Real Patriots Vote

Editor's Note: Welcome to Off Campus,'s new feature providing our readers with a glimpse into what's on the minds of America's college students and student journalists. Each week, Off Campus will present a column or editorial selected from student newspapers across the country.


We are, supposedly, a country dedicated to our idea of democracy.

We have our flags on our cars, our patriotic songs written by semi-famous country singers, and our ridiculous bumper stickers with the words of a dying man on them, i.e., “Let´s roll.”

We are determined to kill the Commies, terrorists, and just plain old “mean” people of the world, as long as we can hold onto our Jr. Whoppers, Late Night Cinemax, and legal prostitution in the state of Nevada.

We strut around post-Sept. 11 with this thought in our simple little heads that this is how we have been acting all along, that we didn´t just need a plane to fly into a couple of skyscrapers for us to be as patriotic as all get out.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think this patriotic bandwagon all of America has jumped on needs its tires shot out.

This election day, it will be interesting to see just how many of the patriots of America will be willing to take the cell phone off their ear, or tear themselves away from a Spongebob Squarepants rerun to take five minutes to vote.

More than half of the people of this country who are registered to vote are throwing their opportunity away in the Stars and Stripes trashcan they bought Sept. 12.

By the way, I did say opportunity, not right. Voting is not a right. America could easily be another country, where we aren´t as fortunate.

Instead of listening to tear-jerking renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner,” the men of this country could be standing in line waiting to put in their “yes” ballot for Saddam Hussein.

According to the Student Legislative Awareness Board, 3,428 newly registered student voters are going to be falling all over themselves trying to get to the polls. If only we were that lucky.

Oh, but silly me, I forgot how patriotic we all suddenly are.

I forgot that we care about this country, we care when we pollute it´s water and it´s air, we care when we cheat on our taxes, and we care when the Big K closes because where are we supposed to find discounted “America Rocks” window decals now?

Challenge those 3,428 registered voters to find their way to the voting booths. I challenge every registered voter in Kansas, Nebraska, or whatever state you may be in that is holding elections.

I challenge those people who aren´t registered to get up off their lazy haunches, stop complaining about the state this country is in and do something about it.

If you can find the energy to watch the America´s Tribute to Heroes, then I think you can direct yourself to the nearest elections office and register yourself.

If you are such a pro-American patriot then you will vote because you actually do care, even if your vote is a miniscule percentage in a final tabulation.

If you don´t, you are nothing but a hypocrite wearing a stupid flag t-shirt.

The column above is from The University Daily Kansan, the student-run campus newspaper at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kans. The Fox News Channel is available to University of Kansas students through their campus cable system.

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