Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Election Prep in Washington

With the possible exception of Wasilla, no American city has gotten greater play in this election cycle than Washington DC. "Washington", as it is described by the candidates, represents all that is wrong with American government. It is an insult to be labeled a "Washington insider"; being associated with DC has become a scarlet letter.
After living most of my life in what most would consider the "heartland" (Pittsburgh, PA), I embarked to this town to study at the George Washington University about two months ago. Contrary to the popular portrayal of "Washington elites" in the media, what I found was a lot of people just like me. Most people on the street are very friendly, and though it's occasionally a hassle to have your walk home disrupted by the presidential motorcade or the ambassador of some country, the capital is in many ways just a normal, American city.
However, one of the unique factors of going to school in a the city of Washington is that there are very few people who are actually "from Washington" (though there are a fair number who hail from suburban enclaves in Maryland and Virginia). I have met people from across the country (and across the globe) who chose to attend school in Washington, and others who have gravitated to DC after college. The diversity leads to a lot of different perspectives on the presidential race, and also a lot of knowledge about Senate and Congressional races all across the country.
Though the District of Columbia's 3 electoral votes are hardly in play, the capital is an incredible place to be when preparing for an election. DC is across the Potomac from Virginia, and students from most of the DC universities (including both the College Democrats and College Republicans) have been canvassing Northern Virginia for over a month. On GW's campus, both organizations have had multiple speakers in preparation for the election. Hundreds of students have attended watch parties for the presidential debates. The weeks immediately before the election promise to be even more active, with phone-banking and last minute canvassing trips to North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
As the country gets ready to elect the new president, my classmates and I prepare to greet our new neighbor three blocks down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Alex Pazuchanics, GWU

1 comment:

onlein said...

Republicans promise, before every national election, to change the abortion law. They never do. It was a Republican-dominated court that decided Roe v. Wade, and their appointees have dominated every Court since. Thirty-five years of empty, manipulative promises to Catholics.

Why not try the Democrats and their plan for reducing the need for abortion? Overturning Roe v. Wade, without first increasing our understanding and support of pregnant women, seems backward and wrong. Pope Benedict has reminded us that "a political commitment to a single isolated aspect of the church's social doctrine does not exhaust one's responsibility toward the common good."

We can all work together, with our different issues, interests and skills, "pro-life" and "pro-choice" alike, some on changing the law, others on preparing women for that possibility. It's not a zero-sum game with only one totally correct way. We are all needed in this work toward the common good.

And we can all pray together, especially the rosary. Who better than Mary to help us understand and help troubled pregnant women?