Tuesday, October 30, 2012
It’s the scariest time of the year. And no, I’m not talking about Halloween. I’m talking about election time.
This is my last column prior to election day and I could tell you who to vote for but I have no intention of ever doing that. Ever.
I just hope that people will vote based on knowledge and fact instead of voting for the person they share a skin color with or the person their spouse or favorite media mogul told them to.
The real scary thing going on right now is that people DO vote based on those things. And with an election as close as some are projecting it to be, I hate to see the whole thing decided by people who don’t know what they heck they’re doing.
Whether it’s the presidential election or the race for your local congressional seat or even your state assemblyman or senator, informed decisions are crucial.
Like you, I’ve been inundated with political mailers and commercials and even water cooler talk from people who want me to vote for their candidate. Facebook has been almost unbearable with all the political banter — as if anyone’s Facebook post has ever swayed someone else’s mind. Actually, I’m sure it has and that just leads to me thinking that my being scared is warranted.
The scariest thing for me, though, is the fear. The number of people who seem to think that these United States are so fragile that any one man — be it Barack Obama or Mitt Romney — could bring about its demise in four short years is truly frightening.
There are a system of checks and balances in place to prevent that from happening. Some of those checks in balances are the electoral system itself. Others are those we elect.
While my friend and fellow columnist Bob Confer expressed some concern in his most recent writing that we are headed towards a monarchy, I have no such fear. I believe that the system put in place by our founders remains intact and completely capable of protecting us from the potential that any one man (or woman for that matter) could destroy our freedoms.
That’s not to say that everything is hunky-dory. No, I think that America is sick and in need of a healing. I think we’ve become far too obsessed with what government can do for us and much less interested in what we can do for ourselves … or for our country.
When we look upon government to save us, ask yourself what we need saving from. The all-too-obvious answer is ourselves. So cut out the middleman and do it yourself. Vote not for the person who’s going to help you the best but who’s going to help America the best. Maybe it’s the same person. Maybe it’s not. But this systemic greed doesn’t flow from the top down. It flows from the bottom up. And only we can change it.
As you get ready to vote next Tuesday, I ask only that you base your vote on knowledge instead of fear.
Scott Leffler is a raving lunatic whose weekly rantings are available each week in this paper and online. Shorter daily-ish rantings are available on Twitter @scottleffler.