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Volume 68, Issue 60, Monday, November 18, 2002

Opinion
 

Pelosi pick cheapens Democrats

Richard Whitrock
Opinion Columnist

After the Democratsi forgettable November election showing, it has been widely accepted that the Democrats need new leadership and a fresh look to keep from being embarrassed in future elections. The Democrats decided that a new House Minority Leader would be the answer to their problems.

Like many others, I wholeheartedly agree that new leadership is what the Democrats need (aside from psychiatric evaluations). Their solution, to select a new minority leader, was probably the most intelligent choice.

At least, it was intelligent until they chose the new minority leader. Nancy Pelosi? Maybe getting their heads examined really is what they need.

Even people with the political IQ of bean squash know that if a party wants to garner moderate votes to tip election scales, a sure-fire way to miss is to seem on either the extreme right or the extreme left. Keeping this in mind, examine the selection of Nancy Pelosi, who is so far left that Tom Daschle is envious.

Either Democrats have IQs less than that of bean squash, therefore thinking that by looking more extreme they will get more votes, or someone has made a big mistake.

Not that I am complaining. I would like nothing more than the demise of the Democratic party at the hands of a socialist radical. I can hear my gloating now.

There has to be something behind the selection of a known extremist to lead a party that is trying to get more moderate votes. Smelling a rat, I looked for clues as to why the Democrats would do such a boneheaded thing, and I found something a little bit stinkier than a rat.

Nancy Pelosi is the first female to lead a party in Congress in our nationis history, which is something that everyone should be proud of. However, did she get her post because she was a woman or because she was the best candidate for the position?

In changing the look of their party, the Democrats also elected Bob Menendez (the first Hispanic to chair a caucus in the house), and Jim Clyburn (an African American) to various posts in congress.

I am happy that many of our nationis minorities have been elected to leadership roles (even if it is for the Democrats), but I worry about the motives in this case. It seems to me that Pelosi, Menendez and Clyburn were elected because they were minorities, which is a disservice to those individuals.

Electing people to positions because of race or gender trivializes their accomplishments. It cheapens their position, and it cheapens their message.

If the Democrats elected these individuals in the hopes that minority leadership would cause voters to blindly vote for them, they are sorely mistaken. They wouldnit be doing a disservice just to those candidates, but also to the voters of this country.

Trying to influence votes through the use of race or gender is not the way run a party. I hope for both Pelosiis and Americais sake that Pelosi finds a moderate voice for both herself and her party, and takes a strong stance for her party so that she can prove herself a good minority leader, not a good minority minority leader.

Whitrock, a sophomore architecture major, 
can be reached at rick_whitrock@hotmail.com.

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