Be ready to vote

My Thoughts

Dr. Bill AtwoodAugust 16, 2012 

The National Election is less than three months away and things are beginning to get interesting. It amazes news junkies such as myself that many people still aren't interested in what is happening, don't know any of the candidates, haven't begun to inform themselves on the issues and haven't really decided for whom they will vote. It is not a recent situation but a common thread throughout our nation's history.

During some of the presidential elections during my lifetime I would hear folks state that it really doesn't matter if they vote or how they vote. They felt there was little difference between the candidates and they trusted none of them. I heard during a couple of the elections the phrase, " Tweedledum or Tweedledee" when deciding on the choice between the candidates. There were also the comments of, "the lesser of two evils" as people would head to the polls and I remember a couple of neighbors stating that they were going to choose one but hold their nose when marking the X on the ballot.

This coming election is not one of those elections. This year's election offers the voters a clear-cut choice between two standpoints that will have a tremendous effect on the direction this country will head for a very long time. The candidates at the top of the tickets of both parties are vastly different in their thinking, philosophy and approach to handling the issues and it is now incumbent upon each of us to look at the problems facing the world and the nation.

I heard one pundit on television stating that he hoped that those still undecided at this point would just stay home and not vote as they haven't the knowledge base to make an informed decision. I disagree. I cling to the hope that they will inform themselves prior to voting and not just vote because of the way the wind is blowing that particular day.

The two parties see the same problems that America and the world share. The economy is in the tank, global safety is always at risk, the environmental concerns, debt and human rights. It is their approach to solving those issues that is our concern.

One party sees government as the solution and one party sees government as a big part of the problem. One party sees the world with haves and have nots and seeks a way to "share the wealth" and the other party sees the haves and have nots and seeks a way to allow people to set their own course and suffer the consequences or reap the rewards.

One party wants to see government expand and doesn't fear a growing governmental presence in our lives and the other party seeks a shrinking governmental influence and limited government.

One party sees the Constitution as a living document subject to change over the years not just by amendments as provided within that document but by legislation, judicial activism, or Executive Order. The other party sees the Constitution in a more rigid manner that must be adhered to with the original intent of the authors of the document.

Too many of our fellow citizens will base their vote on the ads that will come at us from many different groups. Many will be negative and while we all state we hate the negative ads we are affected by them. Those ads distort and try every conceivable way to alter our opinions about the "other guy."

During the course of many presidents' terms they have the opportunity to appoint judges to benches across this great fruited plain and justices to the Supreme Court as well. Conservative presidents are going to appoint conservatives and liberals are going to appoint liberals to those positions. None should be surprised yet many are. When you hear rulings from the federal court bench's you need to understand that the way we voted for president had a direct impact on the kind of jurist making those rulings. Vote with that in mind.

Legislation about taxes and spending issues are affected by your vote. Governmental regulations are determined by your vote.

During the upcoming weeks I would suggest to those "undecideds" and the "unsures" to look at their philosophy and then the party representing your opinion more than the other party -- that is the one you need to support.

Be ready to vote as if your life depended upon it. It does.

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