I hardly mean this letter to be a validation of my own efforts in voter registration and participation; however, I must admit that I was somewhat taken aback by a cartoon by Sabrina Wirth ’05 in the Oct. 8 edition of the Record. She satirized the apparently prevalent Williams student body’s indifference (aka the “Purple Bubble”) toward the impending war with Iraq by depicting various campus groups tabling in the Baxter mail room. Surprising to me was the inclusion of the current voting project in her caricature.
As any amateur political scientist or observer of democracy could readily point out, the most effective way to deal with the most important issues of the day in a free society is to exercise one’s right to vote for the representatives that reflect your views and interests. The decision on whether the U.S. will go to war with Iraq is but another reason why people should be encouraged to participate in the upcoming election of the nation’s leadership. To belittle the efforts of some to facilitate democratic expression in a time of crucial national importance in such a way, I think, is both misleading and irresponsible. Moreover, increasing voter awareness and participation, if anything, should be seen as a way to encourage students to escape the Purple Bubble.
I applaud Sabrina’s message to the student body to pay heed to the nation’s tough political choices with respect to Iraq, but I think that in this instance her message might have been misguided.
E. Hall O’Donnell ’03