How do you vote? I don’t mean if you mail in your ballot or drive to the polling booths. I mean, how do you make an educated and informed vote?
Do you just listen to the TV and radio ads?
Or, do you meet personally with the candidates by attending town halls and candidate forums?
Do you have a family meeting to include the younger members of your family in the process?
Or do you just “wing it?”
I am afraid that way too many of us just wing it, and rely on our memories of what names we have heard most often in those TV and radio ads.
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I own a couple of small businesses, and I hire people to work in my businesses. When I hire them, I don’t just wing it, because it is too important for me to know about their backgrounds, educations, experiences and levels of dedication. So, when I am hiring someone, I take the time to know as much as I possibly can about that person. When they become part of my staff, what they say and do represents me, my husband, our family brand, the other people who endorse us and every one of my other staff members. It is my responsibility to be sure I am making a sound, sober and educated decision.
When you cast your vote, you are hiring someone. You are hiring this person to represent you, your values and your vision of our nation that will be handed down to your children and your children’s children. It is not something to be taken lightly, and not something that should be entrusted to a “gut feeling” while you are standing in the voting booth.
In our family, before an election we hold a family meeting. Our daughter, Cassie, has even been known to invite her friends over to be a part of these meetings. It seems that few parents are helping their children to understand that voting isn’t an event – it is a process. Cassie’s friends have enjoyed this time to wrestle with ideas and debate one another over the pitfalls and merits of one candidate or issue over another. They have had an opportunity to work together to research the wording, which can sometimes be confusing, on some of the bills and initiatives. And, this is vital, they were free to make up their own minds. Our only ground rule, applied to only our daughter, was that she had to answer this question: “Why?”
Why do I like this candidate? Why would he or she be effective in the job? Why would things be better or worse if we passed (or rejected) this specific bill?
It’s a powerful word – why. It helps us move the topic from our emotional reactions to our logical and intellectual interactions with it. Some votes might “feel” good, but what will voting for something actually “do” for America? “Why” also helps remove the knee-jerk reaction to simply voting along political party lines.
I am a single-issue voter. The Second Amendment, period. And here is why: the stance politicians take concerning the Second Amendment is more revealing than they would like to think. Wrapped up in one issue are that politician’s attitudes toward my civil rights, personal rights, human rights, women’s rights and the rights of their minority and lower socio-economic constituents. …They ask for my vote, to expand their powers, and at the same time they want to limit my liberty and freedom.
To help with sorting all of this out, the National Shooting Sports Foundation offers #GUNVOTE Facebook and Twitter pages where you can stay on top of the latest news about laws and issues related to firearms and freedom. It is easy to get confused and tripped up, because rights-restrictors like to muck things up with “common sense-y” sounding words and ads that appeal to your heart and to your emotions. It is helpful to have sound and intelligent information at your fingertips.
So, while we are considering our votes at every level of government, we have lots of issues to weigh out, such as securing our borders, and keeping politicians’ hands out of our pockets in how they view taxes. But, for me, I will always support the people who support our Bill of Rights and protect our Second Amendment.
You may research candidates in your area and find a nearby polling place at the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s #GUNVOTE website.
Cheryl Todd, owner of AZFirearms.com and cohost of Gun Freedom Radio, has more than 30 years of experience in the firearms industry. She holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, which allows her to bring a unique voice to the gun world. View all posts by Cheryl Todd