Yeshiva Students Among Attendees at the Republican National Convention (Vol. 70, Issue 2)
As the election year nears its end, the race for the White House has grown exceedingly close. Following the success of the Democratic convention in Boston earlier this summer, the Republican convention made its way to New York City, taking over Madison Square Garden.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator John McCain were just a few of the politicians who spoke in support of President George W. Bush in his bid for re-election.
Among the thousands in attendance were some Yeshiva students fascinated by the political process.
Members of the Israel Club were present handing out pamphlets to advertising Israeli policies in an effort to sway allies in the Israeli war on terror. "We felt that the best way to get the word out for Israel was to go and give information to the delegates," said Dovid Wildman YC '05. "We must support Israel and gain support for Israel to ensure a successful effort." The group felt that the diversity present at the Garden made it a prime opportunity to educate people about Israel.
YC Senior Binyamin Casper also attended the convention working as a "wireless control" consultant. He attended the convention for four out of the five days and was able to attend most of the speeches. A registered Democrat, Casper admits he is voting for Bush, stating, "his policies on Israel are the main reason. Thus far he has allowed Israel to defend itself against terror without condemnation."
Among others, Casper attended the speeches of Giuliani, Mrs. Bush, and Schwarzenegger- who he said got "perhaps the loudest response from the crowd." He felt Senator Zell Miller from Georgia to be especially effective. Miller, who is a Democrat, expressed his deep concern with the direction his party has taken in recent years, and voiced strong support for Bush.
For many, however, it was the President's speech that was the highlight of the convention. "He spoke very well," commented Casper. "He came off very strong, even funny at times. His attack on Kerry was effective but not malicious." The feud between the two candidates has been highlighted in recent weeks, mostly from external sources, but Bush, for the most part, steered clear of any direct attacks.
Much has been made over the blasé attitude of young people in America towards voting. Many organizations have dedicated their time solely to encourage the youth of America to get out and vote in this year's election. "Let's all hope that we can see a change in this year's election," said Abie Sutton SSSB '05. "Many people don't believe that they can make a difference, but they should have learned from the last election that every vote counts."
Other students echoed Sutton's sentiment. "It is a shame that many young people in the past have chosen not to vote," said Senior President Craig Weitzman. "Hopefully, this year will be different, but at least for the time being, it's great to see that many of our students have an interest in getting involved in our democratic process."