September 20, 2002
By Mark W. Brown
NOTICE: Declaration of Hunting Season
From now until November 5, 2002, it is hereby declared
to be open hunting season on a particular breed of elephant,
running unchecked through the wilds of America with a blind
eye turned towards all of her problems. Physical characteristics
of this breed include a strange mix of features from two
types of birds - the chicken and the hawk. Other telltale
signs of this breed of elephant include a tendency to open
the mouth and emit noises that make no sense at all, ostensibly
as a means of releasing hot air.
Further, the elephants tend to be covered in a sickly brown
substance. Observers believe this occurs when the elephants
flock to the dominating male as he expels waste, then roll
around in it in an attempt to make it look presentable before
jamming their heads up the hindquarters of the dominating
male, which seems to make them feel safer. These elephants
pose a threat to the livelihoods of Americans as well as
anyone worldwide so long as their natural enemies, the donkeys,
remain in a state of confusion as to their purpose. If sighted,
it is imperative that a group be organized to neutralize
the threat. The elephant is too big of a threat to be handled
by any one person.
BY AUTHORITY: CollegeDudeNews Wildlife Department,
18 Sept 2002
Before I turned 18, I was always excited about getting to
turn 18 not because I'd get to buy porn or cigarettes whenever
I wanted, but because I would get to register to vote. That
would mean, I figured, that my opinion would then matter,
that my voice would be listened to because I would then be
a person who voted. Truth be told, the most frustrating thing
about the 2000 Election as the aftermath took place, was that
I wasn't even old enough to vote and what I thought was thus
How shocking it is for me to now be old enough to vote and
realize that my opinion is still mostly irrelevent in the
political process, save for this web site. Why is that? Because,
silly person, I'm under the age of 25 and liberal. Didn't
you know? Everyone under 25 is liberal, that's just the way
it is, and what they think doesn't matter because they'll
grow out of it when they get into the real world. And anyone
who isn't a dirty liberal who is under 25 just deserves a
pat on the back for emerging from their cocoon that much sooner.
There are several reasons why the opinions of the college
student - particularly the under-21 college student - are
1. The myth that most college students (or even many college
students) are people with radical left-wing ideals that they
are bombarded with in "liberal" public institutions. People,
let me tell you, I wanted to believe this was true before
I got to college, because I figured I'd show up on campus
and there'd be all of these other liberals with lots of ideas
of how to better the world. Then I came here... and I found
that I was the biggest liberal, with the most ambitious ideas.
2. College students, or at least most of the ones I've interacted
with, tend to not care enough to vote. This could be for many
reasons - they are disillusioned with politics, they just
plain don't care about what happens to them or anyone else,
they think that by not voting they're making some sort of
statement - but the end result is all the same.
3. Anarchists. Let's face it, whether or not it's truth that
most people who turn protests into riots are college students,
that's what they are perceived as. And it all perpetuates
the myth of a dominating "radical" sentiment in colleges.
4. Along the same vein, it seems like a lot of college students
that actually do vote, tend to vote for obscure or third party
candidates. I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, especially
when it comes to third party candidates, but really, one person
walking around my campus talking about "The Electable LaRouche"
does more damage than a hundred members of the College Democrats
can undo - and there are only twenty of us on a very good
Without a solid voting bloc in any party, the college student
only has as much power as his or her individual voice carries,
and even then only realizes as much as his or her ambition
allows. It seems that this will remain the situation until
the way things are perceived can be changed. This must be
done either by regaining control of the media and fighting
such myths (unlikely) or else from the inside - somehow making
most students care enough to follow politics and vote their
The roundabout point that I am making here is that each of
us has our strengths that we can best use between now and
Election Day - and onward - to go and hunt these elephants.
You almost certainly know your own strengths better than I
know your strengths, so this is something we'll all have to
determine on our own. What are mine? Well, it seems like one
is a bit of a knack for the written word that I probably don't
utilize nearly often enough. One thing I'm sure of is that
one of my strengths is not doing any face-to-face work on
the campaign trail, because I'd not be able to shake a feeling
of my work going for naught. But when it comes to writing
articles, if even one person reads this and thinks, "Gee,
what am I good at, and how does that help me hunt elephants?"
then I have done my job.
Me, I'll be looking into ways to try to rally the college
student from the inside. Will I come to a solution by November?
Honestly, not likely, but that's not going to stop me from
trying. Lately, I've been giving serious consideration to
making a run for a leadership position in the College Democrats
of America organization next time elections come up. (I had
actually been keeping these plans secret until now, but I
also know that my own low confidence in my plans tends to
blunt my ambition, so hopefully making it 'public' on DU will
help people keep me from backing down.) I figure there can't
be any better way to try to actually do something about the
sad state of affairs that is student involvement in politics
currently. After all, worst case scenario, I get to find out
how good of an orator I can be when I really apply myself.
It is open season on the Grand Ole Party, ladies and gentlemen.
Let's do some soulsearching, then break out the elephant guns
and shoot for control of Congress.
Mark W. Brown is a college dude who writes this article with
apologies to his friend I Abibde, who first coined the term
"the elephant gun". He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org