When I think about “running the country” the first thing that would come to my mind would be “voting”. One of the most important rights we have as American Citizens is the right to vote. Although that right hasn’t come easy. And the word right is often thrown around without much thought as to its actual meaning.
Right: a justified claim or entitlement, or the freedom to do something.
Okay, so the right to vote. Basically, as American Citizens we have the ability to vote for a great number of things in our community, our state and our Nation. We can elect our Local School Board Members, Circuit Court Judges, Commissioners, Supervisors of Election, our Mayor and Local City Council Members. We also vote for our Governor, our State Representative, our State Senator, Supreme Court Justices, and many other important elections which is why it is always good to study about and know ahead of time what you will be expected to vote on like Proposed Amendments for example.
Originally, under our Constitution only white, male citizens over the age of 21 could vote. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920 when the nineteenth Amendment was passed. Voting was first extended (though not totally equally permitted) to African Americans once the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments were passed. The Fifteenth Amendment is specifically dedicated to protecting the right of all citizens to vote, regardless of their race.
This was not the end of the voting rights struggle for African Americans. Because of widespread discrimination in some states, including the use of poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and literacy tests, African Americans were not assured full voting rights until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Federal Elections take place every two years on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Every member of our House of Representatives and about one-third of the Senate is up for reelection in any given election year. Every four years we hold a presidential election.
So, why did I ask, “Who is running our country?”
As always, I believe in getting some information before jumping right into a topic of conversation. I could talk about Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I could say something about the Tea Party or the Progressives. I can use Statistics and throw in a few graphs. The fact is it really irritates me especially when people use statistics. I will tell you why. The other day I was reading something that said, “Ninety-six percent of black voters, many of whom are Christians, cast their votes for Barack Obama.” Lloyd Marcus
What he didn’t add to that was the fact that isn’t HOW President Obama won. Here is a good article to read that came out the day after the election, one of the best turnouts ever for voters.
Whether or not you are for President Obama or you were for John McCain, the fact is you should be for the United States of America. Something that has happened in this country time and time again is CHANGE. It will happen whether you want it to or not. We don’t have to be ready for change but we have to recognize it and deal with it. I am not talking about the changes that come about that people consider to be immoral or those changes that make us all say, “What is this world coming to?”
I am talking about things like when Pearl Harbor was hit, President Kennedy was assassinated or the World Trade Center was struck down. Those moments where our Nation, together paused and remembered, we are in this, together. We can overcome anything. Day to day differences and arguments at the office can be put aside. The meaning of forgive and forget is much more clear. Listening to someone who is trying to drive a wedge into the heart of our family, our workplace environment or between us and our Nation is not going to be acceptable.
I am talking about the Media here. I guess it really depends what you want to hear or watch is up to you but whatever you decide your preferred media outlet is, the great thing about today is we can always have multiple sources and not just someone’s opinion or one angle on any given topic. Just because we hear it on the news, read it on a blog or even in a “Hard Print” Newspaper (they do still make those), doesn’t mean it is real. And, just because you didn’t hear on the news, didn’t read it in a blog or didn’t see it in a “Hard Print” Newspaper doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”
He does have a point. When you read something or hear a person on the news, you are hearing their translation or even their viewpoint (you are getting my viewpoint right now with a side dish of my opinion) and at some point you have to weed out what is actual news and actual biased opinion. What someone is leaving out from what they are telling you and what they are adding in to what they are telling you.
Here is a great example. How many times do you see a clip of a video shown on a news network (or non-news network) showing some speech of President Obama or from something that was being covered through the day? Speeches are always a good example or interviews because of how I am going to use this. Okay, so they give you some information on what they plan to prove to you by showing you some clip from the video and then they show you maybe 15 seconds or even up to a minute of the video. Let’s say it proves their point. But, do you ever go watch the full video and see if when the video was watched, was their point proven looking at the full context of what was actually said? Or did they pull out just a piece and use that to manipulate their point? Think about it. A lot of full videos can now be pulled up on YouTube so there really isn’t a reason to not look at the full video. Especially when it comes to interviews with the President. Just go to the White House Website (whitehouse.gov) Would you want your words used out of context? Is that really telling the news? Or is that trying to turn people against the President of the U.S.?
If someone has a position that they can speak to millions of viewers, they should use it wisely and do good by it. They should take the time to research, to learn and to do something to benefit everyone as a Nation, not tear it apart. I take a fair amount of time watching the different news networks and I can see why they do certain things if I look at it from the point they are worried about their ratings but then that doesn’t give them the right to lie or to push hatred or fear. They have something that other countries can’t dream of. Millions of viewers for 24 hours a day.
Who is running this country? Partially the media. Too many people allow them to make their decisions for them. They listen and they take the words of the news commentators as the facts.
So, where else are all the answers. The Internet is a great resource of information…if it is used wisely. For one, everything on the Internet is basically put there by someone and backed up by someone’s server. So knowing where the source is coming from is always good and having more than one source (two or three agreeable sources) is something very beneficial. I always like to link to something when I am giving any facts because I don’t want to seem like I am just saying something like I know it all. I obviously don’t. It is impossible to know it all and hardly to know a great deal about much more than a few areas of interest these days. Someone can be an absolutely genius in their field and quite smart if a few different areas and then not understand something I am quite knowledgeable on and I just know I wouldn’t want to play a game of Trivia with them. The fact is we have to chose our battles when it comes to learning because in today’s world, there is SO MUCH information out there! But, my theory has always been, “Half of knowledge is knowing where to find it.” I used to say Google but now, try BING! Anyway, I won’t go into why…
Okay, so the Internet has all this great information so how could we go wrong? We have information, we have people on the Internet, the great Social Media gathering place! There’s the problem. People?? No. It is just the same thing as the media but more of it, a lot more of it.
The Internet is the biggest opinion gathering place ever! Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with opinions. I just gave mine. What I have a problem with is when someone feels they know everyone else’s suddenly and throws it into a statistic or when someone knows what everyone needs. Or when someone feels they need to rip someone apart for their opinion by publicly humiliating them. The fact is one of the biggest issues going on today is a complete lack of respect for others, tolerance of others and the understand that WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING. When someone feels they do know everything and everyone around them has it all wrong, they really need to self-evaluate. We all have flaws and we all have room to learn every day.
Don’t let the Internet and everyone around you in Forums, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, MySpace make decisions for you. Don’t copy and paste something just because everyone else is doing it or because it says if you don’t, then you don’t care. Being a part of a working government and knowing what is going on your community, your state, your Nation means a lot more than passing emails, messages and copying and pasting.
Who is running this country? The Internet and those who habitually just copy and paste forwarded emails.
When you receive a negative email about a candidate, an upcoming vote, some edited or clipped video, take the time to look it up, study it. Don’t just pass everything along. Know what is beneficial or not. When it comes to voting, know about Proposed Amendments that will appear on the ballot. Know about your local officials you will be voting on. Don’t just vote with your party. When you have the choice to get the ballot ahead of time, do the homework, fill it out.
You see, that is your time to have your say. Call the phone numbers and ask your questions. They do usually answer. If someone doesn’t call and ask then that person can’t say they were lied to. If someone doesn’t vote about a Proposed Amendment they knew for sure what it was about, they shouldn’t have voted. We are thinking human beings who can make up our own minds. We are not just followers. To make a difference, most of the time, you have to take a big step out of your comfort zone and make a lot of changes. If you are already like this, then great! You are doing what you should.
We don’t always get what we want even when we do all the correct steps but were involved. We didn’t sit idly by.
Then we can ask, “Who is running this country?” We can say we are doing our part, know what we are voting on, showing up to vote, asking others to register and get out to vote. If we don’t do that part, we should have no complaints because we took no part in being any part of a solution.
Lastly, when we do vote, there is always going to be a winner and a loser. When it comes to every office we are trying to elect. That is how the democratic process works.
The President of the United States of America is also the Commander in Chief to our Armed Forces and when he is disrespected and unaccepted by many, to me that is disrespectful. In every election that I have taken part in, the outcome has always been the person elected was MY PRESIDENT. Plain and simple.
There have been so many disagreements and reasons people have given as to why they say they disagree with President Obama being President and when one thing is answered, there has been another one brought up.
The earlier ones was he was Muslim and that he wasn’t born in the U.S. Both have been disputed but no matter what anybody says, it seems neither will ever be dropped. Since only God can know somebody’s heart and President Obama and others have said he is not Muslim, that has to be left at that. The State of Hawaii has gone above and beyond to give President Obama’s Birth Certificate and even with that handed over, this will not be dropped.
OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE (VIEW ONE)
OBAMA’S FULL VIEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE (MULTIPLE VIEWS)
Not even to mention the fact that his Mother is a U.S. Citizen. It really doesn’t matter to the people that have dragged this issue out if God himself came down and verified the birthing place of Barack Hussein Obama, the fact is there is a large group that don’t want him as President and will try to stop anything he tries to do as long as he is President, will try to ensure they cause radical movements to grow larger and larger, making anti-government movements flourish, and in the meantime who is this benefitting? It isn’t like in the school days that you have to pick one team or another. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, the Tea Party, Independents or Progressives. This isn’t about President Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Hillary Clinton even.
When it all boils down, when you look at yourself in the mirror, this is about the United States of America. It isn’t about some hate movement or which team is going to win. This isn’t about Glenn Beck everyday at 5PM trying to prove his point of how everyone he doesn’t like is out to get him. This isn’t about fear and the end of time. This is about being accountable for what each of us does person to person, what we say to one another, what we pass via the Internet, our participation within our community and the fact we can make a difference. Reaching out to others and living our lives with a purpose really is much more than just words. I am not saying that as a cliché. It really is beneficial. I don’t mean you have to volunteer in Haiti or build a House for Humanity (if you can, do it) but just somehow reaching out to someone else really does something inside you. It ties things together in some way. Connects us. It lets you know there is a reason for each day beyond just a daily routine.
We are this Country. We are what make this Country great! Don’t be fooled by what you hear. It takes everyone, just like on 9/11 helping each other, reaching out to strangers and thinking beyond our differences and minor grievances. It takes putting a lot of things aside and seeing the good in others and letting them see the good in us. It is all that good that makes our Country what it is.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!