Election 2016: Public Service Announcement

Racism; misogyny; political lies; fear-mongering; and mudslinging have been abundant in this election cycle for sure–especially from the candidates of the two biggest political parties, Donald Trump (Republican) and Hillary Clinton (Democrat), in the United States. All of this is done in order to gain the voices of multitudes to ensure a victory as leader of the proverbial free world. Regardless of the fact that these faces are doing more harm than good, people of all backgrounds and statuses are rallying behind their candidate of choice based upon things presented solely at face value, and upon the belief that the president stands above any and all when it comes to power and lawmaking in the United States.

It is very easy for some to accept this as an absolute truth, but it should not take away from the other politicians running for offices within the States themselves and from within the larger federal government. Without a focus on the bigger picture of the election cycle, we have almost turned our backs upon the very things that are taking place in our own backyard in favor of the commotion on the streets. Locally, there are or could be measures that could affect the use of natural resources in one’s area. Or school board officials could be making a decision as to whether or not to detach themselves from Common Core. Many people, still, could be taking a vote on whether or not to mark a strip of highway as a toll road or to change the toll tax on a preexisting one. In any case, we would not be aware of whatever would be changing around us, simply because we have become preoccupied with only the prettiest piece of the puzzle.

Most importantly to add, however, is the fact that there are hundreds of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate combined–both of which make up the bicameral House of Congress–up for a vote this year. This is where all of the laws and legislation for the United States is drafted and reviewed before being taken to the president for an approval or veto. This is where people from all over the nation send their concerns to their representatives or senators, in the hope that their voices may be heard and that a law in their favor may be passed. Many of the politicians whose seats are up for reelection are running again, and this has several citizens uneasy for several reasons. Not only have a bulk of these men and women been serving for a good chunk of their lives, but, seemingly, there seems to not be enough working getting done due to excessive vacations and/or a lack of desire to do the work expected of them. The election for these seats may go about by way of some of these scenarios, however: people will elect a new person out of spite of the current placeholder, vote for a new person because they want to “change things up”; or vote for the incumbent out of a sense of familiarity and a desire to keep things as they are. In any circumstance, the lack of research for a candidate that is viable and necessary for the job , incumbent or not, is apparent. Separately, it is worth noting that not every person in any one party is going to be for or against their party’s presidential candidate–do they have the same stances or platforms as said candidate. Or how do they differ? Or what does it mean for you, taking into account your beliefs?

Voting for the next president of the United States is a very important decision. However, that should not prevent anyone from ignoring the events happening around them, or other individuals whose actions and work may, ultimately, affect their way of life. In finishing, I ask any and all who read this to do as much research as they can about local measures that could affect how they live their day to day lives, as well as the men and women who will be running for office (especially those on Capitol Hill) and doing work that will, in turn, affect the general public. This way, come November, one will approach the voting booth with a better understanding of everything the ballot entails, rather than just relying solely on one vote out of many others.

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