Political overview – A race for the senate

This year’s election falls on Nov. 4, and all of the senators up for election are faced with the issue of proving themselves. With all the issues at hand, who will come out on top?

Jackie Cherryhomes Interview from Redhawksonline on Vimeo.

Politician and Minnehaha Academy parent Jackie Cherryhomes discusses campaigning and the upcoming election.

“I think people don’t understand how important it is to vote and have people elected in office that represent your views,”  beamed former Minneapolis City Council member Jackie Cherryhomes. Cherryhomes, the mother of senior Emma Tyler, ran for mayor last year, and has been involved in politics almost all of her life. Through her daughter, Cherryhomes has a connection to the generation of new voters, who are forced to take into consideration many things in deciding on voting for a candidate.

Now, as the country remains swept up by problems with the Middle East, and negative ads are seen within every commercial break, politics slowly take its deserved (or rather prolonged) time within our society. Elections approach, and every candidate has their own prodigious and perfect solutions to all the problems that the voters face. It’s a lot to take in, but politics can also be made simple, it’s just a matter of showing interest and investing time in this elegant world filled with the many proud, demanding, beloved, and ever so powerful people that help to lead our nation.

This year, the midterm elections will take place Nov. 4. President Obama’s second term in office is half way over, and positions in the House, the Senate, and the state Governor will be elected. Various beliefs of the candidates will result in different change. Not all of these changes affecting young adults in particular, but a certain candidate may greatly benefit or hurt highschoolers, which is why paying close attention to this election is crucial.

The big, and more well-known positions of the House, Senate, and Governor are up for grabs, but there are other races, possibly proving to be more influential, also happening.

“In Minneapolis, we’re really concerned about the school board races,” said Cherryhomes,  “It’s a race that not a lot of people pay a lot of attention to. But the schools, the public schools, are in a lot of trouble in Minneapolis, and this election can have a big outcome on (sort-of) how they move forward or what changes are made.”

On the national level,  an all-important senate race will be voted for. Current Minnesota Senator Al Franken runs for re-election, and a preliminary poll conducted by RCP from May to the current day has shown that he has held a 10 point lead over his competitor, Mike McFadden.  Republican competitor McFadden is hopeful for the spot, and the stakes are as high as ever. If he can beat the odds and win the seat of the Senate, conservative command could follow, as control of the Senate may shift to the Republicans.

“The Republicans are potentially in a position to retain the House and gain control of the   Senate,” said government teacher, Matthew Ridenour. “Which, having that kind of conflict between the legislative Branch and executive branch as Obama finishes up his last two years could mean more gridlock. For example, if they decide to pass Republican legislation through both the Senate and house and it ends up on [Obama’s] desk, he will likely veto it.”

Many problems face America today, including the most prominent- Ebola and ISIS. With cases of Ebola emerging in the United States, preventing further spread of this deadly disease is a top priority for leaders. And as ISIS continues to capture more land, it also continues to expand its threat to American safety. Not only have these issues caused turmoil within the nation, they have also proven to be a very prominent and complicated issues for the politicians. Being significant issues, each politician must be very careful in what they say, as they must speak their mind without losing control of their supporters.

“One of the challenges is when you’re in office, you have a lot of information about something like ISIS that you can’t talk about because of who you are and the role you’re playing but it’s not public information,” said Cherryhomes. “So I think it’s hard to talk about [these issues] sometimes but not be able to disclose everything that you know.”

Each candidate has their own way of going about campaigning while targeting different age groups, or ethnicities. These men and women running for office have various techniques to catch the eye of voters, and negative-ads play a major role in getting the edge over a competitor. How do these ads, putting down one another, effect campaigning and politics all together?

“I think negative ads make everybody tired of politics.” said Cherryhomes. “I think, in my world view, people don’t get up in the morning to be negative; they get up to find something good about life. So if all you do is talk down and talk bad about people that doesn’t make you want to go out and do something positive like voting. I think we’ve got to have a positive message.”

When it comes to voting, many people vote for the leader that represents their beliefs. However, young voter turnout is the lowest out of all the age groups, as the right to vote is simply overlooked.  Now, what is it that makes young voters not vote? Maybe its the neverending cycle of lack of interest shown in these young adults, resulting in less attention in campaigning from candidates. Candidates must see the importance of the large number of youth, and finding a way to appeal to them could make all the difference.

“I think candidates need to talk to them, or make a point of talking to them. And not just talking to them, but listening to them. I think a lot of young people think that nobody listens. So it’s not just a matter of going out and saying, ‘I’m going to do this,’ it’s a matter of going out to young people and saying, ‘What do you think is important? What do you want me to work on?’”

Surely the right to vote is a right, and one that is given to each and every person in the United States. “I think in this country, by enlarge, we take democracy for granted. In other countries people die to go vote, and in this country we just assume everything is going to be OK, and I think that we take it for granted.”


About Kenny Kiratli

Kenny Kiratli ('17) attends Northwestern University.

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