Saturday, November 3, 2012

My View

 Caitlyn and Coryn circa 1996.
Caitlyn's face expresses what many of us are feeling
with the overload of political ads.

I rarely discuss politics outside my home.
My reason being, I've never cared too much for contention,
and I find it hard to discuss this topic with those
whose mentality is
"my way or the highway."
Yes, we are entitled to our opinions,
and thankfully we live in a great country that allows us
to freely express them. 
However, because our opinions and values may vary significantly
from person to person,
discussions can become heated at best.
As human beings we have the responsibility to respect others' 
opinions and beliefs whether we agree with them or not.
It is not a matter of who is right, as much as it is what is right.

My first experience with the political process was when I was a young girl in the 1960's.
My mother was an election judge and in those days the voting locations were
generally hosted in homes.
I remember the day before an election people would show up to set up voting booths 
in our living room.
On voting day my mom would hang out the flag and people would begin arriving
early in the morning until late at night.
I was blessed with patriotic parents who value the political process
and honor the privilege and obligation we have as citizens to vote. 
One of my dad's published books for Desert Book was titled
"Our Freedom, Our Liberty."
His essay on Lincoln was awarded the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge
and read into the Congressional Record by Utah Senator Wallace Bennett.
My grandpa and aunt were both elected and served as representatives in our state legislature.
My uncle was a county commissioner.
In fact, one of the first friends I made when we moved to our neighborhood
nineteen years ago, is now the first female Speaker of the House in my state.
I have many stories I could share regarding my involvements in the political process.
(Perhaps another day.)

I remember as a 6th grader being very caught up in the excitement of the elections.
I recall wearing a Richard Nixon button to school.
(And we all know how that turned out.)

I believe one of the great problems in our country today is people who are uninformed.
You would think this would not be the case given the many forms of communication
and technology we have access to.
But it never ceases to amaze me how so many individuals are clueless about the important
issues facing our country. 
People get caught up in supporting their favorite candidate or party
but fail to do their homework:
reading and researching and understanding
what those candidates and parties represent and stand for.

I have never voted a straight party ticket in my life.
It is a lazy way to vote.
When I step into that booth I want to look at each individual candidate's name
knowing that I have done my part in finding out what they will do for 
me as a citizen.

The year I turned 21 (the voting age at the time) was an election year.
I remember how excited I was.
I vividly remember the sunny day I walked from my college apartment several blocks
away to the home in my voting precinct.
I proudly cast my ballot for Ronald Reagan.

Here are my feelings in a nutshell:
We need to elect "statesmen" and not politicians.
We need to elect those who are willing to LISTEN to another's point of view,
though it may differ from their own.
We need someone who is willing to reach across the aisle and compromise
if necessary to accomplish what is in the best interest of this country.
It is ridiculous when someone thinks they are always right 
and others are always wrong.
Compromise is NOT a weakness and is in fact a strength in a democracy.
Our founding fathers would never have succeeded in their great work
had they not compromised.
If the USA is to move forward we must realize that it is necessary
to give a little
while still maintaining our core values.
We cannot change course in America if we keep up the infighting.

In a dictatorship
only one opinion counts and that is
the one at the top.
Heaven forbid we revert to that model.
Lack of cooperation and compromise is the great problem
with our Congress and the administration.
It has been this way for a long time.
If there is no give and take we will never accomplish the good this great nation
is capable of.

VOTE your conscience. 

P.S. All five registered voters in our home
voted two weeks ago.
No long lines.