I’m writing this as I watch the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, FL. As someone intensely interested in politics, and who has some clear views about what needs to get done and what should get done, I’m surely tempted to express my views at this point. However, I will resist doing that as I trust you to make up your own mind as to what is in our best interests. Having said that, as we get deeply into this political season, I really do want to make a few requests of you.
First, regardless of your political affiliation, it’s very clear to me that with Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, there are two very clear and different visions for the future of America. Again, I don’t want to be the one who describes what they are, that’s for you to decide. But I do request that you listen carefully to the speakers at the RNC Convention as well as those at the upcoming Democratic National Convention so that you are fully informed as to what your choices are when it comes time to vote in November.
Here’s the second, tougher request. What concerns me most about politics in America is the large number of people who vote what’s in their personal best interests. For example, I have gay friends who will vote based upon whose in favor of gay marriage. There are many seniors who will vote based on their interpretation of the candidates’ views on Medicare. Others will vote based on their views of the candidates’ positions on defense, or Israel, or a nuclear Iran, or education, or their color, or their religion …. I could go on and on.
Now you might ask, what’s wrong with that? I think plenty. We are one country. What’s good for my neighbor is good for me. My neighbor might have completely different views on all of those issues but I want him to win just as much as I want myself to win. So what I plan to do and ask each of you to do is to ask, not so much what’s best for you, but what’s best for our country.
The United States of America is indeed a unique country in the world. Our forefathers went to extreme lengths to create a great experiment in democracy and freedom. We have been a shining light for people from all corners of the world who have come here to start a new life. I say we all have an obligation to keep our country strong, to look beyond our personal agendas and do whatever we can do to maintain the vision on which we were founded. So let’s pay attention and cast our votes wisely, as our future and the future of our children are surely at stake.