Election 2012

Lebanon Valley College

Professor Emeritus Paul Heise Publishes Political Commentary

LVC professor emeritus of economics Dr. Paul Heise writes commentary for the Opinions Section of the Lebanon Daily News. His columns often takes a political angle, such as this week’s post titled “Hopefuls Fight Economic Theories.”

“The only serious topic in next week’s presidential debate is going to be our stagnating economy. Everything else will be, or at least should be, dealt with only in so far as it affects the economy…”

Read the rest of Heise’s commentary at http://www.ldnews.com/columns/ci_21642467/hopefuls-fight-economic-theories.

Students Survey Campus Interest in Voting

Lebanon Valley College freshman business administration major Dennis Brophy produced a video titled “Does the Lebanon Valley College Community Find Voting Important?” Brophy, with help of other students, surveyed campus constituents to determine if they will vote, and to get feedback on voter apathy.

Does the Lebanon Valley College Community Find Voting Important?

Disclaimer: Student and staff opinions are their own.

LVC’s Voter Registration Drive Featured on FOX 43

FOX 43 visited the LVC campus yesterday to talk with members of College Democrats as they registered students to vote and provided information about the new Voter ID Law in Pennsylvania. The students registered 71 others to vote and collected paperwork for 11 absentee ballot applications.

Video: http://landing.newsinc.com/shared/video.html?freewheel=91063&sitesection=wpmt_hom_non_fro&VID=23818194

PREPARING FOR THE ELECTION: Three Spiritual Practices Toward a Meaningful Election Season

Written by Rev. Paul M. Fullmer, Chaplain and Director of Service and Volunteerism

The election season can be meaningful… or maddening.  News reports and advertising can be inspirational… or irritating.  Here are three spiritual practices which can contribute to a meaningful election season.

1) Listen carefully to people or groups with whom you disagree. Rather than becoming entrenched in a polarized position, stand for principles while seeking out the positive intent in a position which differs from your own. Recognize that a multiplicity of factors interact in any national debate. Given this multiplicity, perhaps there exists a common higher ground on which differing opinions might collaborate? Seek it out. Acknowledge that decent people frequently disagree; no two people agree 100% of the time, and any two individuals can find something to agree upon.

2) Watch or read election news with a focus on the positive, noting innovative solutions that promote greater harmony, compassion and justice in the world. Reject opinions or statements that emphasize the negative. Inherently negative events may ultimately produce some good if we seek to develop compassion by (a) identifying with those most affected and (b) reflecting on how the event may serve a larger purpose.

3) Do something representative of your commitment to improving our nation and our world. If personal funds are tight, donating time to an organization that is advancing solutions to social problems will provide a sense of meaningfulness and satisfaction. When both funds and time are tight, joining an organization’s membership or Facebook page can make a positive difference.

Then, come November, be sure to exercise your privilege to vote.

What spiritual practices might you suggest as we approach elections this fall?  Blessings to the LVC Community as we enter into another meaningful election season!

What Does This Election Mean To Me?

Written by Tito Valdes, member of Student Government and the Board of Trustees.

My name is Tito Valdes and I am a junior political science major with a law and society minor at Lebanon Valley College. On campus, I am involved in student government, the Board of Trustees, HYPE, A.S.I.A., the Hispanic Alliance, Intramural Basketball, the Diversity Action Committee, the offices of Residential Life and Student Affairs, and the College Center Desk.

This election is very important to me for several reasons. Growing up, I had an amazing mother teach me about the world through countless experiences. I also had an abusive father who was addicted to alcohol and cocaine. We did not have an abundance of resources, and faced tons of struggles. I can tell you what it’s like to live from paycheck to paycheck. These experiences have allowed me to develop an appreciation for people who come from all different walks of life. I have learned amazing things from every single hardship. I am who I am today because of the cards I was dealt by this game we call life.

I became interested in 2008 while I was living in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and there was a gubernatorial race going on in Puerto Rico and a Presidential race going on at the federal level. There was one candidate in particular that appealed to me because of his ability to refer to jobs as much more than a paycheck. He understood what it was like for middle-class American families who were hurting. He was a candidate who had respect and a sincere appreciation for women, the LGBTQ community, and other groups who have been abandoned by society (at least in my own personal opinion). This candidate’s name was Barack Obama. He was a black man with a funny name, which caused some discomfort for some people. I on the other hand was inspired by his willingness to put his name out there and run for this nation’s highest office.

After months of intense campaigning and mudslinging from both sides of the aisle, the election came around and President Obama was elected as our country’s 44th Commander in Chief. The mixture of emotions that I was feeling at the time are simply indescribable. I felt that this was a true accomplishment for AMERICA – not just people of color. I felt that we had come so far since the Civil Rights movement, and that we had elected a true leader that could make this country a great place to live. I felt that he could restore a lot of faith that was lost in this amazing place.

It is hard to believe that 4 years have gone by, and we’re back to the same political campaign rhetoric of 2008. Over the next two months, I plan on blogging on important issues that come to mind regarding this Presidential election – the views of the candidates, important issues that are being talked about and/or neglected by either/both candidates, etc.

I am voting for President Obama in 2012 because I feel that my interests are best suited under his party’s platform and his vision for this country. I believe that Mitt Romney is simply out of touch with the realities of 2012. I don’t think that he can relate to the average American family because of the fact that he’s lived in privilege for most (if not all) of his life. I’m not knocking his accomplishments. I recognize that he’s worked hard, and I don’t think that rich people are evil. That isn’t my point at all. My point is that his policy stances and clearly documented statements don’t seem to align with the realities of America in 2012.

President Obama campaigned and promised a lot in 2008. While he isn’t the perfect President (and I dare you to find the perfect President in our history), he did deliver on his promise to bring health care reform to this country, to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to end the war in Iraq, etc., You can disagree with these positions, but he was voted into office by an electorate that new he pledged to make these changes. This is not new. It was not unannounced.

I happen to think these changes are great and am frightened by what the other side of the aisle has proposed. Social policy has a lot to do with my unquestionable support of the President in 2012. I simply cannot align myself with the other side of the aisle in this election on any significant social issues. In this election, I am voting for the President because my future is what is important. I am concerned with where I’ll be 2 years from now once my time at Lebanon Valley College is over. I firmly believe that my chances at being a successful person will increase if President Obama is re-elected.

This election isn’t about politics, to me. It’s about creating a sustainable environment for my children. I STILL believe. I support our President and will be voting for him in 2012.

The 2012 Election in the Eyes of Democrats

Written by Doug Waterman, President of College Democrats

For the next few weeks, the question on everyone’s mind will be; Why should I vote in this election? Why is this year so important? The answer is simple, we need to  move forward and not back. We need to make a difference in the future not only for ourselves, but our future generation. The prime candidate to do this, while not without flaw, is Barack Obama. For the College Democrats, we see the progress that President Obama has made in his first term, and we also see the looming destruction that will follow if the GOP were to win in November.

While the current state of the economy may not be where we want it, the question that must be asked is “Do we want steady progress forward, or a return to the failed policies that ultimately led us here?” Since the end of the recession, we’ve added 3.4 million new private-sector jobs — that’s over three times more than were created under President Bush after the 2001 recession ended. In fact, despite inheriting the worst economic crisis in generations, the economy under the Obama Administration now boasts more private-sector jobs than the day Obama took office. By comparison, at the end of President Bush’s first term, there were 913,000 fewer private-sector jobs than there were when he began. (According to article posted on USA Today News Site)

While Mitt Romney will promise economic change, he has no specifics to give on what he will do the strengthen our economy if he were to be elected. To further the contradiction, according to Blake Zeff of Capital New York, “Mitt Romney made a choice for his VP candidate that 100% contradicts one of the key arguments for his candidacy. As with John McCain, who argued in 2008 that experience was critical and then went on to name a first-term governor as his running mate, the selection of Ryan, a 42-year-old congressman who has been in government for the his entirety of his (brief) career, will undermine Romney’s contention that Obama is in over his head because he never had a job in the “real economy.”

Another of the Republican promises is to repeal Obamacare on day one in office. Looking at this from a strictly political standpoint, it seems a bit contradictory. According to many political activists, the Obamacare Act is really no different then the “Romneycare” Act that was passed in Massachusetts in 2006. The differences that do exist are considered by most analysts to be insignificant.

In the eyes of most democrats, Obamacare will benefit the public in the following ways;

  • 32 million Americans are currently without health insurance. Thanks to this Act, a larger portion of the general population will now have access to the coverage they need.
  • Patients with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage by insurance companies, and companies can no longer drop someone once they get sick.
  • College students can stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26.
  • The federal government will pay the states to allow low-income individuals to enroll in Medicaid
  • The Medicaid “doughnut hole” gap in coverage will be eliminated by 2020.
  • Each year, $125 million will go towards funding school-based health centers and programs to reduce teen pregnancy.
  • States are required to set up insurance exchanges to make it easier to find the best deals on private health insurance.
  • If an insurance company denies someone coverage, that person can go to an external appeals process.
  • The number of bankruptcies caused by health-related issues will be severely reduced.

The alternative is a plan proposed by the GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan’s budget would reduce projected federal spending on Medicaid by about $800 billion over 10 years, serving about 60 million people most of which are low-income children and their mothers, but the costliest cases are severely disabled people, many of them seniors in nursing homes. Can we afford to allow this in our government? Especially when the person proposing it, has reaped the benefits of the Obamacare Act?   http://www.thenation.com/blog/169757/exclusive-paul-ryan-quietly-requested-obamacare-cash?rel=tumblr

So the answer is quite simple. We must vote for steady change, or be forced to repeat the same mistakes that we made through the Bush Administration. Can we afford another GOP term of flawed politics?

College Democrats hopes to inform students of the ideals held by our party. We do not make a habit of “talking up” our opponents downfalls, but strictly compare and contrast the differences between the two. We hope to bring out the youth and encourage them to make their voices heard! We plan to have on campus debates in the coming weeks regarding issues that are important to everyone. We will also be holding a Voter Registration Drive on September 20th in Mund College Center. This will be for all students to register to vote in the upcoming election. Also, we will help to provide suitable ID accommodations that meet the requirement of the Voter ID Law proposed and passed by the Republicans.


The 2012 Election for a Conservative

By Alex Philp, College Conservatives president

In this fall election season, politics seem to dominate much of the discussion; at least that’s how its been for me.  I don’t always get into political debates, but when I do, someone tends to get upset.  Regardless, I think it is important to discuss real moral and political issues.  For my club, the College Conservatives, this is not only an important election, but a great time to get out our message.

The College Conservatives is a group on campus that represents conservative and libertarian ideas including free market capitalism, private property rights, small government and an adherence to the constitution.  Among other things we do, we take a trip every year to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C.   The club is open to anyone at the college.

This election is a time for reflection.  It is a time to evaluate the Obama administration.  We need to ask ourselves if we are better off, as a country, than we were four years ago.  Any objective person would tell us that we are not.  This administration has added over 5 trillion dollars to the Federal debt.  The economy is still sluggish and unemployment is higher than when the Obama took office.

The president has shown no fiscal restraint whatsoever, perhaps the worst spending binge being the stimulus bill in 2009 which amounted to a congressional wish list of pork and special deals to government cronies.  But that wasn’t even the worst of Obama’s crony capitalism.  The auto bailouts and Obamacare showed the president’s real disdain for free market competition and thus for freedom itself.

Obama’s solution to the debt crises has been typical of politicians, more taxes and more spending.  That just doesn’t work.  That’s what caused the recession and that’s what created our debt.  Mitt Romney certainly isn’t perfect, but he understands that much.  At least I hope he does.  If nothing else, a Romney presidency and a GOP takeover of the Senate would ensure the repeal of the monstrosity that is Obamacare.  And I’m optimistic that given another chance the GOP will show some government restraint and a little fiscal conservatism.  On the bright side for them, the Democrats have set the bar pretty low.

*Editor’s Note: LVC students should contact Alex if interested in joining the College Conservatives.


Welcome to Lebanon Valley College’s Election 2012 blog! With a little over two months to the General Election on November 6, LVC looks forward to bringing readers expert opinion and commentary regarding the candidates, the issues, and the importance of voting and civic engagement from our team of political scientists, philosophers, historians, and other faculty and staff members. We also look forward to hearing from our students, as representatives of College Democrats and College Conservatives offer their own thoughts on similar topics, and engage in a friendly debate in support of their candidates.

To suggest a topic, write for the blog, or submit a guest post, please contact Emily Summey, director of media relations and campus communications, at 717-867-6034 or summey@lvc.edu.

For additional information about the election, campus events, relevant courses, and student opportunities, visit www.lvc.edu/election.