Today is Election Day!
It is a day of great privilege for Americans, no matter what party or philosophy of government you may follow or promote. In my time, I have been, I will admit, a political junkie, and see the decreasing voter turnout disturbing. When candidates and their volunteers have to beg voters to come to the polls, it saddens me, as our Founding Fathers and those who fought and died for this country worked so hard to guarantee our right to a say in the development and movement of this Nation. With all its problems, the United States is still the best beacon of hope, freedom and opportunity in this world.
Politically speaking, I am a Conservative, and from time to time, I ask myself why? From the time I could first participate in the election process, I found myself leaning toward the Conservative philosophy. The underlying answer is that I do not believe in a government that enables dependence. I believe in a government that helps create and foster an environment where individuals can rise to whatever they aspires, can choose for themselves, unhampered by growing government regulation and restriction.
I believe in local or state government taking a lead in issues that concern their region. Who better to help their own, than those who see the problem close at hand?
I believe in the good will and kindness of people who live and work together at the local level. I have seen again and again that when someone needs a hand, multitudes of people show up to help. Charity begins at home, and I have never been disappointed in the generosity of Americans to help not only our own, but those in need across the globe. No one needs to be forced into a charitable endeavor. We always come through.
I hate when they label some Conservatives as being a "Compassionate Conservative", as if to say that Conservatives by nature are greedy bastards, indifferent to the plight of the underprivileged. I also hate when politicians pander to "women's issues". What....aren't women people, too? Or are they only going to cast their vote if someone is going to protect their reproductive organs?
The best scenario for the downtrodden is to give them the opportunity to help themselves. As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime! I love that quote!
It is not to say that we do not need Federal assistance from time to time. After the Great Depression, FDR (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) instituted many government programs to stimulate the economy, the so-called Alphabet Soup of programs to build roads, help the needy, etc etc. Nothing wrong with that, but when things were up and running again, in the prosperous 1950's, many of those programs should have been reduced or eliminated, so that business could once again run and flourish on its own. But, this did not happen, and eventually, more and more people began to depend upon those programs not only for assistance, but for a lifestyle. To me, this stifles creativity and vision.
And so, this year, I voted as early as I could, the first day of early voting. I voted for Governor Romney, and I hope tonight, as I watch the election returns, that I will not be disappointed. I think Romney is a good and decent man, and he has been successful in his business and personal life. I think he will reinvigorate the Nation. But I cast my vote mostly for the philosophy he represents.
And, no matter who takes away the prize this evening, I put my faith in our system of government, that we have the precious ability to have a say again another day. I never take this for granted.