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Obligated to vote?

I currently reside in the state of Florida, and today is the last day to register to vote before the upcoming election in November. I’ve been a registered voter since 8/24/2004, and have always exercised my right to vote.

I recently had a brief conversation with a co-worker who said she probably won’t vote because  she’s confused about who to vote for. I told her that she should do research on each candidate, and vote for the person she thinks will best represent her lifestyle and values.

It is extremely difficult to do research on a particular candidate without coming across information that is misleading or bias. The media and researchers have developed skills to mask their bias, and have put the inquirers in an unfortunate situation. Politics is and has always been a very heavy topic. It’s easier to make a stand in support of or against something that you’re informed about, but when information is misrepresented, it can be very hard for people to formulate a well-informed opinion. So, I encourage people to not only research their candidates, but also commit to doing research about where and how that research was compiled. We all know that FOX News and MSNBC are two of the most bias media outlets out there. I would not rely on either of these stations to become a well-informed voter. You have to dig deeper than the surface to find out which candidate you should vote for.

Now, I know there are a ton of people who truly  believe that their vote means nothing. I know there is no way to persuade you to think differently in that regard, but if you are anything other than a white male, at some point in history your race or gender was not entitled to vote. If  those who governed America outlawed women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, etc. from voting, then that form of expression must mean something. Yes, voting and who we elect has changed over the years. However, the essence of why we do it has not changed. Not to mention, people have fought, died and put their lives on the line to ensure that all those who come after them would have the right to vote. So, whether or not you think your vote matters, you should still exercise your right because for many of us, it hasn’t always been an option.

If you’re not registered to vote, be sure to find out when your state’s voter registration deadline is. While registering to vote is the first step, make sure you send in your absentee ballot, vote by mail, or show up at the polls. See the process all the way through!

www.gottavote.org

1st Presidential Debate 2012 [My Review]

Disclaimer: This post is solely derived from my opinions on last night’s debate. I am not trying to persuade anyone to vote one way or the other. Nor do I want to have  a debate with people who fail to realize that these are my opinions, and what I believe to be true.

First and foremost, I thought the debate was  just “okay”. It wasn’t what I expected, but nonetheless, I did see and hear something interesting things. I would like to start with my impression of each candidate and his delivery.

Mitt Romney: I thought Gov. Romney was prepared to debate. He came loaded with statistics. He was extremely aggressive; he spoke over everyone. More often did he look at the moderator and President Obama, and not the camera or the audience. Although he had a smug look throughout the debate, he did appear to be excited to be there.

Barack Obama: I believe President Obama was prepared to debate. He stumbled a few times, but he’s admitted before that he is not the best public speaker. Pres. Obama was very reserved in his delivery, and dealt with his interruptions with poise. When speaking, he either looked at the moderator, the audience, Gov. Romney or the camera. The President looked tense, and at times disturbed.

Here’s what I thought about the debate:

In General: I thought the use of studies and statistics was an excellent idea. Numbers will stick in people’s minds, e.g. 5 trillion and 47 million. However, for those who are keen on research and statistics, we have to ask ourselves where these stats came from and how they were compiled. It’s obvious that both President Obama and Gov. Romney will cite stats that back up their points, but what makes one study better than the other? Now, I have to say that I don’t think the moderator did a good job moderating. I don’t think he allowed a balance between to the candidates in regards to speaking. I felt as though, he allowed Gov. Romney to speak more. I’m quite interested in finding out how long Gov. Romney spoke in comparison to President Obama. What is the purpose of a moderator if he isn’t going to uphold the rules of the debate, and allow the candidates to have an equal amount of speaking time?

Mitt Romney: I thought he included a lot of statistics in his arguments, which will be helpful to him. I don’t believe that he truly answered a lot of the questions asked of him, which he diverted by making numbered points, all of which didn’t answer the posed question. For instance, he was asked what kind of health care reform he planned and there wasn’t a clear answer. The only thing that I got from that was that he was going to do a lot of the same things the controversial Obama care has imposed, e.g. allowing kids to stay on their parent’s insurance, and not denying people with pre-existing conditions. It has also become evident to me that Gov. Romney changed his platform, and just in time for the debate. He is now focusing on the middle-class, but prior to the debate his main focus was the upper-class. While he was more assertive, Gov. Romney lacked specifics. He wasn’t detailed, and I am still clueless on what his actual plan is to put the USA back on track. I think his main focus during the debate was to state everything Obama was doing wrong, rather than focus on what he was planning to do to make things better. There has been a phrase going around concerning the debate, which I think is accurate; Romney addressed Obama.

My opinion of Mitt Romney: He is out of touch with the average American. Here are a few reasons why I believe this. He stated he would cut funding to PBS. PBS has not only provided children over the years with an excellent learning tool through Sesame Street, but it’s also provided the country with other educational programming that have been an influential factor for many generations. Romney has also said that children should ask their parents to pay for them to attend college.  The majority of America do not have that luxury, including me. If my parents had to pay for all of their children to attend college, it wouldn’t be likely that they would have three graduates, and one attending college. Gov. Romney doesn’t know the struggles of middle-class or lower-class America because he has never had to experience them. He will fight for the upper-class because that is what he has been accustomed to, and that makes sense. He doesn’t believe that the taxes should be raised for the upper-class, but I also did not hear whether or not he’d be offering them tax-breaks.

Barack Obama: Obama did not focus on attacking Romney nor did he submit to all the jabs thrown at him, which would have put him on the defense. Pres. Obama remained on the offense, and reiterated his goals for America. He touched on how he wanted to hire 100,000 more teachers, which is something this country needs. I can appreciate that the President wants to strengthen our educational system with more focus on math and science. He also discussed how “Obama care” has helped Americans across the country. Social Security was specifically mentioned, as he reflected on the struggles his grandmother had to endure when trying to get aid. He insisted that Obama care will not hurt social security recipients, but instead it would make things more affordable, like prescriptions.  Pres. Obama also mentioned how his administration ended the war in Iraq, are working to end the war in Afghanistan, and the capture of Bin Laden. His focus remained on middle-class America, and improving their way of life.  

My opinion of Barack Obama: I think that Pres. Obama has taken a lot of heat and I don’t think it’s because people think he’s failing the country, but rather because of who he is. In my opinion, he’s handle all the negativity with such stride, poise and dignity. It’s easier for him to relate to a lot of Americans because of how he was brought up, in a single-parent home and not of riches and wealth. He can’t make everyone happy, but I think he is willing to compromise, and do what’s right for the country.

Reflection: Romney’s use of statistics was a good idea because a lot of people are easily persuaded by numbers, and don’t understand the actual research that goes into obtaining those numbers. I hope more people will take the time to research both candidates’ claims, and come to their own conclusions. I do believe this will be extremely difficult though because there is an immense amount of bias in the media, and research. With that said, I think you have to find a candidate that can relate more to your life and values.

I have to add this. What bothers me is that neither the Republicans nor their presidential candidate will admit to the destruction that former President Bush caused this country preceding President Obama taking office. George Bush put this country in a hole over the course of eight years, and it is expected to be fixed in four? As President Obama has said numerous times, not even eight years will fix the problems that Bush created.

The winner in my opinion: I don’t think there was a clearcut winner in this debate because what one candidate lacked the other made up for. Gov. Romney was assertive and aggressive. President Obama was not. Barack Obama detailed his plans of action, Mitt Romney did not. Each candidate had a completely different approach to this debate, and I look forward to the next.

Like A Soda That Lost Its Fizz… 2012 Election

As you all are aware, this is an extremely important election coming up. President Obama and Vice President Biden are up for re-election and are running against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I debated whether or not I should refer to them by their first name only, since so many ignorant people choose to refer to President Obama as just Obama. As you can see, I took the high road.

As the days are dwindling down, I along with my family have noticed a lack of enthusiasm about this upcoming election as it concerns re-electing President Obama and Vice President Biden. I’m not sure why this is, but I hope it’s not an indication of what’s to happen come November. Yes, I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and will do so in 2012. I know that it’s just as important to go vote and encourage others to do so this year as it was four years ago.

Now, this post is not to tell you who to vote for, rather it’s to encourage President Obama’s supporters to step our game up, per say. We need to rally together and get other supporters enthusiastic about going to the polls in November just like we did in 2008. I know that I can’t afford to pay $2000 more in taxes a year, and I value my right to make decisions concerning my body. So, I will be ready to go on election day.

While watching the pre-reports of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), it was repeatedly stated that while things are not where we’d like them to be, we are definitely in a better situation than we were before President Obama took office. I agree. I think as Americans, our concept of time has in some ways damaged our view of the world. We believe that everything should be done at a fast pace, like the concept of the microwave. However, many things take time and patience, two virtues that are not fully grasped in our country. People were scrutinizing the President after being in office for only one year. Seriously?! He’s had a huge mess to clean up and I believe he’s done an excellent job thus far. He was the change that I was looking for in 2008 and he’s the change I look forward to in November 2012.

With that said, for all you President Obama supporters, I plead with you to make sure you bring that same enthusiasm you had in 2008 to 2012. The President and Vice President are going to need the same support that put them in office four years ago to keep them there. Do whatever you can to contribute, whether it be posting information to your Facebook or donating. I am going to  use social media as a means to communicate information about the upcoming election, and arrange for my community service organization to do something pertaining to voting.

I’d like to end on this note. Please educate yourself on voter rules and regulations in the county that you are registered to vote. While many will deny it, there are people out there who do not want you to vote. Some states have even vowed to do voter purges to “eliminate non-citizen voters.” Many believe this is a ploy to decrease the minority vote.  It has been reported that Mitt Romney has 0% of the black vote (please visit the link below). Also, for all you students out there, make sure you find out if you’re able to vote at the college you attend. When I voted for the first time in 2004, I was able to do so at the University of South Florida. I’ve heard that voting at the college you attend is being eliminated in some areas thus making it difficult for the young voters to participate.

Regardless of who you vote for, exercise your right to vote.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/mitt-romney-black-vote_n_1820329.html

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