Do you want my vote?
Yeah, I know Iâ€™m just one person and have a lot working against me to be noticed. I live in a fly-over state; I am an artist, I donâ€™t contribute $$$ to any political candidate or party, andâ€¦I have a vagina. Hmmm, what elseâ€¦Oh! I was raised to use compassion and common sense as a compass, which makes watching all those â€œvote for me and not ______â€ commercials a near-death experience. And while Iâ€™m on the topic of televisionâ€¦
My husband watched the presidential debate the other night while I opted to work on my notecards far from the on-screen glow of the scripted he-said/she-said. My husband accepts that I not only find the spit-flecked vitriol senseless but the coverage of the event as well.
First, we are told what you will probably say; then you say what your writers advise you to say, and then we are told what you said. Apparently, I’m not supposed to form my own opinions, to do my own fact-checking, or to rise above the heat and emotion.
Here’s the thing, though. A political campaign isnâ€™t a sporting event to me. Iâ€™m not cheering for one person and booing another. I AM desperately looking for a person I can believe in.
Perhaps I am naive, but here are a few character facets I want in a leader:
- A person strong enough to take a stand and follow through.
- A person who genuinely cares about the future of this country, and is wise enough to learn from, and support, its ongoing formation.
- Someone less concerned with perfection and more concerned with sincere effort.
- Someone who will surround him or herself with the best, smartest, big-picture people.
- Someone wise enough to know what he or she doesn’t know, and who seeks the advice of great minds and experienced doers.
- Someone who is compassionate, not wishy-washy.
- A person who does not look for a fight, but who will not back down if our nation’s values are at risk.
- Someone who hasn’t forgotten our diversity, our ability to work hard, innovate, and pull together.
- Someone looking to build on our strengths, not our fears.
- Someone who knows the “little people” are the core of our greatness as a nation, and who refuses to lose touch with all levels of contributors.
- Someone who defaults to statements of â€œweâ€ instead of â€œME.â€
Yeah, it’s a big list. Perhaps even unattainable in a world dedicated to drama and self-serving agendas. However, optimist that I am, I will vote for the person I believe is closest to that ideal and could care less about that personâ€™s age, gender, color, or party.
I skipped the debate, skipped the talking heads telling me what I “need to know,” and skipped the post-debate anger. I am watching, thinking, evaluating. I have a vote. Do you want it?