This election is critical to young voters across the nation. It is not only the first many can vote in, but it is also a pivotal election for the future of this country economically, socially and otherwise. Both the election process and its outcome have the potential to reform the ideas of our administration in those young and old, those with established beliefs and those who have given up on the U.S. government.

Personally, I am socially liberal, but quite conservative otherwise. You would think anyone who even mentions the word ‘liberal” while talking about her political views would move to Senator Barack Obama like former athletes to ESPN, but, for me, this isn’t true.

Looking at this election, it is hard to say that any of the current candidates or past hopefuls are particularly impressive and it is clear that none have garnered large backings. Out of the millions in America, these are the best we can find? But now there is a reason to warrant the return of our enthusiasm. That reason is Sarah Palin.

Many people say that she is inexperienced, disconnected from the American people and ‘a liability” to McCain. None of these claims hold up under scrutiny. Yes, she may not be as experienced as hypocritical Washington politicians, but she still has 12 years of political experience behind her.

Palin has never been a career politician in Washington, and that’s what makes her the fresh face that we need and an even stronger candidate. She is still innocent from the political mess that we have in higher government these days, and she shows no sign of falling into the trap of putting politics over running the country. Palin is indebted to no one, so once she attains office, she will be able to serve the American public exclusively.

Additionally, she is not running for president. She will be able to have guidance and wisdom above her, unlike Obama, who is running for the most powerful position in the world. She has strong views and beliefs and, unlike other candidates, doesn’t waiver in her beliefs in order to get more votes.

Though I do not agree with every one of her points e.g. her anti-abortion stance I do believe in her leadership skills and in her competence to run a country, and these characteristics are more important than individual issue stances. It’s more important to have a vice president who is a strong and confident leader than one who holds the exact same issue stances as each individual.

In my first class at UR, a brilliant professor began class with a discussion on the will of the people and public interest. He opened it up to the class, and in the end we concluded that there is no universal public interest, and public interest and the will of the people are drastically misused terms. One thing I like about Palin is that she understands that there is no common public interest or common will of the people. She is not varying her views to conform to the so-called will of the people; instead, she is putting her views up for extreme scrutiny and supporting them.

On top of that, Palin is hugely appreciated and has had at some points as high as an 85 perccent approval rating in her home state. Those who have seen her in a leadership position concur that she has done her job as their elected representative, regardless of her resum. It is difficult to reason that she is so disconnected from her constituency when such a vast majority supports her.

Again, ‘liability-wise,” political pundits assume too much. Some critics point to her pregnant teenage daughter and her son with Down syndrome as liabilities, as they may hinder her time in office by providing family distractions.

If anything, though, these are advantages. She is sticking to her principles and values, and shows dogmatic perseverance in her family life. The fact that she is supporting her daughter and helping her through this shows her family values. But I digress; this election is about the politicians, not their families.

This year’s Republican ticket is stronger than ever, and yet I wonder when people will stop focusing so hard on the fact that the ticket is Republican and start looking at principles, records and ideals. I’m sure that you will find some astonishing things if you put away Washington partisanship and look at the people in this election.

Rogers is a member of the class of 2012.

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