It is election day and people throughout the country are lining up to cast their vote for local elections and for who will be the next President of the United States. This important day will shape the future of our country for the next four years and beyond. It is impossible to look at one President as only having an impact during their term. Economic conditions, foreign policies, social programs and more are often carried on generation to generation so things that happen during four years have an impact that is felt far into the future.
This election has been fierce. Both sides – candidates, campaigns, and the public – have been fighting a battle that from where I sit has been filled with anger and frustration. Watching the debates it was clear that America is choosing between two guys that really don’t like each other. Fake smiles aside – they are not on the same page.
The problem with an angry election is that the American people loose. I have been watching a variety of news shows for months that discuss what each candidate is doing and what they have to say. Some even talk about stupid Tweets sent by people on the campaign – as if that actually matters. It is mind blowing to me because all of this talk about candidates does nothing for the citizens that have to elect them in the end. A tweet sent by a campaign staffer does not help someone in Ohio get a job or put food on the table. An insulting commercial does not help a student make their loan payment or the Johnsons keep their home.
We have real problems in America today. Our problems run deep and cannot be fixed in a matter of months or even years. Our economic challenges are not just a problem to be discussed on the pages of the Wall Street Journal or on CNN. These problems impact whether or not the kid riding the bus with yours has food for dinner. They impact whether or not your parents can afford to retire or will be living in your spare room. They impact whether or not your family can have two people working and pay your bills or if you have to downsize into an apartment. The news media and politicians don’t seem to understand the gravity of the problems we are facing. In my family and friends alone there has been massive unemployment, foreclosures, loss of health insurance and more – from people of all ages, walk of life, and education levels. This is not an isolated issue but something we are all dealing with.
I met a women in Montana a few weeks ago. She was checking me in at a hotel as I passed through town and I asked her thoughts on the election. She told me she would vote if she could find time to research in between working and caring for her three kids. The only thing she did know is that she wouldn’t vote for Obama because she blames him for her husband being out of work. He was in the military and planned on staying for his career. Right before his ten year anniversary they let him go – all so they wouldn’t have to give him retirement. Her family of five was left with no income and they lost their health insurance. She got a job as a hotel clerk but her income couldn’t pay the bills so they lost their house and now live in a small apartment – barely getting by. They have a problem with their car and can’t fix it so now the family drives in their truck anywhere the go. The problem is the truck only fits three so they have to go in batches anytime the family goes somewhere. She has applied for assistance three times and gotten denied every single time. They are broke. They need help and they blame Obama’s policies for their struggles. Is it really his fault? Maybe. Hard to say. The only thing I do know is that people in America are hurting and someone needs to stand up and lead our country back into greatness. We can do it but someone has to step up. My hope is the next four years bring an actual recovery – rather than one contrived by the media. Obama, Romney – whichever one of you wins – do something. The American people need it.