Ancient curse: May you live in interesting times

Amanda Williams is president of the UNR College Republicans.

With 2008 now in the past and 2009 underway, there is much to reflect upon. The past year was full of memorable moments. We had a quickly falling economy, a presidential election and many other newsworthy events.

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The 2008 presidential election was the major event of the year. It was a historical race for many reasons, and it will be remembered for a long time to come. It was not memorable only because of the people running and the environment in which they were running, but because the election was a circus.

The ringleader was none other than Barack Obama. In his campaign, there were songs with his name in them, video games with his picture, even T-shirts in malls. It was a spectacle like nothing this country had seen before. It went beyond policies and ideas to become what seemed a popularity contest—no substance, only style.

In hearing Three 6 Mafia scream the words, “Like Barack Obama said, ‘Yeah it’s time for a change,'” I was overcome with a sense of shame. What our Founding Fathers had built for us was turned into a joke, a three-ring circus, and it was heartbreaking. Barack Obama took this election by storm, not because of his ideas, but because he was the more fashionable candidate. I believe 2008 will be a landmark year for this country because that was the year our Founding Fathers rolled over in their graves. They stood for the ideas of individual responsibility, small government and low taxes, and the election was proof positive that people disregarded everything these men stood for, and they decided they would rather vote in a popularity contest than they would in an election.

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The past year was interesting for Nevada as well. So much happened in our little state. The presidential candidates each visited this state several times, each knowing this was one of the major battleground states in this election. It proved to be a fight to the finish for Nevada’s electoral votes.

The economy proved to be a big problem for Nevada in 2008, as well. The Reno Gazette-Journal reported there was a major surge in home foreclosures, and our unemployment rate was incredibly high. Nevada sported the highest foreclosure rating this November for the 23rd straight month. It’s a devastating blow to the state and its people. The year was rough on many folks.

Nevada’s budget was an issue throughout 2008. With the economy in dire straights, politicians found it difficult to keep money flowing where they needed it to flow. Many government departments suffered, including higher education. This made 2008 out of the ordinary because many students awakened from their apathetic slumber and suddenly got involved in government by means of protest. The only problem was that they didn’t seem to understand the process of budget cuts or the reasons for them. It appeared these protesters couldn’t comprehend that money was being cut because, well, the money wasn’t there to give.

The past year was a captivating one for everyone, locally and nationally. There were events that left us wide-eyed and mouths hanging open. There were many more that left us either stunned or angry—or both, for that matter. And yet, life went on. Much of the local news was about everyday life, nothing extraordinary. The fine mixture of the big-news events and day-to-day activities made 2008 an interesting year for everyone.