With all of the media lately focused on the differences in the parties I wonder what’s important to people. Is winning the ultimate goal of candidates? Is picking sides the ultimate goal of voters? Media picks up on the loudest voices, but do they speak for the majority? I don’t think so.
When I vote, I vote for the candidate, not the party. I think that is still true for many voters. We want the candidates who are going to represent our needs the most. Those people who we can relate to on some level and who can relate to us. We want candidates who aren’t going into the office just to fill a seat and rake in tax-payer dollars. We want candidates who understand that we don’t have many dollars to spend these days, and will budget wisely those dollars we do have in order to offer those things we need to be able to afford to live, to raise our families, to have those same opportunities that everyone else has. We are not asking the government guarantee success, wealth, the best house on the block, the best education for our children, or even the ability to not have to work as hard as we can to achieve our goals. We are asking the government to give us an equal chance to succeed in pursuing those things that it offers everyone else. We ask that the wealthy are not given more opportunity than the poor, that opportunity is not contingent on color, sex, religion or sexuality.
When it comes to our candidates there seems to be many looking to get into the most powerful position they can get into. Positions where they can influence decisions that affect millions of people. Yet these same individuals have grown up with wealth and power and have not had to actually work as hard as those millions of people they wish to represent in order to get where they are.
Those of us who have not had political position handed to us by family lines and political favors have to work harder than those who have, and the fight is worth it. Because in the end, if we can get the media to pay attention to a non-golden-child candidate, then the people have a choice between the wealthy who have run our country into a rampant racism, police-fearing, neighbor-fearing place. I’m not suggesting that the world did not have bad police, racists, or bad neighbors before. These things always existed and always will. But we have an opportunity to make it better.
How do we do that? Crime and hatred go up when people are out of work, are angry with alack of opportunity to excel and the thought that they are stuck. By improving innovation and opportunity we can improve the economic status of all people, level out the chances given to all people regardless of their “station” in life. There was a time in American History when a person could be born in a ramshackle shack and die of old age a wealthy person living in a mansion. This is the time period that gave birth to the phrase “American Dream”. A time when Middle Class families hired someone from town to help them around the house once a week or so and where people in town could earn extra money for their families by making dinner or taking in laundry for families in town. A time when new inventions were common and were being developed in America. Every sector or class in America had the opportunity to better their stations in life. I currently live in the house of a man who got rich building wooden wash tubs and shipping them all over the country. He gave parcels of his land to people who worked for him to build their homes on. During our “golden age” only one member of the family had to work to be able to afford their home, their bills, and to still take their family on vacation once a year. Today I am the provider of my family and I never take vacations and I count every penny to make ends meet. I don’t hire someone to cut my lawn or do my laundry. Not that I think I would, but I couldn’t even should I want to. How did this change?
In the 1930’s the government got involved in economics. We started passing regulations that had nothing to do with equal opportunity. The “New Deal” created today’s economic basis in America and tied America’s businesses to the government. As the government interfered more with US business, the opportunities began to dwindle for those people not already high up in the business world – or their families. The government began controlling rents, rationed how much sugar, gasoline and more was in the market. Once the government gets control over something, they tend to not let go of it. By continuing to elect candidates who are part of this ever-continuing trend to control what Americans can do, eat, drink, drive, etc. we allow this to continue.
It is time we begin to look differently at how we elect people into office. Instead of picking by party, we need to send a message to those parties in control that we are done with their influencing what we do and it’s time that they start listening to us and our needs. Perhaps it is time to look outside the big two parties to those who are outside of the political in-fighting and look at the candidates themselves again instead of the parties.
I am running for office because I was taught that the people in my state, in my country, are worth fighting for. I know that I am a person with very limited financial means and no big party to back me in my bid, but I believe that if I do anything in this world with being proud of – it is fighting for my community. I know that not being born into a wealthy family or a family of political leaders keeps my name out of the media, and that I will have to work 200 times as hard as those who have that access. Each day that I fight, each person that I help, each person that sees it is time to think different than they have in the past is one step closer to bringing an end to the down-turn of society.