Published on November 4th, 2012 | by Newt Rayburn0
“Federal Elections are November 6” by Kierra Ransey
Federal Elections are November 6
by Kierra Ransey – from The Local Voice #167
Download the PDF here
Well, it’s that season again. It’s the year where even the most unlearned person magically transforms into Anderson Cooper or Roland Martin. It’s the year where passions and hearts are ignited and personal beliefs are quoted religiously. Close friends (or at least Facebook friends) are turned into bitter enemies. Families are divided. Feelings are hurt. And for one year people actually think about something other than themselves. It’s the year that is as dramatic as a Broadway play, as religious as a church service, as divisive as the Civil War, and as American as apple pie. It’s an election year.
Election years bring out both the best and the worst attributes of America and the people who live in it. The good side of elections is the election process is the one thing that puts America one step above other nations. America doesn’t have a dictator; there are no kings and queens here. It is truly a process that is for the people. Every American has a chance to let his or her voice be heard. They don’t have to live for years with policies that aren’t favorable to them. If they don’t like how someone is running their city, state, or country, they can vote them out of office. In some countries, it takes riots, guns, and torches in order to bring change. In America change is as simple as stepping into a ballot box.
The bad side of elections is that it is the most divisive process ever. Yes, everybody is different. Each and every person has a different idea of how the country is supposed to be run. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. If everyone had the same ideas, then it would be scary for a different reason. Yet, some haven’t learned the art of agreeably disagreeing. It is possible to disagree with candidate’s policies without disrespecting them. Sometimes decent people have bad ideas. And just because someone has an idea doesn’t mean that it’s the right idea or that the opposing idea is the wrong idea. The other bad thing about elections is that people only think in terms of how something will affect them personally. Instead of voting for what is best for America as a whole, people have a tendency to think about how having a particular president in office will affect them.
The current presidential election has been excited, dramatic, divisive, and sad at the same time. Although it is not the most exciting presidential election ever (in the election of 1800, Thomas Jefferson almost lost to his own running mate), or the most crucial election (the 1860 election started the Civil War), or the most negative election (Andrew Jackson’s wife was accused of bigamy), this election is both interesting and important. It is interesting to watch the interaction between both candidates. There have been “uh-oh” moments from President Obama, Governor Romney, Joe Biden, and Paul Ryan that have brought gasps, incredulous stares, and even laughs. This election is important because the outcome of it determines the future for not only this generation, but the generations to come.
According to a Gallup Poll taken last month, the most important issue facing the country is the state of the economy. As of September, the national unemployment rate is 7.8%. In Mississippi 9.8% of the people are unemployed. Idealistic college students are graduating only to go into a job market that is subpar. Many of them are either unemployed or underemployed and living with their parents. The working class continues to fight for better wages and working conditions, the middle class is worried about the stability of their future, and the upper class doesn’t want to be penalized for their success. The United States is 16 trillion dollars in debt, and if these issues aren’t fixed then the future of this country is at risk.
Each candidate has a different plan for fixing the economy. Governor Mitt Romney wants to rebuild the economy by lowering taxes.
Mitt Romney’s website says that: “His plan seeks to reduce taxes, spending, regulation, and government programs. It seeks to increase trade, energy production, human capital, and labor flexibility. It relinquishes power to the states instead of claiming to have the solution to every problem.”
If Romney is elected president he plans to cut the tax rates of both individuals and corporations, repeal government regulations such as President Obama’s new healthcare program dubbed “Obamacare,” and drastically reduce government spending.
President Barack Obama has different ideas of how to rebuild the economy.
His website states that, “President Obama is fighting to grow the economy from the middle class out, not the top down. This election presents a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how to grow our economy and create good middle-class jobs.”
If President Obama is re-elected, he wants to eliminate tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, he wants to continue reforming Wall Street so “everyone plays by the same rules,” and he wants to revive the automobile industry and the manufacturing industry.
Other issues that Americans are facing are national security, education, health care, immigration, equal rights, women’s issues, and the plight of senior citizens. This is no trivial election. There is a lot at stake.
There is too much at stake in this election for any American who is eligible to vote to stay home on Election Day. This election not only affects the lives of all Americans, but it also affects the lives of Americans who aren’t even born yet. Voting is a privilege that so many people have fought hard for and it would be wrong not to participate. It doesn’t matter who you vote for. You could vote for President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney, any of the third-party candidates, you could even pencil your name in if you think that there is no one else who knows how to run the country. Just vote! It’s a great way to get your voice heard.
Voting booths will be open in Mississippi from 7 am to 7 pm on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Be sure to vote, y’all!