The responsibility of a young voter | Guest column
By JOSH NELSON
Federal Way Mirror reporter
July 31, 2012 · 12:13 PM
This is my home.
Let's get that out of the way first. I was born in Washington and have lived in Federal Way my entire life. I remember The Commons when it was called The Sea-Tac Mall.
I graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 2006 and am currently attending Highline Community College, studying journalism.
This affords me a rare opportunity. I came from these streets and am qualified to tell you what happens on them.
On July 21, I attended the candidate forum hosted by The Mirror and the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce. I went looking to learn something, and instead got to enjoy a fascinating show.
I saw a conspiracy theorist attempt to convince a room of people to impeach Obama. I saw an immigrant struggle through a language barrier and stand up for his beliefs. I saw an outdated conservative and a Democratic powerhouse.
As a young voter, it is my responsibility to be informed about ballot issues and candidates. As an aspiring journalist, it is my responsibility to tell you the truth.
And the truth is, I don't see how Congressman Adam Smith will lose the election later this year.
During the forum, Smith addressed his credentials, legitimacy, knowledge and platform. From my perspective, all his opposition could offer was radical ideas, endearing party loyalty and outdated conservative conjecture.
Dave Christie was focused on financial reform and presidential impeachment, while seemingly conforming with his fellow candidates on most social issues.
John Orlinski completely understood the social issues this country faces — coming from a background of social work and involvement with refugees. But he is horribly outmatched when it comes to experience and political understanding.
Jim Postma, who failed against Adam Smith in 2008, recited the same tired Republican rhetoric: Tax cuts for the private sector will balance out the unequal social structure, the Obama administration is crippling American business, and privatizing Social Security will eventually triple the benefits retirees receive.
Tom Cramer wasn't present for the forum. Cramer is a Democrat running against Adam Smith after the redrawing of the ninth district this year to include his community.
However, the audience was told that Cramer had confirmed his attendance prior to the forum. So either there was some crippling emergency preventing him from showing up, or he hasn't quite mapped out his desired district.
As a young voter, it seems unlikely that anyone but Smith will win the district, and as a young journalist-in-training, I know that very few of my age group could even understand what happened last Saturday.
I didn't tell you all of this to endorse one candidate over another, I simply wanted you to know what one young voter feels.
Contact Federal Way Mirror reporter Josh Nelson at email@example.com or 253-925-5565.