Forum

Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

While reading Tarun Bhan’s April 7 SayWhat? column, “Look past Obama’s rhetoric of ‘change,’ ” I was reminded why I have stopped following cable news channels and political analysts for any substantial information regarding presidential campaign issues. In order to convey the complexity of the issues in 15-second soundbytes, the pundits have stereotyped each of the candidates such that they fit into neatly drawn boxes. According to the media, Clinton is the policy wonk, McCain is the maverick, and Obama is the inexperienced dreamer. Unfortunately, this has propagated misinformed arguments, such as that Obama lacks political experience and that his talk of change is just rhetoric.

When Barack Obama talks about change, what he means is changing the way government is run. Obama believes that the government should be accountable to all of its citizens, not just white people or black people or rich people or poor people, but to everyone. The change he calls for means leveling the playing field so that we all have a chance to achieve the American Dream. The change he calls for means helping students who have to pay astronomical tuition rates by offering tax cuts in exchange for public service and raising the caps on federal loans and grants. The change he calls for means having a responsible health care plan that is not written by insurance companies that forces citizens to buy health care even if they cannot afford it, but rather a plan that is affordable to all and offers comprehensive benefits. This is not rhetoric. This is change we can believe in.

The charge that Obama lacks experience is just as ridiculous as calling his call for change empty rhetoric. During Barack Obama’s tenure as a U.S. senator, he has sponsored and passed major bipartisan legislation, such as the Coburn-Obama Transparency Bill, which creates a publicly searchable website that tracks the $1 trillion in earmarks, contracts, and federal grants, as well as the Lugar-Obama Non-Proliferation Initiative, which seeks to reduce surplus stockpiles of conventional weapons.

At a time in our country’s history when we have so many challenges facing us — the economy, the war in Iraq, health care — we need a leader capable of uniting the country. If we are to have a national dialogue on the issues that affect us all, we need a president who is willing to level with and be accountable to the people. This is what I believe Barack Obama brings to the table and that is why I will vote for him on April 22.

I urge you all to look past the rhetoric clouding the media and to take some time to actually read the candidates’ platforms and see their plans for yourself. If we rely on the pundits to make the call for us, then we will continue to repeat unquestioningly what they have to say and will remain misinformed.

Krishnan Aiyer, CIT 2008
Co-President, Carnegie Mellon Students for Barack Obama
kva@andrew