CHH Politics: Expert’s Corner

Friday, Aug. 31, Political Cartoon

Taylor Phillips

This is the expert’s corner. In the coming weeks, it will be filled with the wisdom of WKU faculty well-versed in the political areas the College Heights Herald will be covering. Their purpose will be to provide an unbiased brief account of the basics of each topic.

Let me be abundantly clear: I am not an expert. I am a student — of political science and politics.

My goal, and the goal of everyone working on CHH Politics, is simple. We want to educate readers about politics. We want to answer the questions that plague many Americans. The big picture question is this: How do the various topics hammered away at by pundits on the news affect people like us directly?

How does something as esoteric as campaign finance affect a college student in Kentucky? How exactly do the new reforms to college loans help or hurt students in school now? The answers to these questions are complicated and sometimes contentious, but they matter. They matter because, in my opinion, democracy can only be an effective expression of what people want if those involved in it try their best to vote knowledgeably.

I have a goal. I want the readers of this page to walk into their polling place on November 6 with confidence. And I want that confidence to rest in the fact that they know what is at stake, the issues at hand and have learned enough to know who they want to decide these things.

To that end, CHH Politics will have a theme each week, and the content of the page will center on that theme. This portion will feature an unbiased expert look at the topic. Students will then “face-off” about the issue, offering two view distinct viewpoints about the topic. These differences of opinions will sometimes fall along party lines, but more often than not in conversations like the one this page hopes to create, the differences begin and end somewhere other than a party identity, as people rarely fall into boxes. Our ideologies are a collection of ideas and values that form over years. They are as complicated as we are and can’t be summed up with one word, be it “Democrat” or “Republican.”

That being said, there are entities who work to create those boxes, in a manner of speaking. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are governing bodies of their respective parties. They serve the party by organizing the presidential nomination conventions and promoting the party’s platforms. They fund-raise for the party as a whole and dole out the money to the various candidates.

The platforms are agreed upon by high-ranking members of the parties and outline the official stance on myriad policy issues, from education to the war on terrorism. That is the focus of CHH Politics’ first face-off. What do these platforms mean to voters? How have they changed?