Primarily Conflicted


February 5, 2008

The presidential primaries have finally fallen upon my state, and I’m still as conflicted as I was the first day I started reading about the candidates. As a vegetarian and a concerned environmentalist, it should be plain as day that I vote for Kucinich (that is before he decided to drop out of the race in late January). But as a seeker of equality to all, I surely must vote for either Hillary (because she’s a woman), or Obama (because he’s African-American).

Deciding which factors to consider when choosing a candidate is the trickiest part of all. There are so many issues, it’s necessary to prioritize.

I figure if the ice caps are really melting at the rate that scientists are saying (or as recent studies suggest, even faster) I should probably consider a candidate’s stance on global warming and his or her emissions reduction plan as a top priority. Because hey, if we’re all starving and dying from weird weather effects, nothing else matters anyway, right? Social hierarchy will revert back to our early beginnings: who’s got food, water, and shelter.

However, if the greenest Democrat prevails in the primary, only to get defeated by the Republican candidate, who nine times out of 10 will have a weaker stance on global warming strategies than the weakest of Democrats, then haven’t I just failed myself and the earth?

Voting for the best viable option is, of course, less than inspiring. And because of this, I fight apathy tooth-and-nail, arguing for the best option, and for not compromising my principles; however, in the end, reality comes back knocking on my door.   

So, like many people, I am still conflicted on the day of Super Tuesday. Can the majority of Americans, or more importantly the electoral majority, rise above prejudices to vote for real change, and will the best candidate live up to the task of fixing the big problems that face the United States and the world?

I sure vote so.   

—Gabrielle Harradine, editorial assistant