Politically Savvy: Expressing Political Views via MySpace, Part 2

Meet Chloe Stephens, a student at Southern Virginia University. A few months ago, Chloe was featured in CosmoGIRL as one of a series of college women who have used MySpace to get engaged in politics and the 2008 elections. Check out what Chloe had to say to UChic below!

What candidate are you supporting for president?

I am supporting Mitt Romney in his campaign in the 2008 presidential election.

Why do you support them?

I am supporting Mitt Romney for a number of different reasons. Being a Mormon, and a conservative, I align myself with most of Mitt’s values and policies, especially on moral issues such as abortion and his emphasis on the importance of family in American society. There are many stereotypes that Mormons are viewed as in our society, and I believe that Mitt Romney and his campaign helps break down some of those stereotypes in the minds of many Americans.

However, I don’t think that religion alone should be the main reason for endorsement in political campaigns. Though positions on moral issues are very important to consider, a candidate should have a legitimate experience in politics and should “know what they’re doing” when it comes down to leading our country. Morals aren’t everything, and I feel confident that if Mitt was elected to run our country, that he would do so with confidence, strength, intelligence, and expertise, as well as with ethics, morality, and a genial personality. I believe that religion shouldn’t be a qualifying or disqualifying factor in the presidential campaign, but, being of the same faith as Mitt Romney, I share many of his values. I am confident in his character and his abilities, both morally and politically, to lead our country if he did become President.

Why did you want to be so vocal about it through your MySpace page?

Since my freshman year in high school, and the 2004 presidential race, I have been very “politically active.” I’ve always valued the right that we as Americans enjoy, the liberty to have our own opinion and express it freely, and I feel that this right should be recognized and exercised. I respect people who, no matter the political persuasion, form an educated opinion and stick to it! So that’s exactly what I do. After “doing their homework”, I feel that everybody should be vocal about their opinions. That’s what makes America so great, that we can exist united with so many varying opinions, outlooks, and convictions, and still be productive and strong. Myspace is a great way to get your voice heard!

What kind of responses have you received?

Since that CosmoGirl issue came out, my Myspace virtually exploded – and I’m sure it was the same for all the finalists featured in the magazine as well. In less than a week, my Myspace page had over 13,000 new page views, a whole bunch of friend requests, and messages from girls who read the magazine and shared their opinions with me. I was actually kind of surprised that I got that kind of response – and that everything was positive!

I was expecting some negative reviews or something, but I guess I’m just used to that, growing up conservative in a very liberally-persuaded state (California). But I just got a whole lot of girls who emailed me saying how they agreed with me and that they were excited that someone was speaking up! It was really neat to see that I could really get my voice out there and that other young women could identify with me. And I guess it was kind of cool to be in a magazine.

Did you have anything interesting or unusual happen as a result of your MySpace pages or the CosmoGirl article?

Well, my MySpace was hacked! Big surprise there. But I guess I was just really excited to see my picture and my words in a big magazine! So were all my friends, and it was like the ultimate bragging rights for about a month. But other than it being really neat to be featured and see such a positive response to something I really care about, nothing really monumental happened. I was really excited when I got an email for this interview, though! I feel like I’m actually doing something that’s getting noticed, and it’s not like talking down an empty hallway.

A representative from the Romney campaign is visiting my school, Southern Virginia University, fairly soon, so I am hoping to get this interview and my CosmoGirl article noticed and to show them that there’s a sort of underground support system for Mitt out there! It would have been cool to get a letter from Mitt or something, but hey, he’s a busy man…probably too busy to read CosmoGirl, so I can’t ask for too much, can I?

Why do you think it's important for young women to get engaged in politics?

I think that it is vitally important for young women to get active in politics because, plainly, it applies to us as much as anyone else. For generations women were denied the right to vote, and their expressed opinions weren’t truly honored across the board in society from certain areas, especially from a political standpoint. We’re smart, thoughtful, bright, passionate, dedicated, and opinionated creatures, so why not express it? So many young women don’t get involved because they don’t think it applies to them. But it most certainly does. So many issues are being voted upon that directly concern us as women– like abortion and stem cell research – and as citizens, like international affairs, education, and personal rights, that we can’t afford to not get involved.

I wish that every young woman would feel comfortable and eager to express their opinions and would get engaged in politics, so we can show the world out there that there’s more to us than just good looks and great personalities. We can also think for ourselves and play hardball just as well as any young man could. Hopefully more young women will get involved this election year and play an active role in electing the next president of our country. Get out there and stand up for what you believe in! Every voice can be heard.

Check out Ashley's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/yourejustwhatineed.

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