Recently, I received a message from a close friend of mine living in Istanbul asking me who I was going to vote for in the upcoming US Presidential Election. I don't consider myself a politically active person, but I do vote in presidential elections. This election, like many other Americans, has changed me. No, I am not campaigning for any particular candidate, but I know who I will vote for without one shadow of a doubt. Did I make my decision based solely on the issues? No, but I still firmly believe that I am making the best decision for our country.
That being said, I am not going to tell you who I am voting for or even what party I am registered with. That shouldn't matter to you. In the end, I just want the person/people who can do the job(s) and do it/them well. I am not always loyal to my party. I don't care if they are a man or a woman, white, black, pink, blue, or purple. I just know that what we have been doing for the last eight years has not been working. Something has to change, regardless of who is elected.
The following is directed toward my fellow Americans. I am not here to convince you who to vote for. That is your choice. Just remember the following things when you cast your ballot on November 4th:
If you don't vote, you have no right to complain. Don't just vote for the hell of voting. Make it meaningful. And please, don't waste your and everyone else's time by writing in a person not running. Making a statement is not helping the country. I know not everyone likes who is running. That is a fact we have to live with. Also, not voting at all is not going to change the fact that we will have a new president. Educate yourself so you can make the best informed decision.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remember that we are filling job positions!!! This is not a popularity contest. You need to choose who you believe is the most QUALIFIED for the JOB. Please don't forget what these jobs are. These may or may not be the same people who give you the warm, fuzzy feelings. We don't need to have the president or vice president relate to us or "be one of us". The president/vice president should be of much higher intelligence than the average US citizen. They should understand the problems and needs of the citizens and of this country and hopefully deliver on the majority of their promises. We need leaders we can look up to and have respect for. Respect is also a two way street. The president and vice president need to show respect the citizens of this country. They also need to be someone who can display a sense of pride for our country and handle themselves in an extremely dignified and professional way when dealing with foreign heads of state, ESPECIALLY the ones who don't look to highly upon us already. Our country is going through some hard times that I don't think will end anytime soon. Our new president needs to be able to bring our country together so we can make it through to the other side.
Please remember that we are not only voting for the president. We also need to consider who will be running for vice president. For reasons that are not wholly my own, we MUST make sure that the vice president is not just a figurehead, but someone who can FULLY step up to the plate should that need to happen.
We all know that most politicians lie to either make themselves look better or to damage their opponent, so we have to sometimes take the things they say with a grain of salt. Are any of them REALLY better than the others? That is what you have to decide. Ignore the personal attacks and again, educate yourself.
Lastly, please remember that our choice does not only affect us. Our vote affects the whole world. Considering what has been going on lately, the world needs someone who fully understands the complexities of global problems. We have a lot of cleaning up to do all over the world thanks to the mental midget that I VERY REGRETFULLY voted for four years ago. In my lame attempt at a defense, I felt at the time that I was voting for the lesser of the two evils. Do you want the Republicans to take responsibility of the mess that "Dubya" (George W. Bush) made and attempt to clean it up as best they can, or do you want to see something different...even if you are not sure it might be better?
We don't have much time left. Do as much reading as you can. Go to the McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden campaign websites. If you need it more condensed, try this website for a comparison. Watch the debates and interviews on YouTube. Educate yourself as much as you can. You don’t need to be able to recite every policy that they have, just be informed. Don't listen to gossip and opinion of others. Make your own choice.
This election will probably be regarded as one of the most important we have had. Don't let your fellow citizens down. Don't let the world down. We are voting for them as much as we are voting for ourselves. Don't take the right to vote very lightly. Think of those who don't have that right, and probably never will.