NARDI: My Democratic pledge

 

 

Tom Nardi

It’s been quite a journey. The Pennsylvania primary is over. Villanova should be proud of itself.

We managed to bring both Michelle Obama and Chelsea Clinton on campus. John McCain came with the “Hardball” College Tour. And students are engaged on such a level that I wouldn’t recognize this college as the same place it was when I walked onto South Campus as a freshman in 2004.

Now we have a challenge in front of us. Barack Obama brought 30,000 people to Independence Mall for a 20-minute speech. All three of the Clintons were at the Palestra for three hours last Monday night.

Chelsea Clinton even showed up for Mass at my home parish last weekend. But the politicians are leaving for the next races in North Carolina and Indiana, and we need to figure out what to do back here.

Hillary Clinton supporters have said they’d never help get Obama elected. Obama supporters have said that they’d vote for McCain before Clinton.

There has been outright dismissal of down-ticket politicians. The pressure of this race has been so great that this political junkie simply wants it to stop.

So I apologize to my Republican readers that I am only talking about the Democratic race, but I feel this is important enough to donate space to.

I, as a Democrat, pledge to support whoever is the nominee of the Democratic party. I will campaign for the Democratic candidate, and I will vote for the Democratic candidate.

I say this because I fear there are students on campus who, while agreeing with basic Democratic tenets, will hold a grudge if their candidate loses. This election is too important for that to happen. Consider a few things the next president can do.

Both Democrats are dedicated to reforming our health care system. I believe Clinton’s plan is truly the more progressive, as it offers universal coverage for a smaller cost per capita.

But Obama will work for health care reform as well. Compare that to McCain’s “market-based” non-solution, and I’ll take either of the Democrats any day.

Both Democrats are dedicated to withdrawing American forces from Iraq. They both recognize that while our forces remain in the country, the Iraqi government will never complete adequate political reconciliation. Clinton may have voted to authorize the war, but she’s on the right side now. Compare this to McCain, who would keep our troops in Iraq for 100 years with no preconditions for the Iraqi government.

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is 88 years old. Speaking honestly, I am surprised he can deal with the workload of the Supreme Court at his age. That, and he’s dodged the rat-poison-flavored crème brûlée of Ann Coulter.

Most presidents get to nominate at least one Supreme Court justice during their tenure in office, and with Justice Stevens the most likely to leave to court in the next four years, it is important to me that he be replaced with another liberal voice.

If McCain is elected president, he has assured us he will nominate more conservative justices like John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He has also told us that he thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

On the other hand, both Clinton and Obama voted against confirming Roberts and Alito. And you’d be hard pressed to find a person who thinks either of the Democrats is not committed to protecting reproductive rights.

On issue after issue, Clinton and Obama turn out to be nearly identical.

And both are clearly distinct from – and in this writer’s opinion, a better option than – McCain.

Villanova Democrats should not squander the progress they have made recently by holding grudges against their primary opponents. Leaders from Villanovans for Hillary, Students for Barack Obama and College Democrats should all sit down together and figure out their general election strategy. This election is too important to squander.

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Tom Nardi is a senior political science major from Philadelphia, Pa. He can be reached at [email protected]