Right, Left and Somewhere in Between

Well, here it comes — my political side emerges!  LOL  Don’t get too worried, I don’t go off on anyone; this is just a little bit of stuff that churns in my head that I finally let out.

I am an American and I vote. Simple, to the point and true; the problem is that it is not all that simple. I realize that some of what I am about to say may not sit well with some of the people who read it, but I can’t help that. I have friends throughout the political spectrum — far right, far left, middle and various combinations are all there. As for me, I am somewhere in the middle and always have been. If I were to share all of my political views, some would be shocked and others would be amazed, but that is not what you will read here. I am a firm believer in keeping that stuff private. When asked, I will tell you that I voted, but you will not know for whom I voted. If you don’t like that, I can’t help it — that is how I have always been. If you choose to share that information, well, that is absolutely your choice and I will not think less of you for doing so. I simply ask that you respect others enough to let them think, vote, feel and choose differently than you do. After all, that is the principle on which this great country was founded. NO ONE has the right to bully, belittle or discount others simply because they choose to exercise their right to believe, vote and live differently than they do. Once we start that, we are no better than the countries that stifle and hinder their people and their liberties. That goes for both sides of the aisle and whole range of the spectrum! I will defend your right to vote, believe and live how you choose, even if it is diametrically opposed to me — that is just how it is. We don’t have to agree on anything, political or otherwise to be respectful!

The voting process is not something I take lightly and hope that you don’t either. Our founding fathers set into motion a process and set of procedures that not only allows us as citizens to express ourselves, but provides protections for us when we do so. They were very wise men with a bright broad vision for what they expected our country to become; it is up to us to help fulfill our country’s destiny. Yes, I am quite aware that the system is less than perfect, but it is SO much better than many things they could have done. We have this system so we must operate within it and make changes; that can only happen if we vote and make our voices known. I have voted regularly since I was 18 and can say that my ballot has been cast in every Presidential race since then; not all of my choices agreed with the outcome, but not all went against either. I firmly believe that if I choose not to vote, I surrender my right to criticize the outcome. Harsh? I don’t think so — it is as simple as this — if something is a priority it will find a way into your life and into your schedule. Simple, yet not always easy.

People make their voting choices on an innumerable set of variables; political party affliction, religion and family tradition are just some of them. Well, I have all three of those; I am registered, I am a Christian and I have a family with traditions. So, what does that tell you about me and how I vote?  Absolutely nothing, as it should be. Just because I am (or you are) registered under a party affiliation does NOT meant that you have to, or necessarily SHOULD vote “the party line.” Yes, I know that is how it is done my many, but that is just a cop-out; investigate and gather information on the candidates and make informed choices on your own. If you say that your religion determines your vote, well, see my statement before. Do your research and become an involved participant in you life; blind allegiances just cause people to fall off a cliff.  And as far as family tradition or history, it is just that – history. Your Mom’s, Dad’s, or Grandparents’ ways are at least a little different from yours. Before you start thinking that I am advocating discounting affiliation, religion and tradition, read again. I am simply saying that we owe it to our ourselves, our country and our children to find out for ourselves where the candidates stand on the issues; then you can choose which of those issues will be the most important. Then, go to the polls, vote and know that you have participated in one of our greatest freedoms — voting.

The truth is, I am not thrilled by any of my choices for President this election, but that doesn’t mean that I am going to ignore my responsibility and privilege of voting. I am going to cast my vote and know that regardless of the outcome I said my piece. Then, in the days, weeks, months and years that follow I can know that I did everything I could to effect change in the way I want and then hope and pray that my choices are much improved in the next cycle. Who knows what is best for the country? Hard to tell, but I do know that my opinion is just as important as anyone else’s and I refuse to shrink into a corner, throw up my hands and let someone else have a louder voice than me. My voice is just as important as anyone else’s — just as important as yours — and it is about time we ALL stand up and vote. Words are cheap without action to back them up!

Let’s see what’s next…Thanks for reading!

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