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ISSUE 118 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/19/2004

Democrats stay strong: Despite odds, goals will be pursued with vigor

By David Fine
Staff Writer
and Ross Latchaw
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 19, 2004

On Nov. 2, President Bush earned himself a second term in the White House. While we think John Kerry was a better choice for upholding the integrity and promise of America, we acknowledge that George W. Bush was elected president.

Democrats accept that our candidates were defeated, but we refuse to accept the defeat of our values, principles and vision.

We believe that the Constitution upholds the rights of all Americans, not only those with the proper gender, color, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

We believe that all reproductive health care choices should be available to ensure the safety and health of women.

We believe that decency requires us to protect the children, the sick, the poor and the oppressed.

We believe that America will be safer when we engage the world in dialogue, working together towards common goals.

We believe our generation should inherit a clean environment and that investment in sustainability now is essential.

As Democrats, these are our values, our hopes and our dreams of what America can be at its finest. But, in this election, our principles were sullied by hateful and misleading rhetoric.

The American people were repeatedly told that low taxes for the wealthy were worth more than building our communities, that insuring the health of an additional 40 million Americans would take America in the wrong direction, that profits for corporations were worth more than the air we breathe and the water we drink.

We see our objectives as achievable; yet, Republicans have managed to convince the American people that these values are not in their interest and are beyond their reach.

Paul Wellstone asked, "How can it be that in the United States of America, today, at the peek of our economic performance, we are still being told that we cannot provide a good education for every child?"

Wellstone continued: "We are still being told that we cannot provide good health care for every citizen. We are still being told that people can't look forward to jobs that they can support themselves and their children on. How can it be that we are being told that we cannot do this at the peak of our economic performance? I'll say to you today that it is not right. It is not acceptable. We can do much better, and if not now, when?"

Let it be known, we lost the election, but we haven't lost our resolve, and we certainly haven't lost this campus.

Last year our organization was virtually invisible; this year, we drove the Republicans to the suburbs on Election Day.

Our organization is stronger than ever, membership is up and we're dominating on campus. St. Olaf students made it clear which party they support, but there is a battle yet to be fought and we are ready to fight it.

It's time to begin a campus-wide dialogue; we have faith in our values and we challenge everyone to discover what the Democratic Party has to offer.

Contributing writers David Fine and Ross Latchaw are a junior and sophomore, respectively. Fine is a political science and American Studies major from Helena, Mont. He is the director of voter outreach for the College Democrats. Latchaw is a political science major from Madison, Wis. He is the co-chair of the College Democrats.

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