Monday, October 1, 2012

Big decision coming with presidential election one month away

It is a little more than one month until Election Day when voters will decide whether President Barack Obama will get to serve a second term or Republican nominee Mitt Romney will get the opportunity to lead our country.
Based on what I have read, most people reading this have already made up their minds for who they will vote. Barring a remarkable event, there is little chance these people will have a change of heart.
I do not know whether this is good or bad, but it is an indicator that Obama and Romney are chasing a small group of undecided voters who could tilt the election one way or the other.
Couple that with the apathetic people who will not bother to vote and this small pool of undecided voters gets that much smaller. Of course, apathetic people have a right to their apathy in much the same way that passionate people have a right to their passion. In some respects, it is a shame these apathetic people will not bother to vote.
However, if these voters are apathetic to the point that they are uninformed on the issues, then maybe it is a good idea they are staying home. I do not want to ride in a car if the driver has not bothered to get a license and the same principle applies to people who vote. If a person does not have basic knowledge about what is going on, then I will not shed a tear if they choose not to vote.
For the people who do vote, the election is basically a referendum on how well President Obama has done in the last four years. Of course, there are wildly diverging points of view on this.
Supporters of the president will point out our struggles of the last four years would have been much worse if he had not taken steps like supporting the quarter-of-a-trillion dollar stimulus package that was meant to help our economy as it sputtered. The supporters state he inherited a big mess, and it was so large that four years was not enough time to produce substantial improvement.
Critics will point out the last four years have been a failure in which unemployment has remained above eight percent, and many economists predict problems will continue. They will say the president has taken a big government approach that has yielded few results, and it has resulted in a national debt now above $16 trillion. They feel more debt will strangle the long-term prospects of the country.
Usually, I do not publicly state for who I will vote and I will not now. But I do have some pretty deep feelings about the upcoming election.
Deep in my heart, I believe this is the most important presidential election of my lifetime. Our country’s challenges are real and cannot be solved overnight.
The economy remains in a mess. We are still fighting a war in Afghanistan even though nobody seems to want to talk about it.
I fear our standing in the international community is slipping as the recent protests by radical Muslims demonstrate.
Whether it will be Obama or Romney who will lead us in the coming four years, I hope all of us will dedicate ourselves to holding our elected officials more accountable. For several years, the primary goals of our leaders seem to have been to maintain power rather than actually lead.
That is not a knock at one person or one political party. There is plenty of blame to go around, and we need to do a better job of clearing our throats when monitoring them.
It is our government, you know.

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