules, I urge you to volunteer for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. They are looking for anyone who can put in a few hours here and there. If you can’t volunteer, you can still make sure that you vote. Don’t let any papers or projects or tests get in the way of your constitutional right to determine who will lead this country. Remember, if only 538 more college students in Florida had voted for Al Gore in 2000, there would be no Patriot Act, we would not have the largest deficits in history, and we would not have lost over 1,000 men and women in a needless war in Iraq. This year, fewer than that could make the difference in Pennsylvania.
Boston College ’86
Pittsfield, MA (413) 499-5961