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Pre-election period proves poor example of politics

Jasmin Bodmer

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I am all out of words. I used to talk a lot. I used to consider myself an agent of political socialization and sophistication. I tutor Political Science at De Anza, and I used to tell my students as much as I could about government and politics.

I used to tell my students that political offices are sought after and won by virtue of merit and experience, not by virtue of connections and affluence.

However, the recent campaign DASB election frenzy has left our campus so over-plastered with colorful fliers and oversized banners that I am left speechless.

The Froot-Loops landscape suggests that those with the best financial resources for campaign materials leave the strongest impression, regardless of political content and conviction.

I used to tell my students that politics is not about looks, it’s about brains. Nevertheless, I have never seen as many Colgate-smiles shining down from posters as I have seen this week.

I also used to tell my students that alienation from the political process is a dangerous thing. It spurs cynicism and apathy.

However, the limited preparation time allotted for candidates, the thinly dispersed announcements of the pre-election events and the election, and the recent controversy around campaign requirements leave students everything but informed and motivated to participate in the process.

I used to tell my students, too, about what a great case study our student government is.

It’s the grassroots training camp for those who might one day be running for public office. It’s the almost sacred ground on which perhaps – and hopefully – a better, stronger, more ideological, more honest and more effective kind of governing will grow.

However, in wake of the DASB elections, even the most immediate and most promising political arena – student politics – seem to fail at upholding the principles of politics we are supposed to know and honor. What am I supposed to tell my students?

To be honest, I don’t what to tell my students anymore. I am all out of words.

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