I worry about who the real Mitt Romney is and exactly why he wants to be president. I worry about Obama's leadership and what his plans are for cutting the deficit. I worry about the wackadoodles having too much control and a congress that the majority of whom have signed a pledge to someone outside the Constitution.
I worry about how polarized the two main parties and our country has become. I don't know how often I've had a discussion with someone who announces how nice it is to have a civil discussion and that this is how it should be. I worry about the meaning that so many of the ads are not just playing loose with the truth; they are out and out lies. What does it say about us as a people if the person with the most lies on TV and radio wins?
I worry about the reasons someone votes.
There is many a discussion on the news and more ads than we can count in the swing states, that are not about why we vote for someone but why we should vote against someone. This has become the nature of politics. Back in July, CBS had a poll showing that at the time 80 plus percent of Obama ads were negative and 90 plus percent were Romney ads. It is worse now in the last days. What is more though, I have talked to very few who tell me why they are voting for someone as much as they are voting against. One idea that has come up again and again is that young voters are not as likely to turn out because the choice is a candidate who they are less enthusiastic about his record vs. a candidate that no one seems to be able to figure out where he stands.
I try to pick a candidate who I can support in any election. I read their stances and look at their records. I really do try to ignore ads other than to check about the facts. I don't buy the hype about "liberal media" or "fair and balanced" stories. I do my own work. Since my retirement, I am probably better informed than I have ever been. I am comfortable with my choices and the logic of my decisions. I admit on the down ballot candidates I look more at where on the spectrum most of the candidates stand. I look for someone who appears to be more to the middle and eliminate those who court or announce they follow the beliefs of the extreme right or left. I really try not to vote for someone because I am casting my vote against. In one race this year, I did not vote on either candidate because they both looked extreme to me.
Please realize when you vote against a candidate without looking hard at the one you are giving a vote to because of your opposition, you may be sticking the rest of us with someone who should be the loser if it wasn't for your dislike of the other guy. Weigh carefully your decision. Vote for a candidate you can support and will support. No problem that is national, state, or local is likely to be solved overnight. Candidates who are "one trick ponies" will cause more problems than they will solve. If you vote only against instead of for, you will inevitably get what you pay for. I know, if you vote for a third party candidate who actually is closer to your beliefs, you probably believe you are throwing away your vote.
I've voted for third party candidates and many folks do. They know that their candidate will not be likely to win. On the other hand, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt were both ran as out of the mainstream candidates. Independent senators and congressmen are third party candidates. Libertarians and Green party candidates have influenced elections. It is these votes that make the main parties aware of other points of view and often it is how issues become national issues. I've voted for third party candidates because in my little idealist way, I sleep better knowing that I voted for what I believed and not against someone I am dissatisfied with. I have tried not to stick someone with a choice I don't want because I didn't like the other guy. I want the person to be some one I am voting for and not against. I don't choose a candidate because of party lines.
I choose to vote for...I choose not to vote against...
Imagine how important other candidates might become if we all did that.
But please vote and make your voice heard.