Editor, Daily Nexus,
I would like to thank Justin Ruhge for the most honest editorial I have seen in the Nexus – ever. In his column, (Daily Nexus,”Temporary Student Residents Shouldn’t Play With Voting Blocks,” Jan. 28), Mr. Ruhge bemoans the legislation and voting outcomes that have occurred in Santa Barbara County due to student voting. He concludes by urging students to vote absentee at their parents’ homes.
Mr. Ruhge, I don’t quite know where to begin. I guess I should thank you for finally outing the Willy Chamberlin/Jim Thomas contingent. Students have long been skeptical about these candidates’ and their minions’ claims to care about getting out the vote in Isla Vista and UCSB. I guess we now know that all that was just lip service.
Mr. Ruhge, you are in the wrong here for so many reasons. You refer to yourself and your cohorts as permanent residents. Indeed, I will agree that the typical UCSB student spends only four to five years in the area, but I think you should know that data from the 2000 Decennial Census show that the typical California home changes hands every 3.6 years. So, relative to you and your permanent buddies, students are not as temporary as you perceive.
Mr. Ruhge, let’s admit to ourselves that we are not against letting students vote, we’re just against letting people with opposing viewpoints vote. You call the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Center and the pro-Gail Marshall interests extremist groups. The voting results show that these groups represent the majority, and your rinky-dink Concerned Taxpayers for the Initiative for National Change is in the minority. These groups are winning, yours is losing and frankly you’re sounding a little desperate.
Mr. Ruhge, fight for your causes, grow the ranks of your supporters, strive to change the minds of those who disagree, but do not attempt to eliminate those who oppose you from participating in the democratic process. It took a long time for white men in this country to understand that it was okay let people with opposing viewpoints and backgrounds vote, can’t you do the same?