Homework: Student Voices October 27, 2008

Last Monday, student reporters Kayden Horwitz, Stephani Soto and Regina Gasperini were screened by local McCain campaign workers and escorted into the bleacher area behind Suplizio Field by a Secret Service agent. Then the agent and a bomb-sniffing dog checked out their bags before they were turned loose to cover the rally for Gov. Sarah Palin. 

McCain campaign knows how to put on a show

I have to give the McCain campaign credit for one thing: They certainly know how to play to the audience. A 60-foot-wide American flag waved triumphantly while a local children’s choir and a marching band performed. Palin was, to her credit, on her best behavior. The Sarah Palin who walked into Suplizio Field on
Oct. 20 was not the woman who could not name a single news source she reads for Katie Couric or did not know the meaning of the Bush Doctrine. She was much more the Sarah Palin we saw debate Joe Biden. With one exception: Biden wasn’t there to keep her facts in line. She certainly ran with the opportunity, raising the words socialism, terrorist and ,to my shock, experience. It was a bold move for the former mayor of humble Wasilla, Alaska. That was just the problem. Palin’s arguments and even the pathetically untrue political commentary of Hank Williams Jr. were met with ecstatic applause independent of content or honesty. Overall, the rally was more of a show, a production, than anything political. Perhaps that is still what it takes to persuade and incite in a place like Grand Junction, but I hope not.

Kayden Horwitz, 17, co-editor, The Orange & Black, GJHS


Campaigns raise mixed emotions

I have reached the disappointing realization that politics will always be boring or be sensationalized. I am beyond thrilled that politics can cause an uproar. That high school students and teachers alike will ditch school to see the campaign for change in person. That grandparents and grandchildren go to show support in the thousands. I’m not thrilled, however, about the messages, the reruns and slogans that say and mean nothing. The attention given to Colorado in this election, nonetheless, has incited enthusiasm. More and more people are registered to vote and are excited to do so. Even if people are voting for an American Idol and not a better community, I suppose the campaigns have done some good.

Stephanie Soto, 17, The Orange and Black, GJHS


Voter-to-be pleased over history’s ringside seat

  As a 17-year-old senior at Grand Junction High School with my “big 18th” birthday in December, I am missing out on being able to vote in next month’s general election by fewer than three months. This is more than a little frustrating to me, given the historic nature of the 2008 presidential election in Colorado and the fact that I really feel I am already capable of casting informed votes for the candidates and ballot issues.
  Who would have thought that Colorado would become one of the battleground states in this year’s presidential campaign and that my hometown would be in one of the forward trenches of that fight, experiencing all the hoopla and excitement of the last two months? As the photography editor of the award-winning Tiger Yearbook, I covered Sen. Barack Obama’s speech at Cross Orchards last month, as well as Gov. Sarah Palin’s rally at Suplizio Field last Monday. I might not be voting this time, but I have sure enjoyed my “ringside seat” to the history being made.
  I will definitely be ready for my American Government class next semester. And come the election of 2012, I will cast what I hope will be many votes as an adult citizen, honored to participate in the democratic process and make a difference for our country and community.

Regina Gasperini, 17, photography editor, Tiger Yearbook, GJHS


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