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Voting: Ultimate expression of power

Words are a powerful weapon. They have the power to inspire us or frighten us or fool us. They can be full of hope or hate or anything in between. As I have listened to the debates, the promises, and the rhetoric I have started to think about some of the words and thoughts from past presidents, words that carried power and transcended party.

Teddy Roosevelt said, "The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing." Harry S. Truman said, "The President -whoever he is- has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

I think these two thoughts still have great value today. As I consider them I wonder how these two presidents would feel about a candidate for the office who did not choose to vote 'yes' or 'no' but instead chose to vote present almost 130 times. I wonder how they would feel about a candidate who clearly was not willing to take a stand and lead.

JFK said, "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." Every time I hear this quote from JFK I feel inspired. These words mean a lot to me. They mean each person has an individual obligation to give something back to their country. This country is not about what you can get it is about what you can give and clearly one candidate has delivered this gift through his military service.

Gerald Ford said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Government was never intended to solve all of our problems and provide us with all of our needs. The more we ask of it the more we lose of our liberty and our freedom to choose for ourselves. Only one candidate has never requested an earmark in his years of service in the Senate and yet clearly has still managed to get reelected without utilizing this practice.

Bill Clinton said, "There is nothing wrong in America that can't be fixed with what is right in America." What a positive statement of hope. Our country is not perfect, but we continue to strive to get better. We get better not by clinging to a singular political philosophy but rather by seeing the value in the other person's opinions. I don't care if you are radically right or radically left if you refuse to look at the other point of view you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. If you have nothing but anger and hate and intolerance you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. If you see no room for compromise and all you want is to shout down the opposition you are part of the problem and not part of the solution. I don't think either party is 100% correct on any issue. I believe the best answer lies somewhere in between their two points of view. We have one candidate who has voted along party lines far more often than the other candidate and I think voting strictly on party lines is part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The election is the ultimate expression of the power of the people. We do have a choice to make next month and each person needs to take the time to investigate the presidential candidates and decide which candidate you think will be in the best interest of this country for our future and for our children's future as well. Make a decision based upon your own research of the facts and not on someone else's opinion, not even mine.


Bob Beseman, Perham