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For the Right Reason?

May 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Just Recently, President Obama stated that he supports same- sex marriage.  This statement has caused a huge debate and interest in the people of America, as well as students like us studying the elections.  Many questions have come up about this action that President Obama chose to make. Could this move be political move trying to gain more votes because he feels threatened by Mitt Romney?  Or could it be that he actually feels that same-sex marriage is ok?  I believe that President Obama should make this decision based off of his true belief, not because he is trying to gain support from more people.  Having said that, it is a very smart move if Obama did this to gain more support, even if he doesn’t truly stand by it.  However, we will never truly know the answers to these questions.

Same-sex marriage has always been a “state issue,” but as this issue became bigger and bigger it developed into a “national issue.”  It is playing a crucial role in the elections of officials in our government.  By choosing to support same-sex marriage, Obama is directly going against his republican contenders.  This is a very bold move that could either help him or hurt him.  There are currently thirty states that prohibit same-sex marriage.(1)  This statistic alone shows that Obama’s decision to support same-sex marriage was very risky.  Also recent polls show that “opposition to same-sex marriage rises to 51 percent, compared with 42 percent support.” However, when looking at this statistic one must keep in mind that the majority of people that are against same-sex marriage are republican and it is their belief that same-sex marriage is wrong.  Also, the majority of Republicans will not be voting for President Obama regardless because of the loyalty to their party.

This brings me to my main question that I have already mentioned and briefly talked about.  Did President Obama choose to support same-sex marriage to gain support?  In my opinion he did side with allowing same-sex marriage in order to gain more votes and the support of the homosexual people.  The timing of this decision was also very odd to me as well.  He chose to become public with this idea during the middle of the election process, and when it became clear whom he would be running against.  A poll that was conducted by the New York Times states, “they thought that Mr. Obama had made it “mostly for political reasons,” while 24 percent said it was “mostly because he thinks it is right.”” (2) This just proves that most of America believes that President Obama did this as an act to win the election.

When candidates run for election they use many different tactics and ways to gain support of voters.  Through our studies in government this year we have learned that candidates normally target a specific type of audience, such a young people or older people and many others.  When Obama admitted to supporting same-sex marriage he gained the support of the LGBT.  We will never know weather this action was due to gaining more votes or because he feels that same-sex is right, but we will soon find out if this move helped Obama win or lose the 2012 Presidential election.




The Importance of the Electoral College

April 27, 2012 4 comments

In this past trimester we have covered many topics regarding the government and how the government works.  We have gone over various topics and parts of the government such as presidency, campaigns, etc.  However, in my opinion the most fascinating and interesting thing that we have covered this trimester is the elections.  There are a lot of factors that go into the election process that very few people know about.  One of, if not the most, important factor that goes into the election process is the Electoral College.  The Electoral College is the deciding factor in an election, and has been involved with the government since the first days of the American government.  It has survived all the changes in the government that have occurred since the very beginning, and it remains one of the most important aspects of the government today.

The Electoral College is the process in which the President and Vice President are elected.   It started with the Founding Fathers, as they faced a challenging conflict between the people and congress.  This conflict was the people wanted the popular vote to decide the president, while congress wanted to decide the president because they felt the citizens weren’t able to make a sophisticated vote.  The Founding Fathers eventually came to a compromise between the two sides, which is now known as the Electoral College.  The Electoral College was established in the second article of the constitution, and amended in the 12th amendment.  The 12th amendment didn’t change the function of the Electoral College, but rather the process for choosing the electors. These electors are now appointed by each state; each state has a different number of electors.  The number of electors is determined by the number of members the state has in the House of Representatives.  These different electors are chosen by the political party committees in their state; there is a total of 538 electors that are members of the Electoral College.

The Electoral College works in a simple concept; the elector “pledges” to elect the candidate that the people vote for.  The candidate with the highest total of electoral votes wins the election.  However, like I said earlier not every state gets equal amount of electoral votes.  This concept of the Electoral College altars the way candidates approach voters and which states they will try harder for.  Candidates have realized that they will have the best opportunity to win if they attain the states with the highest electoral votes.  The candidate that ultimately receives 270 electoral votes will win the election.  This format in which the Electoral College is run has been under constant scrutiny in the past years.  The prime example of why the Electoral College is under criticism is the election between George Bush and Al Gore.  Al Gore won the popular vote, however, he didn’t win the election because George Bush won the majority of the electoral votes.  This incident frightened people because it showed that they were not getting what they wanted, or what they had voted for.

The election process is a very interesting and confusing concept.  It is very fascinating to me how the citizens allow for a group of electors to chose their leaders, who will lead and make all the important decisions for their country for at least the next four years.  However, this concept also allows for a more educated election.  Recent studies show that there has been a decrease in the participation of the people in the elections. This statistic shows that people aren’t putting substantial thought into who they want president, but more focused on the candidate of their political party or other uneducated motives for choosing a candidate.  This is why I believe that we should keep the electoral college. The Electoral College is a highly significant necessity of the election process, and it is greatly needed to keep the election process successful.  The Electoral College allows for a more educated way to vote for a candidate, which is why it is essential to keep it in the election process.

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