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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Election 2008 has finally cast all of its actors.

Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama are set to duel for the next two months for the role of president of the United States. In supporting roles, McCain's campaign chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, while Obama chose Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Both sides have their strengths. McCain served during the Vietnam War and has experience fighting in a foreign nation. Obama is young and, by virtue of his youth, has a different outlook on life than many of his predecessors.

Biden commuted more than 200 miles a day to work on Capitol Hill so that his sons would have a father with them at night. Palin is working hard to support a family that includes an infant with Down syndrome and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter.

Like most elections, there is at least one politician who has a skeleton in the closet and a stance that seems contradictory to his or her personal life experience.

The Republican Party supposedly stands for family values. They always talk about drilling for oil on American soil and abstinence-only education. They fight for everything that is the religious and moral fiber of the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Republican fighting to become the next vice president of this country has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter.

Obviously her stance on sex education hasn't worked out too well.

In a utopian society, everyone would go to church on Sunday, and nobody would drink excessively or have sex until they were married.

Unfortunately, we live in the real world.

Because of this, we have to take stances on issues that we have to deal with, not what circumstances we wish we were given.

Abstinence-only education in schools deals with the utopian society in which Palin wishes we lived.

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If she expects to help lead this country, she will have to take her head out of the sand and realize that not educating kids on what their options are - should they choose to have sex - is asking for more teenagers to end up pregnant or with diseases.

That said, teenagers should not be having sex.

Then again, students are supposed to go to class every day and not drink until they are 21.

Schools teach that underage drinking is illegal and dangerous, but they stress that if you do drink, then don't drive. Why wouldn't they educate teenagers on the dangers of sex and tell them that, if they choose to have sex, condoms and birth control are their best friends?

Whatever platform wins the election will have to find the answer to this question. They will have to figure out how to present it to the public in a way that shows that they are in touch with what happens in the world outside of Washington, D.C.

Monique Cunin is a student at the University of South Carolina.

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