OP-ED: UNC Charlotte College Republicans offer their perspective as midterm elections approach : Niner Times

OP-ED: UNC Charlotte College Republicans offer their perspective as midterm elections approach

| October 28, 2014
The UNC Charlotte College Republicans support North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis in the upcoming U.S. Senate race. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

The UNC Charlotte College Republicans support North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis in the upcoming U.S. Senate race. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

The midterm elections have begun, and so far a total of 22,678 people have voted in Mecklenburg County. Throughout the year our leaders made some interesting decisions that have enormous ramifications on our lives. There has been a tax on insurance plans and meal plans, increased vehicle registration fees, and mounting student loan and credit card debt.

At the center of all of these actions by our legislators are not just lobbyists or ill-willed intentions but the voters. We have the right to vote in this state, and with that votes comes a set of new responsibilities that we as college students should feel honored to express.

North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race is one of the most hotly contested races in the country. At the time of research, campaigns spent over $59 million in North Carolina in a bid to win over the voters. Most importantly for students, the perspective of our student leaders allows us to see how someone of the same age demographic views this election. I sought out the leadership of the College Republicans, Blake Underwood and John Daley.

Underwood believes that the most important race in North Carolina’s midterm election is the race for U.S. Senate between the Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives Thom Tillis and incumbent U.S. Senator Kay Hagan.

“North Carolina cannot afford another six years of Kay Hagan and her failed policies,” said Underwood. “North Carolinians deserve a real leader who will go to Washington and fight for our interests. Speaker Tillis has the experience to do just that.”

From the perspectives of Underwood and Daley, Republicans are interested in reducing spending, cutting taxes and providing opportunities for hard-working Americans, whereas the Democrats insist that the outdated tax and spend system still works.

According to Daley, who is also the President Pro Tempore of the Student Government Association, the Republican Party is the party of the individual, not the whole. He contends that the Republican Party stands for individual freedom and liberty.

To Underwood, college students are by far the most independent generation to come through the electoral process.

“We do not want to be told what to do, but rather forge our own paths,” said Underwood.” We do not like it when people interfere in our lives, and we want to pursue our careers and go after whatever makes us happiest in life.”

And the party of the individual lets the people decide to go after what makes them happiest, without fear of government intervention.

To Daley some of the most pressing issues pertaining to college students and recent graduates are access to jobs. “Under the Obama administration, a recent college graduate has a 50 percent chance of finding a job within the six months after graduation,” said Daley. “This is an astounding figure that directly relates to the Obama administration’s failure to address the issue of jobs in America. Students want careers when they graduate.”

Underwood understands that some people do not want to get involved in politics because they feel like their voices are not heard or that they do not matter, but with an election this close, every vote counts.

Overall, these College Republican leaders are optimistic about the opportunity to vote and make a difference for the state of North Carolina and the country.  While they believe Citizens United highlights the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and agree with the Supreme Court ruling upholding North Carolina’s voting bill – which I wholeheartedly disagree with – they are both genuine and respectful Niners speaking from a different perspective.

We agree on many things stated and unstated, including Underwood’s claim, “We’ve all enjoyed watching the debates so far. It’s a shame that Kay Hagan would only agree to debate Tom Tillis three times. Voters want to hear Kay Hagan defend her record, and instead, she’s running away from them.”

It should be noted that neither Hagan nor Tillis showed up at the U.S. Senate debate held on campus on Oct. 17. Three write-in candidates and a Libertarian candidate were present. You can read more on that debate at www.nineronline.com.

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Category:Opinion

Sean Grier Sean Grier is a writer for the Opinion Section for the 2013-2015 academic year. He is a History major with a Political Science & Secondary Education minor. Sean has been writing for the NinerTimes since his freshman year. He can be contacted at sgrier16@uncc.edu.

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Sean Grier Sean Grier is a writer for the Opinion Section for the 2013-2015 academic year. He is a History major with a Political Science & Secondary Education minor. Sean has been writing for the NinerTimes since his freshman year. He can be contacted at sgrier16@uncc.edu.