Today’s Vote

Today is “Super Tuesday”.  It was supposed to be a day that would resolve all issues within each of the major political parties about who the candidate would be.  I am wondering if it will do that.  As I stated a while back, my candidate was and continues to be “none of the above” but they have dropped out of the race, along with the candidates who have best expressed what I believe.

Still, I will vote and I will vote for who I think is the best candidate on the list of options.

But I wonder what the outcome of various primaries today will be.  Will each party decide who their candidate be or will this contest continue on through the next major round of primaries in March?  Will the primaries conclude with no decisions and force the conventions to actually do what the convention is supposed to do?

I fear that no matter who the Democratic and Republican candidates are, no matter who the Greens and the Independents name as a candidate, the rest of the campaign is going to be more of what it has been for the past year.  All we are going to get is more mud-slinging and more fear-mongering.

The campaign that will dominate the rest of the year will produce more division that it will cohesion.  It will produce more hatred than acceptance.  It will not provide the answers to the questions that we ask; it will not produce solutions to the problems that face this nation and this society. 

And the day after the vote is taken in November to decide who will be the President for the next four years, the campaign to decide who will run in 2012 will begin.  We have spent the past two years focusing on who the candidates will be, yet when it is all said and done, we are dissatisfied with whom we have chosen and we begin to look for newer candidates.

The problem isn’t the candidates.  Each person who made the decision to run for the nomination of their party felt that they offered the best solution.  The problem is ourselves.  We are a nation and a society that has forsaken our past.  We seemingly no longer care about the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden.  Our answer to repression is war and more repression.  We are seeing our liberties taken away and we don’t care! 

Political campaigns have become a referendum about us.  The focus for the past few years has been and continues to be on ourselves.  We have allowed our politics to reflect that focus. 

The buzzword for now is “change” but what change will we see?  Will the nature of the campaigns change and we have serious discussions about the future of this country and this world?  Will candidates question the viability of the programs that their opponents offer or will more mud be slung back and forth?

The real buzzword in the campaign is fear.  Politicians today do not speak of the hope for tomorrow but rather the fear of tomorrow.  They may promise great things, they may promise change but all they are really saying is that they can protect us from our fears better than their opponents can. 

The media seems to think that this is a campaign for those between 20 and 50 in age. But what about those under 18 who cannot vote; who will speak for them.  I could not vote when was 18 and I had to depend on the nation to protect my future.  You can be sure that I voted when I had the chance and I have voted whenever possible. 

Are we to forget those over 50?  This campaign is truly a campaign about the future but it is a future for everyone, not just those in a particular age group. 

The fact of the matter is that today’s vote is about our future.  To paraphrase George Allen (the father, not the son), the future is now.  No matter how old we are, if we are eligible to vote, then we should vote.  Our future is decided by that vote.  Our future is also decided by what we say to the candidates and we should let the candidates know what we think.  If we know tomorrow who the probable candidates are going to be for the election in November, then we should begin telling them to focus on the future for everyone and not focus on telling us how bad their opponent is or will be. 

I am not interested in knowing that my candidate’s opponent matriculated from Wossamotta University.  I am interested in knowing specifically how my candidate will focus on the problems that this country and society faced.  I want to know specifically how my candidate will move this country and society into the coming years.  Allow me the opportunity to think about what you are saying; give me the opportunity to analyze what you propose.  DO NOT tell me how to think and DO NOT tell me what is wrong with your opponent.  DO tell me the truth about what you propose.  Let me make the decision.

This will be difficult because this country and this society do not want to hear words that will cause them to think.  This country and this society do not want to hear words that call for sacrifice on their part or even suggest that they must pay for things.

There must be a call for tomorrow, not complaints about what happened yesterday.  There must be an inspiration that produces action, not simply a call.  Adlai Stevenson once said, “In classical times when Cicero had finished speaking, the people said, ‘How well he spoke,’ but when Demosthenes had finished speaking, they said, ‘Let us march.’”

So march to the voting booth and make your voice heard.  And when the counting is done and the decision is made, take the next step.  Tell the victors to focus on the issues and the solutions.  Let us stop the vitriol and venom; let us stop the mud-slinging.  Let us focus on the future for all.  Speak to the future and what we can expect; not what we fear.

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