By Russell Varner
September 30, 2008
Elon students could directly effect the outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election, according to Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter. During a question-and-answer session Monday afternoon at Whitley Auditorium, Alter said he believes American youth will be one of the major deciding factors on whether Senator John McCain or Senator Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.
“If you’re only a little more engaged, McCain will be the victor,” Alter told. “If a much larger percentage of you vote than have in the past, Obama will win. Your generation is extraordinarily engaged and the outcome will depend on exactly how engaged you are.”
Alter also believed that the economy is another major factor in deciding this year’s election and said that “this event is special because it [the economy] is in a flux right now. Tremendous economic events are underway.”
This was just one of the many topics that was covered when Alter visited Elon. He talked about everything from the election to government turning down President Bush’s financial bailout plan and everything in between.
“The president’s power has disappeared almost entirely to the point where he can’t even get his own party to pass his bill,” he said. “Well over half the country is connected to the market in some way… [so] we’ll see if this surprising rejection will lead to an economic depression.”
Alter also says that the bailout plan failed because Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson did not do a good job of selling the plan as a rescue plan instead of a bailout to Congress and the American public.
Students came out in full force and packing Whitley Auditorium to hear Alter speak, and they did not leave disappointed.
“In general, I enjoyed Alter’s speech and responses to the questions of Elon students,” said sophomore Angus Dunk. “I enjoyed that he preached honesty, but admired his bigger picture of ethics more. I think ethics are something that people forget about in all types of occupations today and there should be heavier emphasis on it.”
Alter also later spoke in McCrary Theatre in an event open to all members of the Elon community.
Jonathan Alter’s Keys to the 2008 Presidential Election