Friday, November 2, 2012
Tuesday is election day, and some are calling this election one that will be a turning point for our country. Those of a conservative bent say that if Obama is re-elected, our nation will further deteriorate and slip deeper into a socialist economic quagmire. Those with a liberal persuasion say that if Romney wins, we become a callous nation that cares only about the wealthy to the detriment of those that are disadvantaged.
Regardless of your political beliefs, this election is very important.
But not for those reasons.
Political passions have been stirred, and voters are engaged in an attempt to get their candidate elected.
That is good. That is the way the system is supposed to work.
The importance of this election is not in having your candidate win, though. It is not in having your "side" emerge victorious when the votes are counted.
The importance of this election instead rests in the continued engagement of the electorate as difficult issues are addressed. The difficulty of the issues that we face as a nation cannot be understated. High unemployment, out of control spending, bankrupt social programs, and the lack of political will to have an honest dialogue about our problems are just some of the issues that we must confront.
Recent history has shown that we talk at each other rather than honestly discuss the issues. Scoring political points, whether one is an elected representative or a concerned citizen, is the norm. The sound and fury of this type of engagement signifies and accomplishes nothing.
The energy of this election has to continue in the form of honest discussion of the problems we face and potential solutions to those problems. The solutions will not be easy. No, they will be painful, and they will require sacrifice. Business as usual from Washington will not suffice. Trying to find political solutions that protect a party or a position will not work.
We as citizens have to stay engaged in the process. We have to demand more out of our elected representatives. Our voices must be heard and must be part of the dialogue. We have seen that Washington, left to its own devices, operates in its own best interest, which often does not coincide with the best interests of you and me as citizens.
Honest dialogue does not mean we set aside our principals. It does mean that we listen to divergent viewpoints. It means that we weigh alternatives, even if they come from political opponents. Honest dialogue transcends party or political platform. The problems we face as a nation are bigger than a political party or platform.
Harry Reid has already said that Senate Democrats would not work with Mitt Romney if he is elected President. There are Republicans that feel the same way about working with President Obama if he is re-elected.
That is not a formula for finding workable solutions to our problems, which continue to grow in severity.
This election is about direction. One side believes that government is the solution to all our problems. One side believes that the government should be limited.
We will choose that direction on Tuesday.
What happens after the election- no matter which side wins- will really determine the direction of our country.
It is up to us as citizens to be involved in the process and to determine to be heard as our nation confronts the challenges ahead.
It is too important for us not to be involved.
And that is the importance of this election.
That, my friends, is my view.