November 19, 2008
I spent Election Day in Grant Park where I got to see Obama claim victory over John McCain. As an Obama supporter, it was an awesome night. I saw John McCain’s admirable concession speech and was able celebrate the “change” that was coming to America with a quarter million of my fellow Obama supporters. There was a lot of talk in the media about the possibility of a riot, but we showed the world that Obama’s campaign was above that.
So needless to say it was a great night; however I was extremely upset when I heard about what happened at UIS on Election Night. Townhouses with McCain signs posted in
their windows had been egged, but only after the people living in them had been told that they were racists for supporting McCain. The people who committed these acts claimed
to be Obama “supporters” and proudly celebrated his win. However, they weren’t Obama supporters as far as I’m concerned, Obama’s campaign doesn’t condone harassing people based on their political ideologies and anyone who believes they have the right to do so, has no place in his campaign and is not welcome!
The Campaign for Change was not about race, class, or party, it was about leading America in a different direction from the past 8 years. Every American has the right to support
any candidate of their choosing without fear of being harassed, as Obama stated “We are not a collection of red states and blue state. We are the United States”. I guess those
Obama “supporters” forgot that!
Obama’s campaign got a lot of people involved in the electoral process that had never been excited about politics before and was a huge step in the right direction for
American democracy. However, the actions that took place at UIS gives our democracy a bad name, especially when a candidate’s “supporters” have no idea what that candidate’s
campaign is truly about.
-Matt Van Vossen
Vice-President of the UIS College Democrats
SGA Senator to the College of Public Affairs and Administration