President, Temple College Democrats
It was just over 20 months ago that Sen. Barack Obama announced his once considered long-shot candidacy for the White House. And yet, it is difficult to wrap my head around the fact that this day is finally here. Today, across the country, in small towns and large cities alike, Americans will cast their votes for who will lead our great nation in increasingly uncertain times.
Many of us Temple students were in elementary school or junior high when President George W. Bush first took office. In the past eight years, we have watched our government ignore the crises occurring in our environment, our schools and our healthcare system, choosing instead to send our friends and family members overseas to fight a war many of us don’t believe in, and saddle our generation with unprecedented debt. Most recently, we have seen our economy falter, the availability of student loans decrease and our job prospects disappear. I know that I, along with many other members of America’s youth, have spent most of my formative years feeling ignored and unrepresented by the current administration.
But today, on the ballot, we will finally be presented with a choice. We have the option to select Sen. John McCain, who has self-admittedly voted with this failed administration 90 percent of the time, or to select Obama, a man who is the embodiment of the American Dream, and knows that this country deserves better than the past eight years. So today is our day, as America’s youth, to stand up and vote for Obama, because it is our futures that are at stake.
An Obama-Biden administration will mean amazing things for students. Whether it’s an affordable college education, job creation, healthcare coverage or renewable energy, we know that with Obama, we will have the White House fighting on our side.
Obama knows that it is essential for America to invest in its students in order to secure the future of our nation. He will create the America Opportunity Tax Credit, which will provide students with $4,000 to finance their college educations, in return for completing 100 hours of public service a year. That’s $4,000 for you to ensure that you will be able to cross that stage after all your hard work, and 100 hours of service to further a cause you believe in.
And once your cross that stage? Obama will still be looking out for you. He will ensure you remain covered on your parents’ healthcare plan until you’re 25. This policy will lower the healthcare costs for new graduates entering the workforce. Not to mention that it will be a workforce supported by Obama, who will invest $5 million in green collar jobs. These jobs, part of Obama’s New Energy for America Plan, will put us on the track to energy independence and create and implement the technology to end our climate crisis to help save our planet.
Throughout this campaign, Obama has repeatedly said that the youth of America inspire him. We give him the most hope for the future of this nation. He has put a great deal of faith in us, and now it is time for us to put our faith in him. The naysayers and the pundits often repeat that students are “apathetic” and that we cannot be counted on to vote. I say they are wrong. But it is up to each and every one of you to prove it. In the words of our very own candidate, “We are the one’s we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” So go. Vote for Obama. And be the change.
Elizabeth Hanson is the president of Temple College Democrats.