Some election thoughts...
As you step in to the voting booth this year, there are some things I believe people need to remember and consider.
First, when you pull the lever, recall that you are not voting for a leader, but rather a representative. We are a nation where the government is of the people, by the people and for the people. We are our own leaders. When we elect someone to office it is so he or she will represent our interests. The day we lose sight of that (and I fear that in some cases we already have) is the day where we as a nation essentially say that we are not responsible for our own lives but rather merely charged with selecting someone who is.
That said, a protest vote will not represent your interests. It only represents your disgust for a specific candidate. While this distaste should certainly be heard, doing so on the one day we're given to truly have a say in who represents us is counterproductive in a system where we seek someone with our interests in mind. After all, how likely is the candidate who benefits from your protest to really represent your beliefs?
Of course, the same can be said of voting along party lines. The Party only has the Party's interests in mind. Maintaining power is what they believe in. If you agree with everything the party does, then go on and vote along the line as you're one of those lucky individuals who has found representation with the least amount of effort.
So who should the rest of you vote for?
Find that person (not the party) who you believe represents you. Write someone in. It's tougher to do, sure, because those people aren't lambasting you with ads or in the news day in and day out. But remember that it's you who runs this nation...and that isn't necessarily an easy job.
Also, I'm hoping that when this election is over we can finally get something done around here. It's funny that the most productive time in democracy, electing our representatives, is the least productive time in governance. Pundit Nation predicts that the 2008 Presidential campaign will start on Wednesday. While I can't say I disagree, it certainly is sad that we are destined to spend two years not tackling the issues but rather the candidates themselves. Seems to me we're losing sight of something here.
Finally, and most important, vote! This is your nation. You are in charge. And you express how you wish this nation of ours to be run with your vote!
And when all is said and done, and you've done your duty as a citizen, reward yourself with a beverage at Drinking Right. You needn't vote in any particular way to attend...all are welcome.
Because it's not about being right...