Disappointment in Election Coverage

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So what happened to the Villanovan since I left? Not that it didn’t have it’s leftist swing during my years at ‘Nova, but in the 15 short months since my departure, that leftist swing has become a definitive failure both to expose balanced news and opinions and to shed any light on the mission of Villanova, the name of which it so proudly uses.

Take for instance last week’s issue – an article advocating the legalization of gay marriage, positing the absurd claim that banning gay marriage is a violation of the First Amendment freedom of religion, and failing to accurately portray the position of the Church, an editorial “not quite suggesting . . . that you stay home on election night,” an article highlighting the past sins of a born-again President Bush, and a desperate attempt to prove a lie even Dan Rather couldn’t pass as truth.

Yes, the Church consistently reaffirms that every person has inherent dignity, but no, the Church has not and does not advocate the abandonment of traditional marriage. Yes, this year’s candidates have shortfalls, but one of them will be President come January. Let’s debate real issues, prioritizes those issues, and vote. Yes, President Bush has a shady past, but he makes no effort to hide that past. He is a different man today. And yes, we’ve all heard enough lies and distortions about the military service of Bush and Kerry. Let’s talk about character, integrity, leadership, and yes, even faith.

You have a unique opportunity. Citizens of so many states will exercise a right so precious on November 2nd. Their votes matter and the exercise of that right is not only a privilege, but a responsibility. But these voters will not swing this election. Pennsylvania voters will. As at least temporary residents of Villanova, PA, you all have the chance to influence this election (whether you’re voting in PA or voting absentee and simply campaigning, discussing, or publishing information in PA).

That opportunity should not be abused by encouraging apathy, pushing ridiculous propaganda, and misrepresenting the tenets of the Church. Yes, believe it or not, Villanova is still a Roman Catholic University. Its paper should certainly allow for academic discourse and informed debate, but it should also present truth and balanced information inspired by and informative of the mission of Villanova. I’m disappointed, but hopeful that the Villanovan will really represent what Villanova stands for – faith, scholarship, social justice, including the right to life, and responsible stewardship.

Johanna Mihok, Class of 2003