Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn
Election Day is soon to come … Hallelujah! This has been quite an election season, especially with the two candidates who have been running for president from the two major political parties (in case you haven’t noticed).
We have one candidate who seems to have been caught in several lies, and one candidate who seems to make vulgar statements on a regular basis.
As a result, the campaigns have become more about avoiding the issues, and the negative press which has plagued them, instead of the issues our country is facing.
However, through all of this, and despite the way we may feel about them, we still need to make sure we exercise our civic duty, and vote!
One of the most fundamental rights individuals have in this country is the right to vote.
It is through this process that we will elect the people who will indirectly affect every aspect of our lives.
Elections have consequences.
And, who we elect will influence the laws of the land, which will in turn impact the manner in which we live our lives, how much money we pay the government, etc.
If we elect the “wrong” person, those changes will have an impact for generations to come.
One thing I have said before is that we need to learn everything we can about the candidate for whom we will be voting.
While no one will most likely appeal to everything we believe in, we need to see who will be most closely aligned with what we believe, individually, to help each of us move forward with our agendas.
We should also be sure to get our information from sources other than the nightly news.
Whether we agree with each other or not, the evening news has a bias, and I believe that bias is meant to taint the minds of the people who watch it.
As a result, we need to do our homework, and to get our information from a variety of different sources.
This will allow us to make an informed decision when the time comes to vote.
And, as a Christian who believes in the power of prayer, I will be praying for direction when it comes to deciding for whom to vote.
With the information I will have gathered by the time election day comes, and the prayers I will have prayed, I am sure I will be secure in my decision.
As African-Americans, we have to remove our emotions from the equation.
When we are governed by our emotions, we are bound to make the wrong decisions.
As the saying goes, emotions can (and will) fool you.
The other thing to note is that, other political races will also be decided on election day, in addition to the presidential election.
We cannot forget that there are local, county and statewide races on which we need to focus.
Many of these elected officials will have more of an impact on our lives than whomever holds the office of the president, and therefore we cannot forget about them.
People will get to choose who will govern them for the next few years, and we do not want to forfeit this opportunity.
We need to let our voices be heard, so that the folks whom we elect will realize they have an obligation to their electorate.
We do not live in a country where elected officials should be better off than the individuals are whom they govern (at least on paper).
We live in a country where the people who vote for our elected officials are supposed to be the ones who are ultimately in charge.
And, if we do not like what those who are governing us are doing, we can vote them out of office in the next election cycle.
However, we need to be voters who keep tabs on our elected officials, and monitor whether those who have earned our vote are keeping their promises.
If they do well, we’ll rehire them.
If they do poorly, we’ll fire them, and put someone else in their positions.
Do not be silent during this election!
Let your voice be heard, as an educated voter, and go into that booth knowing that you have done your homework.
Praying about your direction always helps!
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