As a life-long voter and veteran, I value our democracy, our freedom of speech, and our ability to choose freely. Currently, however, it has become much more difficult to see beyond the political rhetoric, the soundbites on commercials, the finger-pointing, and the polarization. These don’t help us choose wisely.
So how does one vote for the right person in a responsible way? What I will strive to do is to read information from responsible journalists, check out the candidates with the League of Women Voters, listen to the debates, and research the candidates. One thing that I will be looking for is the ability to listen to opposing points of view with an open mind. Given the current political climate many issues seem to automatically become partisan and each “tribe” retreats into their respective corners and little gets accomplished.
Personally, I will be looking for leaders that are bridge-builders, the ones that can show independence and struggle to hear different sides and then take a position that may eventually be the best one for the community. Those that can see beyond the party label, as we are Americans first. The nasty name-calling and finger-pointing only helps to divide us. We need elected leaders that can bring us together and find common ground whenever possible. Government shouldn’t be about winning and losing because if one group wins another loses.
I will be voting on Nov. 6 and plan to do so responsibly. My dream is having a high voter turnout and seeing that the best candidates will be elected and our country moving forward. Who am I voting for? That’s for another time. See you on Election Day.