This presidential election cycle has been quite unlike we’ve experienced. Both parties are dealing with candidates that are somewhat outside the mold.
The most noticeable are Independent Senator Bernie Sanders; the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist and Donald Trump, the bombastic millionaire real estate mogul. These two candidates are saying things out loud that are completely out of line with anything we have heard from a mainstream candidate for POTUS.
Both have successfully been able to rally two entirely different groups of people to create their bases. The most interesting thing to me is that neither fits the design of what traditionally either party would nominate, yet one is a frontrunner, and the other is polling quite well against an opponent in Hillary Clinton that was supposed to walk away with the Democratic nomination.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on why no dad should vote for Donald Trump. In it, I explained why I wouldn’t vote for Mr. Trump and why I didn’t feel any dad should. I got a ton of feedback from that article, positive and negative. The negative focused on contrasting Mr. Trump and his record to President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even Bill Clinton. The funny part about that is nowhere in the article were any of those people mentioned. However, I was accused of supporting them all.
I find it funny how my lack of support and trust in Trump was taken to mean I supported Hillary Clinton or anyone else for that matter. While we are at it, I don’t currently support her campaign and I also don’t support Senator Sanders campaign either. Unfortunately, by reading the comments I received, it is painfully apparent that civil discourse about politics is in its death throes.
You see, I am sort of an enigma. Conservatives call me a liberal, liberals call me a right winger, and libertarians call me a statist. I don’t subscribe totally to any one political ideology, although at one time I did and I’ve supported candidates I wish I hadn’t. Now I’m a typical middle of the road guy; that just wants what’s best for my family. I understand the danger in the world, but I don’t live in fear of it. I appreciate fiscal conservatism, but I know there are social programs that have been beneficial. You could say that I don’t see as much in black and white, right or wrong, good or bad, as I used to. I certainly still believe strongly in many subjects, but I now understand that not every issue is that simple.
There is a candidate that has gotten my attention, and to a large degree, even excited me that he is in the race–the candidate is Rand Paul. There are a lot of qualities I admire in Dr. Paul the biggest, however, is pretty simple, he means what he says and operates in a way that shows it. He doesn’t flip-flop; his opinions aren’t driven by polls and his votes in the Senate are consistent. He shows up for work and will stay until the bitter end to fighting for what he believes is right.
Senator Paul has been adamant about the government staying out of our lives as much as possible; he is against our endless thirst for war and nation building. He believes that the decisions I make for myself and my family are what’s best, not what some bureaucrat thinks is correct. He has fought continually in the Senate to stop government intrusion into our daily lives through his votes and his legendary filibusters. Doing what you say you will do consistently is what used to be the measure of a man.
As an ophthalmologist, he has spent many hours donating his skills to the less fortunate, repairing and restoring their eyesight. He doesn’t look at his fellow man simply as a source of income or labor, or just a resource to build a fortune. He cares about the human race no matter which job he is doing that day; he will do the same as President.
We have developed a sheep mentality in our election process; we always seem to do the same thing over and over again. Once the media establishes a front runner for the two main parties that seems to be who we line up for. Three weeks after the election, we complain because the candidate we elected doesn’t live up to our standards, and we use the line that we “voted for the lesser of two evils.” More often than not, we still end up reelecting the same person during the next cycle simply because we don’t want the “other” team to win.
The truth is you don’t have to do that at all, ever. The direction our country is on is displeasing to many Americans in one way or the other, and most people would agree politicians on both sides of any fight are a major problem. So, this election, I’m not going to vote who the media or popular opinion tell me I should. I am going to vote for whom I believe to be the best person for the job; I encourage everyone to do the same.
Research your options, their platforms, their track records and their words, then decide. Don’t just vote based on fear, anger, and rhetoric. Examine the issues and where the candidates really stand. Voting is a serious responsibility that far too many people take lightly without proper examination.
You may not come to the same conclusion as I have, we all have different motivators and key issues that are important to us. However, for me, the clear choice, the only real choice is Rand Paul.
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