At times I am asked by people who they should vote for in a particular election, and the upcoming presidential election is no exception.
My answer will surprise some because my political preferences are obvious to most; however, I try not to influence people who are seeking my advice on voting.
My advice to undecided voters is to read as much as they can about the candidates and listen to their debates and speeches. Don’t listen to their ads, which are designed to be prejudicial, or judge them by their looks, financial status, gender, race or religion. After reading about them and hearing their messages, ask one question: Which person will lead our country or state or municipality in the direction that feels right to me? In other words, will we be better off if this person is elected to the office in question.
Most of us will make this choice based on whether we feel that WE will be better off if a particular candidate is elected. Will my income improve, will my taxes be reduced, will my business benefit from their policies, will I have adequate medical care, will my medical expenses be affordable, etc. It is simply natural that we will favor someone who promises to do things that will be good for us, our families, and our businesses. Why would I vote for someone who seems likely to lead us in a direction that will do the opposite?
The bottom line is that to make a choice we have to first make an effort to learn about the various candidates, and this takes time. But it is important because the right to vote does not come free of charge; if we do not exercise this right properly (i.e., become informed before voting) we are abusing this privilege and should not rightfully be entitled to exercise it in this fashion. Perhaps there should be some sort of minimum qualification process before we are permitted to vote, but that is for another discussion.
Between now and November there will be ample opportunity to gain the knowledge necessary to be prepared for the general election. Listen to the goings-on at the conventions of both political parties, read the platforms of each party (you can find them through Google or Bing), tune into the debates that are surely to follow, and discuss (not argue) with your family and friends what the distinctions are between the candidates. This will help to clarify, and verify, your understanding of the candidates’ views.
Then there’s only one more step to take to prove that you’ve earned the right to have this privilege that so many have fought for and so many in other countries are still trying to achieve. You have to VOTE. There’s early voting, absentee voting, and a full day to vote on Election Day. There’s no excuse not to vote.
This article has been contributed by Larry Turner,
of Backus Turner International and The Light™ Magazine.