By Erica King, president of Union University College Republicans
With the upcoming elections, college-age constituents will have the opportunity to exercise their political voice via voting. With key issues of the economy and health care, now is the time for college-age voters to step up and step out to the polls.
These issues may not seem that paramount at the moment, but wait until senior year when you are staring graduation in the face, looking for a job and knowing at some point — very soon — you will no longer be on your parents’ insurance but your own. Concerned yet?
With the unemployment rate creeping ever so close to 10 percent, the struggling economy is becoming much more relevant to college students everywhere. So what can you do? Vote.
Washington has tried to fix the economic problem, but with the growing unemployment rate people are beginning to lose faith, especially with the party who holds the majority.
Numerous Americans are voicing their frustration with the Democratic Party because they have yet to fulfill the campaign promises they made concerning jobs. President Obama’s approval ratings have fallen into the 30-percent range in large part because of a stimulus package that has yet to produce the jobs it promised.
Veteran Democrat politicians are retiring. One prime example would be Rep. John Tanner, D–Tenn., 8th Congressional District.
We can also look to the state primaries and see several Democrat incumbents being ousted by fresh political hopefuls.
Take Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who left the Republican Party over a year ago to give the Democrats the 60–0 vote they needed to control the Senate. Sen. Specter lost the Democratic nomination to Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., marking the beginning of the anti-incumbent wave.
What can college students expect to see on the local level here in Tennessee?
Running for the governor’s seat are Democrat Mike McWherter and Republican Bill Haslam. Haslam is the current mayor of Knoxville, and under his leadership Knoxville has been ranked as one of the top 10 cities in the country for job growth and expansion.
Mayor Halsam is more than a businessman. He is also an elder in his church, and has been involved in YoungLife and many other faith-based organizations over the years. Halsam is anti-abortion, pro-traditional marriage, a lifetime member of the NRA and adamantly opposed to a state income tax. As governor, Haslam would bring his strong business skills and sense of values to lead our state in the coming years.
Look at the 8th Congressional District and the hot contest over the seat vacated by Rep. Tanner. We have Democrat Roy Herron facing off against Republican Stephen Fincher. Fincher is a true conservative who, as a resident of western Tennessee, knows and understands the concerns of the people of the 8th Congressional District.
Fincher is a supporter of limited government and will oppose any attempt at increasing the role of government in our health care and medical decisions. More relevant to college students is his commitment to bringing back and increasing jobs in West Tennessee.
We also have the race for the state Senate seat for the 27th District. Incumbent Sen. Lowe Finney, D–Tenn., is running for re-election against Republican Don McLeary. McLeary’s campaign motto is “Principles Over Politics.” He stands for less government, less taxes, traditional families, individual responsibility and the American dream.
Why vote Republican? Republicans stand for the things that matter to you. Less government involvement, job creation, pro-traditional marriage and anti-abortion.