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HCC students sound off on the president race

October 31, 2008

Brock Smith



Age: 32

Hometown: Hagerstown

College, year: Hagerstown Community College, first year

1) Have you closely followed other races in the past? How did you first start your political involvement?

"I remember as far back as the Reagan vs. Mondale election of 1984 and watching almost the whole election map turn red and my mom getting excited. However, I really started to follow politics in my late teens, when my boss, Ross Perot, stirred up the political landscape."

My first political involvement came about at home. I would talk to family members about values that were important to me. Unfortunately, many of my family members are cynical about politics.

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2) What do you find compelling about this presidential race?

"What I find most compelling is how many Americans are looking for the government to fix a whole multitude of problems we are facing as a nation. This seems diametrically opposed to what the United States was built upon."

3) Who is your chosen candidate? What drew you to that person?

"John McCain. I want a candidate that will put us back on the road toward our country's first Bill of Rights, not FDR's "second bill of rights." As someone who was sleeping in my car 10 years ago, as well as at the homes of a few gracious friends, the government does not get you to the next rung on the ladder. John McCain has time and again articulated this point."

4) What issues do you think most influence young voters?

"I think the issues for young voters are as diverse as our American culture. The biggest issue that has shaped and influenced who I vote for is my family. For example, my family has never really been all that political, except for in the area of being pro-life. As far back as I can remember, my mom has always used the pro-life 'yardstick' to measure what she believed to be a good candidate. Today, after a few years in my late teens of hashing through this issue, I still side with my mom and Dr. Seuss: 'A person's a person, no matter how small.'"




Nicholas Hall



Age: 18

Hometown: Hagerstown

College: Hagerstown Community College

1) Have you closely followed other races in the past? How did you first start your political involvement?

"I first started my political involvement as a United States House of Representatives congressional page for Congressman Bartlett in my junior year of high school. During that time I was able to see our national leaders practice Democracy right at the center of the Capitol, both inspiring and nurturing my fascination with politics. The last race I closely followed was the 2006 mid-term election, but I have followed this election with much more vigor and scrutiny."

2) What do you find compelling about this presidential race?

"This race just seems alluring on so many different levels: the passion of the candidates, the diverse platforms the candidates come from, the fact that young voters will have a chance to significantly voice their opinions, and the knowledge that this election will have a serious impact on the course of history. There is such an array of issues that it would seem almost impossible for an individual not to feel some sort of beckoning to become a part of the process."

3) Who is your chosen candidate? What drew you to that person?

"I am a strong supporter of Sen. Barack Obama. While some people see his inexperience in Washington as a negative, I see it as a strong virtue to his character; he has not been in Washington long enough for it to have a profound impact on who he is and what he hopes to accomplish. I see Senator Obama as a very down-to-earth individual who has worked hard to achieve where he is today and I think he has our best interests at heart when he makes decisions. He also seems to represent a major turning point in politics where the old rules and traditions that once governed politics have finally been replaced."

4) What issues do you think most influence young voters?

"People seem to forget that the youth will one day assume the roles that their leaders hold today. Young people are very conscious of all the issues because eventually they will one day have to carry the burden and by paying attention now, they will only help themselves prepare for their future responsibilities. That being said, the state of the economy has a profound effect on our lives now, the severity of the other issues, and our decisions in the future. I believe young voters are paying close attention to the economy and the different proposals of the candidates to help the economy if they are elected."

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