The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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So, that’s who you are voting for

Fashion With Fischer
 So, thats who you are voting for
So, that’s who you are voting for

So, that’s who you are voting for

Everyone in America knows that on Nov. 2, we will cast our votesin the 2004 presidential elections. From incessant televisioncommercials praising one candidate over the next to magazinearticles swamping potential voters with information about thecandidates’ families to and debates galore, voters areoverwhelmed with information trying to sway our decisions one wayor another.

But it has jumped off the pages and out of the television asvoters are now screaming their choice for president in other [moreobnoxious] ways. From underwear to jewelry, shirts, bumper stickersand even soap, people are reminding others how important it is tovote. But when and where do you draw the line?

Is wearing a John Kerry or George Bush T-shirt really just anannouncement of who you’re voting for? Is it part of youridentity? Or is it a strive to change people’s opinions onwho to vote for?

Hollywood has become bombarded with celebrities sporting theirpresidential choice on their shirts – and they’re notsubtle about it.

“It’s so stupid in Hollywood to wear [John] Kerryshirts,” said Ashley Jorgenson, a junior journalism major.”I guarantee that Paris Hilton doesn’t know any of theissues in [Kerry’s] campaign.”

In the Oct. 2004 issue of In Style magazine, a section wasdesignated to celebrity quotes about voting.

“Young people from 14 on up, it’s like their wholefight is about independence,” said Andre 3000 from Outkast.”So when you turn 18, why not register and vote? Because ifnot, there’s gonna be somebody telling you how to live andwhat to do. If you don’t have a say, you’re stillpretty much a kid.”

Samuel L. Jackson said, “It’s important to votebecause it’s the one real radical act that we’reallowed to do legally.” And Richard Dreyfuss said it mostpoignantly. “Not voting is like complaining about your carnot working without turning the ignition on.”

It’s clear that celebrities are pushing people to vote,but are they taking it too far?

Even President Bush said, “most American families do notlook to Hollywood as a source of values.” So why arecelebrities using their “persuasive” powers to getpeople to vote? Look at P. Diddy’s voting campaign —”Vote or Die.” I mean, what does that even mean?

Various designers have even created limited edition items toremind people to vote. Todd Oldham’s “GoneVoting” tank, available at declareyourself.com, and FrenchConnections’ “fcuk You I’m Voting” T-shirtare clever, but what is their real purpose? We all know thatextremely high numbers of young people do not exercise their votingrights. But has the pressure always been this obnoxious?

Maybe because this will be my first time to vote in apresidential election — actually, my first time to vote ever— I’ve just been blindsided by the efforts of gettingyoung people to vote.

“If you’re truly strong in your convictions, I thinkyou’d be able to find a more effective way to expressyourself than slapping something across your chest,” saidBuffy Bains, a senior advertising major.

What is the point of wearing political gear? Are you hoping topersuade others for your candidate?

Like, “Oh, that really cute guy over there is wearing aBush shirt – I’m totally voting for him too,now.” Yeah, didn’t think so.

“I like the shirts, as long as they’re a positivemessage,” said Katie Littlefield, a junior advertising andart history major. “If they’re funny and informative,they’re OK. But when they’re negative, it’s anattack on the opposing candidate or party and it’s not coolanymore.”

I’ve seen shirts that say, “Bush was so four yearsago,” “If I win, free Ketchup for everyone!” and”Vote Bush! Ketchup has carbs,” which are extremelycreative and funny. No, they didn’t persuade me to vote adifferent way. They were merely another fashion item, just a bitmore obnoxious.

And what about bumper stickers? We all know the small blacksquare “W — The President” bumper stickers thatbegan popping up this summer on everyone’s cars. One stickeris acceptable, but when you have your entire back windshieldcovered, the line has been crossed.

“It’s one thing to show support for your candidateby putting a campaign sticker on your car, but covering your entirebumper to voice your opinion is cowardly and tacky,” saidBains.

I for one will be more than happy after Nov. 2, when people willhopefully put their voting attire back in their closet.

Unless, of course, to brag about the success of yourpresidential choice. Just make sure you know about the issues yourcandidate is fighting for. And voting for him because you think hisdaughters are good looking doesn’t count.

 

Hill Fischer is a senior English major. She may be contactedat [email protected].

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