Hi-Line endorses Obama for presidency

By Vincent Stigliani 2010

Next Tuesday’s election is undoubtedly the most important in decades.

Each election year you have one issue that both candidates vow to solve, be it on foreign policy, the economy or corruption to name a few. But this year is different — the next president must handle all of these issues at once.

The next president will have to deal with the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, developing more stable, permanent and environmentally friendly forms of energy and securing our boarders while dealing with the millions of undocumented immigrants already here.

This president will inherit an $11 trillion debt, multiple seemingly unsolvable conflicts in the Middle-East and a plethora of other troubles that have been growing for years and are finally exploding.

Most of all, the next president must restore every single American’s faith in our government and restore our respect on an international level. The staff of the Tiger Hi-Line has recognized this importance and endorsed a candidate for president.

The staff acknowledges the divisiveness of this election and has attempted to look beyond partisanship in this endorsement using the fairest way possible.

Last week, Hi-Line adviser Brian Winkel collected 15 of the biggest, most pertinent issues of the election. These were issues on which Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain have dissimilar positions. These issues and each candidate’s positions on them were gathered from the non-partisan, non-profit website ProCon.org, which is devoted to creating informed citizens by showing all sides of many controversial issues.

Last week in class, Winkel stated each issue, and then read each candidate’s positions as they were expressed in the direct quotes on the procon website. As he read them, the quotes were not attributed to either candidate, and anything that would clearly reveal who said each quote (references to party, names, etc.) were removed.

The editors simply picked quote one or quote two, whichever best matched his or her view of each issue. Winkel had randomly mixed up the order of each candidate’s quotes so it was not possible to follow a pattern from either candidate. In the end, the votes for each issue were tallied.

Although the staff was split on multiple issues, the Tiger Hi-Line is endorsing Obama for president after a majority of the staff agreed with him on 12 of the 15 issues. The views expressed herein are not the views of the school, district or Hi-Line staff writers. They are just the views of the Hi-Line editors.

We acknowledge that Sen. McCain’s policy on Iraq is different than that of President Bush’s, for, although he supported the original decision to enter, he had been pushing for more troops long before the surge was implanted and continues to do so.

However, we also feel that Obama’s leadership showed correct judgment even while the support for the war was at it’s peak. We believe that McCain’s policies of increased troop presence and military force are solely bandaging the problem, while Obama’s pushes for more diplomacy and a multi-nation effort will help solve the problems at their cores.
On the home front, we feel that Obama’s tax policy is in the best interest of our country as a whole. We do not believe that lower taxes for the wealthiest American’s is the best way to respond to the $11 trillion debt nor is it helpful in improving vastly under-funded programs that are vital to our country’s well-being.

Obama’s plan will give much-needed economic relief to middle- and low-income families in the form of tax breaks, while at the same time repealing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest American’s who do not need this extra capital as much. This is vital to providing help in these tough economic times while at the same time stopping us from digging ourselves deeper into debt.

We as a staff believe that healthcare, like safe neighborhoods and a basic education, should be a right of every single American. The United States is the most developed country in the world, yet even less developed countries provide this as a right for every citizen. We recognize that buying healthcare is not a feasible option for everyone and feel that Obama’s plan is the most realistic in ensuring as many American’s as possible are covered.

In terms of the environment, we believe that either candidate is an improvement from President Bush. Both McCain and Obama acknowledge a human cause in global warming and have strongly advocated for more funds toward renewable energy and have vowed to wean us off of foreign oil.

One of the issues on which we support McCain instead of Obama is in his call to repeal subsidies of ethanol. Ethanol is not a permanent solution to the energy crisis, and many studies have shown its production to be quite inefficient.

As college bound high schoolers, education is also a very important issue to our staff. On the No Child Left Behind Act, 13 editors felt it was not working, one felt it was, and two were not sure. We agree with Obama in that although the concept of the act was sound, it was vastly underfunded, resulting in a failure. We also support Obama’s plan to provide economic help for college-bound citizens in return for service to the country and world. If implemented, this could make college an option for more citizens while at the same time
providing a large amount of aid to areas in need.

On the issue of sex education, the Hi-Line staff has unanimously supported Obama’s position. Obama supports ensuring that all teenagers have had an informative education on safe sex practices. Abstienence-only programs have been shown to be unsuccessful in stopping the increase in teenagers engaging in sexual acts.

We believe Obama’s policies on gay marriage and the right of homosexuals to openly enlist in the military best allows for those of all sexual orientations to feel secure. America should be a place where people of all different sexual orientations have open access to the same individual rights.

Lastly, just as the Supreme Court decided when looking at Roe v. Wade, the Tiger Hi-Line staff agrees that abortion should be a choice for mothers to make. We agree with Obama in that a mother’s right to choose should not be denied.

This election truly is one of the most important in our history. We stand at a pivotal point in which we must make an informed decision when choosing the direction in which this nation will travel for years to come. On a clear majority of the issues, we feel Obama is right for job.

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