Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Change is sometimes painful."

“In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” - Carl Sagan quote from "Dictionary of Science" -professor of astronomy, author

      During an election year it's important that Americans take the time to examine why they're supporting a particular candidate. Our government is supposed to be working for us. Ask yourself, "How will this candidate affect our country as a whole?" Think big. Ask people around you why they've chosen a candidate and you often hear "because my spouse likes them", "my parents always voted for this party", "my boss will vote for that person.", "I don't like the other candidate so I won't vote." and the worst answer of all, "it doesn't matter." We aren't voting for high school prom king and queen. Why are YOU voting for a  particular candidate? What do they have to offer you?

     If you're concerned about the economy then voting for a candidate that supports increasing the minimum wage, income equality, increased job growth and family leave are important. Which candidate has a plan? If you're concerned about  personal rights and freedoms then voting for someone with a strong civil liberties track record such as protecting freedom of speech, freedom of the press, protecting a woman's right to make her own health care choices, marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws are crucial. If children are a priority then support the candidate who offers comprehensive healthcare plans, increased educational opportunities and debt free college programs. If your concern is for our international security choose the candidate who has the most experience and a proven diplomatic record. Choose a candidate who offers unity over divisive rhetoric and compassion over hatred and fear. Do they have the temperament and demeanor to be president? Two of the most critical issues all Americans need to face right now is climate change and gun control legislation. Where does your candidate stand? Do they have an economic plan which protects the environment or do they disagree with 97% of scientists worldwide by stating global warming is a "hoax started by the Chinese"?

      It's important that people take a long, hard realistic look at the people they vote to represent them in government at all levels including state and local offices. From experience talking to good responsible people we are failing as a country to research ballot issues. We deny factual information in favor of conspiracy theories or half truths because we're too afraid to consider our own  personal motives. This election will require all American voters to think about what kind of precedent we are setting for generations to come. Change is sometimes painful but it's also necessary for our continued progress. A great research and educational tool available to the voting public is BALLOTPEDIA.ORG   BALLOTPEDIA provides up to the minute statistics on state ballot issues as well as comprehensive public policy and federal information. The most consequential question we should ask each other as U.S citizens before an election is- "Are we informed?"