Midterm Part IV: Political Views in the Whit

Political frustrations flow through Eugene, Ore. Whiteaker district


By Sarabeth Oppliger

Journalism/J361 student


The campaign for the 2012 Republican candidacy has citizens of the Whiteaker community threatening to leave the country.

Kicking off in Iowa on Jan. 3, the GOP race continues on to Michigan and Arizona at the end of Feb. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum currently have a strong hold on the lead and are tied to win. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are following their trail. Left-winged Whits expressed their disappointment with the current direction of United States politics, explaining why the candidates are poor choices and admitting that the media’s coverage of the campaign doesn’t help their perspective.

One Whiteaker citizen even claimed to flee the country if Newt Gingrich were to win the election come November of this year.

“What’s funny about Newt Gingrich is he’s probably the most despicable and boorish of the bunch [of Republican candidates],” said William Rockow, a 26-year-old Lane Community College student. “but at least I know he is that despicable and boorish.”

Rockow said that the flair of Gingrich’s current campaign has reached a whole new level and admitted that Mitt Romney will win the Republican candidacy because he is the “money candidate”.

“He’s the wealthiest one,” he said. “He’s incapable of relating to the middle class, which is what he is trying to cater to.”

Jon Terry, 47 and owner of Garbanzo Grill in Eugene believes that the Republicans do not want the presidency, stating that they wouldn’t want to “rock the boat” while someone else [Barrack Obama] is taking the blame for everything.

“They’re giving us terrible candidates that nobody, even their own party, can’t like,” said Terry. ”

But Terry has taken the back seat in exercising his rights as an American citizen. He doesn’t vote.

“I want to vote for a candidate I believe in,” Terry said. “And when I get one of those, I’ll vote for him. Until then, the puppet show goes on. And it can go on without me.”

New Day Bakery owner, Bill Mahoney, is not impressed by any of the candidates.

New Day Bakery on Blair has been under ownership of Bill Mahoney for 22 years

He said he tries not to pay attention to any of the elections and thinks that they’re embarrassing to our country.

“It’s like a dog fight,” Mahoney said.

Mahoney said that he would support Elizabeth Warren, candidate for the Mass. State Senate. He said Warren doesn’t support the big businesses and corporations of the United States.

“She’s for the common people,” said Mahoney. “She sticks with good politics.”

Those “good politics” are hard to come by according to the Whiteaker citizens. Their observation on the media’s coverage hasn’t given them any positive outlook on American politics either.


Media Intake in the Whit Community

While Mahoney may prefer to stay out of the loop when it comes to the current campaign, even he can’t argue the media have a field day with politics.

“[The media] are drawn right into it all,” he said. “It’s just like any other form of entertainment and it’s really sad.”

Mahoney believes that straying away from the headlines and news reports helps him live a happier and less-stressful lifestyle.

Rockow, on the other hand, enjoys his selection of political news. He reads various mediums like Yahoo News, The Huffington Post, InfoShop News, and sometimes even The New York Times.

Even with a broad coverage of news, Rockow admitted that his attention to the Republican presidential primary has dwindled in the recent months that Romney has taken the driver’s seat.

Whiteaker citizens’s general consensus on the current primary campaign is full of disapproval and a tinge of anxiety for what the future holds for our nation. The combination of the United State’s current struggles doesn’t permit any silver lining.

“They should rework the system. It needs to be totally changed,” said Mahoney. “But there aren’t any other choices. There are no answers.”

About sarabeth

sarabeth. twenty-something. wanderer.
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