Monday, September 10, 2012

Why A Sensible Person (Like Me) Would Choose A Side Politically

We really only have a few choices politically speaking in the United States

Now that both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention are over, we are really in the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign. It's almost over. Like most of you, I will be glad when it's November 7 and not just because my birthday is coming.

I'll be glad because, as a nation, we will have to "kiss and make up." We will have to put our partisan talk aside and reunite to go about the business of running the country, together. Warts and all.

It occurred to me the past few weeks just how divided and cynical we have become as a nation. It begs the question that many ask and few answer - Do I have to choose a side?

How many Facebook posts have you seen about the lesser of two evils? How many folks have you seen declare they are not voting at all?

Because of this I was compelled to write about the three reasons a sensible person would choose a side politically - even in all the turmoil we see that is politics today.

No Decision Is A Decision

When we don't decide something - a decision is made for us. On our behalf. I remember the first time I heard that. It was in high school when I was stubbornly trying to stonewall something related to the student newspaper where I served as the editor-in-chief. Our advisor said to me - "To not decide is a decision, Denise" Even though I did not grasp its power at the time, that is a very powerful statement and it plays out every day in American local politics. Whether or not you vote, people are elected to office. Whether or not you participate, decisions are being made for you by those same people you did not elect.

No Party or Candidate Will Have "It" For Every Person

Can I get an AMEN for that? Really, have you ever seen a political candidate that encompasses everything you believe in or stand for? Present company included? I am an elected local municipal official and I am certain that there is something about me that would turn someone else off. That is normal and by the way, human. Only robots can be programmed to meet our needs 100% And I sure as heck don't want robots doing the job because then the humans behind the robots are in control. See how that works? We have to make a choice that is most closely aligned with our beliefs and desires for our country moving forward. I have said it before - both sides of the political aisle should spend more time talking about what we all want because THAT is where we can have a conversation - not the "how we get it". We have fiercely different paths to get to where we want to be a country but it seems like the best way to get there is to start with... there. Future post on what "there" looks like next week.

Not Lazy

When you peel back the layers - it all comes down to laziness on the part of most Americans in this  area. We are apathetic about politics as a general rule. We have our allegiances and don't want to investigate anything further. Well, I am not lazy. I will not stand back and let someone else decide for me - not even the party I am most closely affiliated with. If we don't have a viable candidate for an office - I HAVE to consider who's on the ballot and vote. Period. End of Story. Same goes for you. Your parents have an affiliation? Great - good for them - now grow up and read and make your own decision. Your church is telling you who to vote for? Shame on that church - they should just be advising you to pray for the process and get involved without telling you WHO to vote for. Pick up a newspaper. Read a book. Investigate online. Get as many perspectives as you can and THEN make a choice.

It is not simple nor is it something to take lightly. We live in a country that sets the standard for freedom and expression. The best way to express yourself as an American is to get involved in the process of governing our country. Voting is the gateway to that. For that reason I have voted in EVERY election I've been eligible to vote in since I was 18 years old. I've voted red and blue. Always siding with a specific candidate versus a whole party slate. But you can't do that without getting yourself informed.

I've made a choice and I urge each of you to do the same.

There's only 8 weeks to do so.

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