Columnists address voting in the 2016 election

KYLE DAY, ABBI COBB, and LEZIGA BARIKOR

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All-staff opinion column:


Much has been said this election about why you should not vote for [insert candidate here], and I’m sympathetic, having said much of that myself. But I wish to get away from the negativity, if only briefly, and talk about reasons to support certain candidates.

I’m proud to vote for State Representative Walt Rogers, whose hard work for six years has succeeded in enacting key transparency legislation, restoring sanity to the state budget, and putting UNI on a slow but steady path toward fairness in state appropriation without receiving proper credit for his effort (looking at you, Panther PAC).

I’m proud to vote for US Representative Rod Blum, who has spent his first term doing exactly what he promised Iowa’s First District he would do: pushing for reforms to chip away at cozy life in D.C., which has cost him support from his own party.

Whether it’s sponsoring legislation to end public funding of first class travel and luxury car leases for legislators, or to abolish the congressional pension system, Blum has worked (often across the aisle, despite his membership in the House Freedom Caucus) and voted to make public service in D.C., well, public service once again.

I’m proud to vote for US Senator Charles Grassley, whose decades of service to Iowa have been a mighty force for good in D.C.

From founding the Whistleblower Protection Caucus to bringing congressional members and staff under the same employment regulations Congress places on private-sector employers and employees, Grassley is a rarity: a true D.C. “outsider” who has managed to stay that way despite being there for over three decades.

Whether you agree with my votes or not, you can and should be encouraged by this. Despite the true awfulness of contemporary American politics, there is much good to celebrate and support. I hope you get to a place where you are voting for some good rather than merely against some evil.

-Kyle Day

Opinion Columnist


Many American voters have dreadfully anticipated Election Day’s arrival and it is finally upon us.

It’s important to keep in mind that for those planning to vote in the presidential race, their decision has already been made. And from what I have observed over the past year-and-a-half, the process to reach the decision was probably not an easy one.

Take caution during last-minute discussions regarding voting. And whatever you do, don’t bully someone into participating in the election and do not pressure people to support your favored candidate.

Between now and Election Day, it seems especially important to refrain from directly telling others which candidate they should vote for. Unless such advice has been elicited by an undecided voter, it is best to keep these suggestions to oneself.

It may be one thing to advocate for a particular candidate or issue in a general setting, such as social media, but to offer unwarranted suggestions or directly engage an individual by pressuring their support one way can be perceived as aggressive.

It is not your place to suggest a presidential candidate that’d be best for someone else’s interests. This coercion becomes more problematic and inappropriate when a white American voter suggests that one candidate is best for people of color or to consider telling a rape survivor that they have to choose between a rapist and a rape apologist. Don’t do this to yourself and don’t subject others to this treatment.

At this point in the process, the decision to vote and who to cast a vote for is sensitive for many. Substantive conversation regarding tomorrow’s outcome is likely to be riddled with emotionally-charged defense, as for many this decision has become intensely grueling.

The current political climate here has made the choice more personal, as political polarization and harassment have become very real experiences. Respect fellow voters and save your advice.

Abbi Cobb

Opinion Columnist


This 2016 presidential race has been lengthy, and there’s been no end to the spread of vitriol on all sides, and the negative comments have gotten blatantly disgusting.

Partisanship aside, I have a lot of sympathy for the families of both candidates. To a very small, rather even miniscule, extent, I sort of know what it’s like to have a family member in politics.

It was around 2011 or so that I found out my uncle Jonathan Goodluck was the current president of Nigeria. It was about the first time I even considered paying attention to the politics in my home country. And then promptly shut it off because then, now former, President Goodluck was not well liked in the media.

It turned out that Goodluck broke an unofficial rule according to CNN, by taking power while being from the same party as the previous president. Also with the constant religious tensions in Nigeria, the fact that Goodluck was a Christian only heightened discontent.

The national tensions in the US aren’t going to be any better for whoever takes office next January. The New York Times stated on Nov. 4 in a poll that “many [voters] harbor doubts that either major party nominee can unite the country.”

Maybe being fully united is too much to ask for right now. I think we could benefit from more civility of discourse. I think we expect it – not only from the politicians themselves, but from those around us. Goodluck wasn’t a perfect president, but he was human.

I think American politics could benefit if they stopped looking at politicians as either heroes or villains, but rather, the national to local public job interview that it is. And if they sucked at the end of their terms, we’re the ones who get to say it: “You’re fired!”

Leziga Barikor

Copy Editor

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