Gang Wu, for Journalistic writing, due October 26, 2004
People who like Gorge W. Bush say he is confident. People who do not like him say he is over confident, even “cocky.” People who neither like Bush nor John Kerry say none of them have produced the pride for presidency.
When polls show supporters for the two presidential candidates are as divided as voters and non-voters in the United States, a brief survey through a dozen students on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno also reflects the division and sometimes confusion about who will be the best leader of the country.
“I will definitely vote for Bush,” said Brenda Berle, a 56-year-old political science major. “He is strong and I believe he can lead us to fight terrorism and protect the country.”
However, there are people who hold exactly the opposite view.
“I don’t like the way Bush leads the country,” said Amanda Whalen, a senior student in Spanish and Communication. “He is cocky, he is waiving his power all around the world.”
Jereny Young, whose father emigrated from China, echoed that Bush likes to tell people what to do. “Bush he is supposed to listen to the voters,” he said.
The on-going war in Iraq is a major target for attacks from pro-Kerry camp, as many believe Bush waged the war for wrong reasons.
“The terrorists who threaten America is Bin Laden, who is in Afghanistan, not Sadam in Iraq,” said Steve Black, a full-time worker at a café on campus.
Kira Miller, a Forensic Pathology major, claimed that the war was right and the missing weapons of mass destruction will be found ultimately.
The Bush supporters showed a sense of divine mission for the United States, which is the US will bring democracy and freedom to Iraqi people.
“Sadam had been in power for 30 years,” Berle said. “We liberated Iraqi people from his dictatorship.”
She did not blink when questioned about the increasing loss of lives of American soldiers in Iraq. “That is the price we pay for democracy,” she said.
Berle opposes Kerry as strongly as he supports Bush. She referred to Kerry as a liar.
“He said it’s a wrong war only because he wants to win the election,” she said, adding that Kerry was just telling people what they wanted to hear.
While two of the eight people interviewed clearly expressed their support to Bush, the number of Kerry supporters doubled their opponents. Besides addressing the controversial decision to go to war in Iraq, the Kerry supporters also pointed out Bush’s failure in domestic policies that affected them, such as education.
“We heard a lot of Bush’s No-Child-Left-Behind policy, but we did not see much progress about that,” Black said.
Amanda Whalen, who has to work 30 hours a week as a waitress to support her college education, complained that Bush did not pay much attention to the country’s education.
“I’m really struggling with my study and life, you know,” she said.
A black student who preferred not to be named also said Bush is overlooking the education of the ethnic minorities.
“The black community are suffering in this administration,” he said. “Many schools lack fund to maintain sufficient educational facilities.”
One student’s response about the election proved political scholars’ worry that some young people just do not care about politics at all.
“I don’t want to vote,” Perry McMahon said. “Whoever is president, there will no effect on you.”
When pushed for his opinion about the two presidential candidates, he said both of them showed no pride for presidency, though both are trying to build their pride.
For international students, who will be preferred to be president mainly depends on if he will bring tangible benefit to their country.
Japanese student Hiroyaki Shirashi said although he personally likes Bush, but if he could vote, he would vote for Kerry, because Kerry will “make the exchange rate between Japanese yuan and US dollar favorable to Japan’s export.”