BY GIL POTTS
With election season in full swing across the nation, political ads are unfortunately dominating the mainstream media once again. “This candidate did this, and that candidate wants to do thatâ€ is all you hear. Itâ€™s the same old rhetoric with a different face and a different smile.
Nevertheless, its coming time to start paying attention to what theyâ€™re saying. Itâ€™s also time to decide upon what principles you will base your decision for whom you shall cast your vote.
Elections past have shown us that candidates will often, through polling, determine what will sway your vote one way or another, and pursue the path of the most popular view. They may do this to win your favor without exposing their honest convictions, true or not to their favored pursuit.
Opposingly, one candidate in recent history actually told the American people exactly what his desires and intentions were. The rhetoric and excitement in the delivery of the message was so intense that voters obliviously overlooked the certitude of the message.
President Abraham Lincoln once spoke the words, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.â€ More recently, President Ronald Reagan reminded us that, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.
We donâ€™t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.â€ The referenced message of the paragraph above was delivered by then candidate Barack Obama in numerous campaign speeches. He openly told us he wanted to “fundamentally transform America.â€ Who would have thought he actually meant what he was saying.
The issues confronting America on the national level of this upcoming election have fundamental repercussions at most every local level. Policies of this administration will likely be effected by the results of elections in varying states, ultimately affecting all Americans. Senatorial contests in Alaska, Kansas or any of a dozen other states is going to determine the presidentâ€™s ability to carry out his agenda through the remainder of his time in office. The governorâ€™s race right here in Texas could influence the direction of illegal immigration, potentially affecting the lives of every American.
So you see, when it comes to politics, everything local is not just local. The lever you pull on November 4 in Van Horn, Texas just might be felt in Hackensack, New Jersey, and all the more reason to understand the importance of your individual vote. But itâ€™s not just important that you vote. It is equally important to comprehend the consequences of your vote.
Have you researched unbiased information on the issues? Is your candidate actually qualified to perform the duties of the office he or she is seeking? And, of equal consideration, does your candidate posess and demonstrate the integrity and leadership qualities necessary to excel in the position? Thomas Jefferson taught us, “Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.â€
Thus the importance of elections, and the importance of the character of whom we elect. While quoting the words of famous American leaders, General George S. Patton advised in relation to leadership, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.â€ On this Election Day, the spirit of those who will lead our nation has possibly never been more vital.
Voting in America is an established and fundamental right reserved for the natural and legitimately naturalized citizens of our nation. It is also a privilege. To cast a legitimate vote on Election Day is to do your part, to fulfill an obligation to your country, and to contribute to the process of perpetuating the liberties so hard fought for by our forefathers and indeed, the veterans of even modern day conflicts, when the freedoms and liberties of peoples around the world have been challenged.