Thank goodness the 2004 election is finally over! As I write this, I have no idea who won, and by the time you read this, we still may not know.

Florida is already having problems with its voting machines, so we could be held in suspense for the next month. I hope everybody voted, and if you didn’t then I hope you’re not complaining about who won.

I haven’t been alive for that many presidential elections, but of all the elections I’ve seen, this one has bugged me the most.

As I understand it, the goal of this election was to elect a leader for our country, and what choices we were given!

On one side we had a candidate whose main priorities seem to be making sure the war on terror is won, and that all of the students in America’s public schools achieve the same level of education, regardless of any disability that may hold them back.

Who cares that America’s national debt has skyrocketed under his last four years, just like oil prices?

On the other hand we had a candidate that we don’t really know about. He says one thing, but has an uncanny ability to contradict himself in a hurry to make himself sound better than his opponent come debate time.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I sat down to determine which candidate to vote for, I didn’t really care who could make the other candidate look the worst. Like many people I know, I was looking for the candidate who offered the best plans for people like me, keeping in mind the chances of that candidate actually following through with these “promises” are slim.

In my high school FFA days, I was a big fan of the leadership conferences FFA would sponsor. I even gave a speech at public speaking contest one time about the qualities of a good leader.

Personally, using what I learned at the conferences, and using the criteria of a good leader from my speech, I don’t think we had a good candidate to choose from. I do, however, think we had an excellent choice between two men who were very similar to fighting children at a daycare.

Experiencing the presidential election at the college level was an interesting experience to say the least. On our school newspaper staff, we have roughly 30 students. Of those, 15 could probably care less about the election. The other 15 have extremely rich political views.

I’m in the middle. I don’t tend to get terribly worked up about the election, but I tend to pick one side and stick to it.

Each staff meeting for the past couple weeks has turned into a presidential debate of sorts, and our candidates’ ability to argue and make the other look bad seems to have rubbed off on the newspaper staff.

Our “debates” got heated very quickly, and it never took long for them to get broken up.

Regardless of which candidate is elected, I hope he follows through with his plans, and does what is right in the interests of the nation he leads, not in the interests of himself or any of his relatives or big business buddies.

As a 19-year-old college student, all I really ask of a president is that he follows through with what he said when he runs his campaign, and that he takes care of our country.

In my opinion, a happy country makes for a more enjoyable presidency.

Now that the political side of me has had its say, the sports nut in me is begging to come out. I think a huge congratulations is due to Hillsboro’s volleyball squad for surprising everybody and earning a trip to the state tournament in Salina.

Sure, they didn’t fare too well against some of the state’s best, but I’ve been told by our Pratt Community College volleyball coach, who was scouting at the tournament, that they played with pride and made Hillsboro look good.

I attended a Tabor football game last time I was home, and was very impressed with what I saw from Coach Mike Gardner’s team. I was even more impressed when I saw the 43-42 double overtime score from the always tough Tabor-Bethel game last weekend in Newton.

Good luck to the Bluejays as the playoffs near.

At Pratt, yesterday marked the beginning of the basketball season. The high school basketball season will be here before we know it, and it’s bound to be a successful one for area teams.

More from article archives
Public forum offers opportunity to meet candidates
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN About 60 members and guests attended the “Meet the Candidates”...
Read More