MYERS:Take up and vote!

Charles Myers

Note from the editor: Charles Myers is the president of Villanova College Democrats.

Villanova has come a long way. When I was a freshman and the 2006 mid-term elections were upon us, a national media crew descended upon the Oreo on election day and left with a video that embarrassingly revealed a large number of Villanovans who had no idea what the election was about, why they should vote or, in one case, even who the student had voted for. As a politically active individual, I was horrified.

So, as the campus has gradually awakened, that horror has begun to abate. From the infamous Ron Paul chalking last year (really, you couldn’t find a hypocrite who wasn’t tied to white nationalism and hypocrisy on earmarks?) to the numerous Students for Obama and Students for Hillary chalkings that took over campus during the primary season to Chelsea Clinton and Michelle Obama visiting campus … quite an improvement over 2004 when we only merited one of Kerry’s kids.

This awakening has not been without its little road bumps. Last year o saw Rep. Sestak held a question-and-answer session in the East Lounge of Dougherty Hall, where he fielded tough questions about national security, education and the rising national debt from an array of students widely dispersed throughout the political spectrum.

Then, toward the end of the semester, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) came to our campus to answer questions about his book “Taking the Hill,” the war in Iraq and the Administration’s position on torture.

Like Sestak, it took not-so-subtle cues from Murphy’s staff to get him to leave in spite of the smaller than expected crowd.

In spite of all of these activities, many students remain unengaged in political life – choosing instead, and quite admirably, to spend their time attempting to advance causes without really engaging in the political process.

Two popular excuses heard from Stanford Hall on South Campus to St. Mary’s Hall on West are “In politics, everyone is so mean” and “They’re all corrupt, so I don’t want to vote.” No one should use either of these as an excuse. If everyone is mean in politics, then it is because being mean is something that leads to electoral success.

Wouldn’t it then logically follow that in your actions you should reward basic kindness in the political discourse? Similarly, if all politicians are corrupt, then would it not also logically follow that we should look for politicians who are not corrupt and throw our support behind them?

Fortunately, there are two such candidates running for the House of Representatives in the Villanova area who fit both criteria.

The first is Sestak, who somehow kept his cool last cycle when his opponent attacked him for daring to get his cancer-stricken daughter the best medical care available.

In the Congress, he has made helping small business owners a priority while seeking responsible policies in education and the international arena. If you live on campus, please vote for him.

The second candidate, Bob Roggio, is a political newcomer. A former small-businessman, decided to challenge an incumbent, who took more money from Political Action Committees than he did from donors and who last election cycle had his campaign attack the candidate he ran against for being anti-Semitic. Apparently being married to a Jewish woman doesn’t automatically rebut that attack.

If you are registered to vote in Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, please consider giving him your vote and some of your time on Election Day. We’ve come so far, but we’ve a long road yet ahead. Villanovans: Get out, get engaged and go vote.


Charles Myers is a junior political science, history and philosophy triple major from Elkins Park, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected].