September 18, 2021

Do you know your candidate?

Election-2016As we speak, the United States is living in the heat of a presidential election. Based on the results of more than 20 primaries, there is a significant possibility Donald Trump will be the nominee for the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton, the nominee for the Democratic Party.

Presidential elections are often characterized by two peculiar facts: First, people believe in their candidates passionately, secondly, voters tend to know very little about the candidates they support. In fact, and for many reasons, it is not easy to know a presidential candidate.

Some voters choose a candidate based on their sincere political and ideological convictions. But unfortunately, millions of citizens have limited information about the candidates. Indeed, while the mainstream media, relatives or friends influence many people; others choose a candidate simply by using personal intuition or emotional impulse.

During presidential campaigns, it isn’t uncommon to hear vague remarks in favor of preferred candidates. Let’s mention some familiar phrases: “Something tells me that he is the best option”, “I think that he will do something for our country”, or “I have the impression he is the most honest of all”.

But did you ever wonder how much you actually know about your candidate? Every politician (without exception) says what he or she has to say to win an election; they will tell you what you want to hear to get your vote. At the end of the day, the primary motive of any politician is to convince the voter and ensure his nomination.

Are you actually sure your candidate shares the same values as you? One thing is the political rhetoric during the election campaign; another is a politician’s past (before launching their candidacy). Some past actions to become aware of are politician’s decisions, beliefs and support of certain organizations or political parties. Sometimes, we don’t even know about a politicians’ prior associations with other leaders (national and international).

At this time, it is likely you have already chosen a candidate and perhaps no one can change your mind. But let me ask you a question: would you like to learn more about your future President? Why? Why not?

Although we do not always recognize it, the policies and decisions of an elected President play an important role in the future of citizens.

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On one occasion I heard someone say: “I do not vote because all politicians are the same”. It is obvious that person does not understand that certain politicians expect that you do not vote to win elections. In fact, the reluctance to vote is an essential part in the success of some candidates.

Unfortunately some people do not understand that politics are closely linked to our personal lives. A country’s political well-being is related to the opportunity of one to obtain employment or to employ others. The economic stability of the citizens is a reflection of the economic stability of the country.

In addition, Government policies may defend or undermine fundamental rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Politics also influence our children’s education, savings, retirement plans and taxation. The legalization of abortion, marijuana and same sex marriage were all political decisions.

The modern battle against terrorism and our country’s national security are the direct result of policy measures. Not to mention, the ability to start a business or to purchase private health and life insurance depend on existing policies. Furthermore, the various available solutions to the immigration crisis, the respect for the rule of law and the Constitution are determined by the policies of our Government.

Lets remember a historical political change, thanks to our political decisions our children and grandchildren are not allowed to pray in public schools.

Whatever political affiliation a person has, the decisions of the President, Congress and the Supreme Court affect the future of citizens, for good or for worse.

Have you ever regretted supporting a presidential candidate? I wouldn’t be surprised, many regret supporting certain politicians. Let’s mention some common remarks after one has chosen a disappointing President, “I didn’t know he was that way”, “What a shame”, “This is a misfortune”.

I am sure that a conservative would not like to vote for a liberal, or vice versa. Also, a capitalist would not like to vote for a socialist, or vice versa.

I wonder how many people voting in this election really know who is who. For those who are unsure, there is still time to become more informed and remove doubts. Let’s not forget, voting strengthens our constitutional rights and feeds our democracy.

This year, on our way to the polls, lets remember a few things: 1) A candidate is known by his deeds, not by his words. 2) In each presidential election, the best gift we can give our country, future, and children is an informed vote.

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