The candidates reach out to students

The array of candidates race for the White House with only a year left before the election. Several have dropped out but only one can last. Photo courtesy of Owntheworld.com

The array of candidates race for the White House with only a year left before the election. Several have dropped out but only one can last. Photo courtesy of Owntheworld.com

The dawn of 2012 brings with it much excitement. Among the many events on the horizon, students should pay close attention to the upcoming election in November. It is vital that these new American voters participate and educate themselves before they elect our 2012 President.

According to the Constitution, any person who holds citizenship and is above the age of eighteen is eligible to vote in a presidential election. Leesville will be home to roughly five hundred new voters by November.

“It will be a new experience for me,” said Michael Meli, senior. “I recently received my citizenship, and I got it just in time for me to use it to vote.”

Some key issues that these new voters should pay close attention to are the candidates’ plans for creating jobs, certain taxes, gas prices, military actions and education alterations.

Before the election begins, students must register as a Democrat, Republican or a third party supporter.

The Democratic Party will nominate current President Barack Obama to go head-to-head with the winner of the Republican Party’s nominee. In recent months, several Republican candidates have dropped out of the Presidential race. The six survivors include: Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry.

According to Gallup.com, Mitt Romney currently leads the Republican race boasting an impressive thirty-one percent. The former Governor has promised free enterprise for business to indirectly create jobs with the expansion of big business. To combat the growing energy needs, Romney plans to continue development of American fossil fuel reserves and increase funding of nuclear energy.

Santorum, Gingrich and Paul fall behind Romney with about fifteen percent each.

Preceding the Iowa caucus, Santorum nearly visited every single county in Iowa and came in second place. The former Senator hopes to restore educational freedom to students’ parents, respond to Iran’s nuclear development and introduce “simpler taxes” to businesses.

Gingrich has been plummeting in the polls ever since he surged to thirty-seven percent. In his race for the White House, the former Speaker of the House plans to freeze taxes at a flat rate and give the truth of national security to Americans. Most interestingly, Gingrich wants to support home school students, implement no limits to charter schools and welcome experienced/retired businessmen to teach instead of college graduates.

Paul, a slowly rising candidate in the polls, continues to stay strong although his campaigns has seen few major surges. He holds some different views including: freedom to choose union membership and remove restrictions on drilling. Paul believes Americans should not be forced into supporting a labor union. He trusts that fewer drilling restrictions would create jobs and help tap into oil reserves.

To President Obama’s advantage, the Republican nomination process has proved to be like a game of Spin the Bottle.

America has witnessed what Obama’s administration is capable of. In his first term, Obama has eliminated Osama Bin Laden, repealed “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and reformed health-care and the college loan system.

His campaign promises a continued effort to fight economic decline, further support of African American job production (currently seventeen percent are unemployed) and a growth of financial aid to students in need of tuition money.

“Obama looks to be the stronger candidate because of the uncertainty on the Republican side of the equation,” said Federico Menozzi, senior. “However, the Republicans are not done in yet. Their numbers could surge past Obama due to his failure to bring us out of this recession.”

Other parties, such as the Independent party, Green party and Libertarian party, also have the potential to attract Leesville’s students.

“I particularly believe in the Tea Party,” said Menozzi. “They have a solid foundation of ideas that might be able to restore America to its glory days.”

Now the time has come for students to participate in the old American tradition of voting. Through their high school career, they have read and learned about the importance of the Presidential election. Who knows? Maybe they could be the deciding factor for this battle.


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