I’ve noticed more and more that people who are becoming involved in this election process culminating this day, November 4th of 2008, are of the mind that our presidential candidate really drives where everything goes in this country. He/she bears the reigns of this superpower we call our United States of America.

I feel that people fail to notice that our government was multi-faceted in its conception for a reason. We have an executive branch to lead the military forces and oversee government organizations and committees as needed. We have a legislative branch to contrive and enact bills and laws to the needs and desires of this nation as a whole. Lastly, we have a judicial branch to serve to uphold or scrutinize the legislation produced by the legislative branch and approved by the executive branch. Each branch was given powers so that no one bore exclusive or indomitable power over the others, the traditional “checks and balances” we learned so long ago.

I bring this up because people appear to feel so strongly about some issue(s) that they are “forced” to vote for one presidential candidate, although that candidate may personally disagree with said person’s other less important values. I wholeheartedly disagree that this should be the thought and mentality about all this!

We need an executive leader to steer this country in the right direction, yes. At the same time, we need a strong voice in the representative branch of legislation in order to enact the laws and policies we want to see in place, despite what the executive branch may want. Congress does bear the ability to overturn a Presidential veto if he/she does not approve of the legislation. However, this will never happen if people don’t take the time to speak up to their Congressional representatives.

Make your voices known. Don’t compromise on most of your values for the greater good of a single value. The means by which the public can involve themselves in the greater good of this nation is multiple-fold. Don’t settle on one candidate simply because he/she bears a personal stigma such as race, age or religion. Don’t vote solely based on a pro-life/pro-abortion or to who gives you the bigger tax cut. If you’re taking the easy way out, thinking the President will be the end-all be-all of the direction of this government, then perhaps you should reconsider why you are voting.

If you’re not willing to explore all avenues for shaping this nation by your involvement, then what are you really accomplishing by participating in one active branch and not the others? Please, do not make this a half-assed endeavor (to put it bluntly).

Vote responsibly after deliberation on all the issues that matter to you. Make your opinion known to your representation in the legislative bodies so they know just how you wish to see this nation develop. Be aware of legislation that is being passed, especially if it directly influences those issues that matter most to you, and question it if needed!

I hope many of you that see this are voting today. I hope that among those that are, many are willing to flex their muscles of civic duty and participate to as much of an extent as they are able.

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