Look beyond race in election

At school and other public venues, I hear teenagers talking of how controversial the presidential election campaign has become.

The most prominent candidate seems to be Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

"I think he's very reminiscent of John Kennedy; young and full of ideas and a real symbol for political change," says junior Audora Chalker, of Jefferson County High School.

You can find out what Mr. Obama has in store for our society at barackobama.com/index.php, where he highlights every facet of human concern.

Within the past six months, the words "Barack" and "change" have become synonymous. Teens are raving over the fact that a black man is running for the nation's highest office and has the chance to make a change.

But I think that some immature teenagers are basing their votes on race rather than listening to the issues being discussed, especially issues that involve teens.

For example, in light of the recent shootings at Northern Illinois University, have they checked whether the senator has any plans that would decrease such violence? Have teens considered Mr. Obama's ideas of "change" to lower tuition costs and curb teenage suicide rates?

My biggest frustration is how the senator has become such a figure for revision in America. With this comes the idea that because he is from a minority background, he will work in their favor.

Perhaps it is because of my own political neutrality, but I don't buy into the hype. Teens should be more educated about the candidates' platforms and less swayed by their political preaching.

Whatever the case may be, come Nov. 4, I pray that registered teen voters will base their decision on a candidate with substance and reliability, instead of the amount of pigment in a person's skin.

William Fleming is a junior at Jefferson County High School.

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