Sometimes I'm not sure which is worse- a person who has the ability but chooses not to vote, or a person who votes without knowing what they're voting for. Both are a negative thing- one has the power, but throws it away, while the other one makes an uneducated vote based on who knows what factors.
You won't often see me posting about politics on this blog, but I felt this was weighing on my heart and needed to be said.
Many people complain about the government and the state of the nation. It's true that things are not so great, and there is definitely changes that can be made to make our nation the grand place our forefathers dreamed of. America used to be one of the greatest nations in the world- maybe even THE greatest- but not so much anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I stand fully behind my country- just not behind my government.
Some people say that the power does not belong to the people, that we need to seize control from the powers that be in order to make our country great once again. But there's someone that most people don't realize- We actually DO have the power, now more than ever.
Voting is an amazing thing, and not something that should be taken lightly. There's few people who are neutral on Obama and his policies- some thing he's terrible, comparing him to Hitler (which, I'm sorry, whether you're for or against him, this is a bit extreme- until he declares a master race and starts the extermination of certain peoples, this is an extreme comparison), while others think he's the best thing to happen to our nation since winning the Revolutionary War. What most people don't take into account is that he does not have as much power as many think he does- Congress is a huge factor.
This post is a call to action, of sorts. I'm not going to tell you who to vote for or whether or not I think Obama should be re-elected. Instead, I'm going to strongly urge you to educate yourself before you vote this November. You've got about nine months before going to the polls, which is plenty of time to learn about the presidential candidates (even if you only spend a few minutes a week learning about their views/policies). Take time to learn about the representatives and their beliefs, both the incumbents and the new candidates. It is just as, if not more, important as who you decide to vote for to take the presidency.
This year, I'm not voting for anyone from either of the two power-parties. In my opinion, neither of them have done what would be best for the American people. Instead, I'm voting for a third-party candidate who shares a lot of my views- he especially believes that government has been overstepping their boundaries and controlling too much of the America peoples' freedoms. I think he has a good head on his shoulders, and although most people have not heard of him yet, I'm giving my vote to him.
Some say that not voting for one of the two major parties is the same as throwing away a vote. In my opinion, voting for someone you don't fully believe in is throwing away the nation's wellbeing just to hope your vote counts. This year, vote for who you REALLY want to see elected, not who you think will get elected. Don't give your vote to someone just to take away a vote against someone you dislike; vote for the person who DESERVES your vote. If all the American voters actually voted for who they believed was the right person for the job, then for once the right person might actually GET the job.
One last thing- don't get all your information from one source. Don't just watch FOX and CNN- they don't report on all of the candidates, and they are very influenced to one side. Check out as many sources as you can find- use your logic and understanding to sort through what is true and what is not true. Look at the candidate's pages (especially third-party candidates, who get next to no airtime on television) and see what their views are on the issues that are important to YOU. Don't give your vote to someone who does not absolutely deserve it!
Here's a couple of sources to get you started, but I urge you to find more (and please share any helpful links you find here):
* 2012 Presidential Candidates (a great source to start at- lists all the candidates and their beliefs on issues; well-organized and easy to use website)
* Americans Elect 2012 (helpful source about the election; also has some information on the candidates and the process of the election)
Vote wisely- the fate of the nation is in your hands.