Politically Savvy: Expressing Political Views via MySpace

Meet Ashley Parrot, Xavier University junior. A few months ago, Ashley 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 Ashley had to say to UChic below!

What candidate are you supporting for president? Why do you support them?

As a young activist for the Democratic party, I must say that selecting one candidate to support for the 2008 presidential election has not been easy. I remain to feel slightly undecided as to which Democratic candidate would be willing to do whatever necessary to substantially change politics in the United States. Looking at the three candidates within the party up for nomination, it is clear that they all hold positive traits that give a glimpse into how they would act as the President. While John Edwards and Barack Obama strongly advocate their mission for a changed America, Hillary Clinton's experience in the United States’ Senate and as First Lady are profound.

What I admire so much about Hilary is her ability to represent the power potential of a woman leader. Her courage, independence, and drive are all an inspiration to me. However, my greatest concern lies in electability. While she is a woman of great power, I am not sure how well she appeals to all people. Because she is a woman, a complex is present when it comes to which way is most appropriate for her to carry herself. Should she be a little colder to show that emotions will not interfere with her rationale for policy implementation, or should she demonstrate her passion for the political world in order to prove to all that a woman can combine emotion and leadership and make a prominent leader?

It is from this point that I shift my attention to Barack Obama. While he appears to have grown stronger throughout this election, his personality appeals to not only Democrats and Independents but also to Moderate Republicans. America needs someone who will be just as genuine as they appear to be; someone who can alleviate the lies, deceit, and corruption in politics by uniting everyone. Obama has the most effective voice for political, economic and social change.

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

While the media portrays Myspace as a perpetually negative communication source, I find that the site has advantages for those individuals wanting to get their voice heard. There is such a diverse audience that can be touched by educational blog sources. Because it has become more popular it seems like a great way not only to get your voice heard, but also to gain greater insight on a particular position different from your own.

What kind of responses have you received?

I have received nothing but positive feedback which is nice. However, I wouldn’t mind receiving responses that may oppose my views. It’s when you take alternative perspectives into account that you further enhance your own argument.

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

It was actually through MySpace that CosmoGIRL found me and through CosmoGIRL that I received positive feedback. Many people, believe it or not, recognize me now as a political junkie ( which I am!). 

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

It is incredibly essential that young people and, particularly, young women use the vote to their advantage. Because women in our families have pushed so hard against the grain of tradition, what honor would we bestow upon them for wasting this great opportunity for change? Sitting back and complaining about the problems within the government only does so much. The power granted by the voting people carries a voice to new heights that were never even imagined before the Women’s Suffrage movement. If someone wants to make a difference, get out and get involved in your world!

Check out Ashley's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/199501490.

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