Distracted by the coverage of the upcoming Presidential election, I cannot write about anything else. It is unfathomable to me that there are people who are either apathetic or uninformed when it comes to politics.
Maybe my fixation is a result of living in close proximity to where all the action happens, near our Nations Capitol. Every time I enter the city, I feel a swell of American pride, awe and patriotism. Ironically, the population in this area is somewhat sheltered from the problems of the rest of the Country. The struggle is not as magnified here, where house prices and employment levels remain high.
I was not engaged at one time and am unsure of when I changed my mind and decided to start paying attention. I remember feeling about politics the way I felt about golf. How boring! Then I started to play golf, not so much by choice but to participate in client tournaments and began to understand the fascination of wanting to get that little ball into that little hole in fewer strokes than the other guy or gal. My competitive nature took over.
By that same token, there is nothing boring about politics. If that is what you think, you are merely uninformed. If that is what you think, you have not been watching the debates.
Could politics be an interest that develops with age?
Now, being at an age and in an income bracket where so many decisions made by politicians, directly affect me, have I simply just woken up?
Is it because I have Veterans in my family?
Perhaps it is due, in part, to my friends and family members in the military or due to my personal experience of military life.
Maybe, my interest magnified after living in Europe and witnessing their economic and Healthcare issues.
Or, simply put, maybe I feel I am caught in the middle, as a member of the middle class, the knot in the tug of war between the political parties and a member of the gender they are currently squabbling over?
The only problem with this theory is that “we the people” are all affected by the decisions politicians make, whether they tell us what they are doing with our money or not, whether we realize what is happening in the world and how our country is tied to it or not, whether we are aware or not.
As an informed voter, I seek information via multiple television news sources, newspapers, magazines, the radio, the internet and in discussions with others. It is not hard. I absorb information while exercising, cooking, checking e-mail and driving, all with minimal effort. I do not take much stock in celebrity endorsements. Why trust a professional actor to be truthful? Rather, I make my own decisions based on my values. I have the advantage of knowing what those beliefs are and where the candidates stand on issues that are important to me. Finally, I abhor desperate attempts by the candidates to smear one another or to placate me.
I may be a candidate’s worst nightmare.
For women in America, voting rights began in 1920, less than 100 years ago. Respecting this right means that I know how fortunate I am to be an American woman. Respecting this, means that I take my rights seriously. Whichever candidate for whom you cast your vote, please, respect the right enough to make an informed decision.