Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Read Before Voting

As the 2008 US Presidential election looms on the horizon, I have to remind myself to stay calm. For the first time in my life I truly care about the outcome. I honestly think that one candidate is a better choice. In past election years I've been known to say, "I voted but I voted for the lesser of two evils." Not this year.

I won't tell you how to vote, never, but I will implore you to be an informed voter. Dig deeper than the soundbites and political ads. Make sure you understand the issues so that when one campaign or their mouthpieces attempts to twist the truth (this used to be called lying) you will know it is happening.

Here are a few books that will help you along the way. I've found these to be the most balanced portrayals of modern politics and the pressing issues facing a new president. I have more if you finish these but this is a good place to start.

The Arbinger Institute's The Anatomy of Peace is the best book, in my opinion, on how to foster peace in the world, but also in your community and your home. It's easy to understand and a quick read. The authors use the Jewish/Arab conflict as a backdrop for some of life's most important lessons.

Beyond Tolerance, is an in depth look at the other side of the post 9/11 world. We are bombarded with hateful/fearful rhetoric about terrorists, what they look like and who we should fear, and the religious divisions since the attack. This book thoughtfully shines a light on people of all religions who were prompted by the events of 9/11 to come together in love and compassion and resist the easy path of hate.

The author shows us, through the work of others, that it is possible and necessary to not just tolerate religious differences but to embrace them as our founding fathers did. Knowledge of and respect for the views of others are imperative in our shrinking world. The United States is filled with many different religious groups. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Shik, Buddhist...we are all Americans.

Alpha Dogs is a very interesting look at the two men who formed
Sawyer Miller, the political consultant firm who served as backroom strategists on every presidential contest from Richard Nixon’s to George W. Bush's. You will never watch a campaign ad again without thinking about these men and the way they changed campaign strategy forever.

Just remember, to a campaign strategist you are a consumer not a voter. They want you to buy not think. If you think too much you might see through the smoke screen and actually vote your conscience. What a concept that is!..to vote your conscience. Next time you watch a campaign ad, think of it like an ad for kids cereal or a new car. See if you can find the similarities and then give it as much weight as you do the ads for Lucky Charms and the new Hummer.

Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama and Faith of My Fathers by John McCain. If you really want to understand the choice before you, you must read these two books. How better to know a man than from his own words.

Please vote. Please vote responsibly. The future of our children depends on you exercising your civic duty. There are only a few more days to register to vote. Register today.


thewishfulwriter said...

Thank you for these links - I will def. be checking them out. I fall into the same category as you do...I really REALLY care this time. I've cared every time, but not with the urgency I do now.

Lisa McGlaun said...


I wish I could say that I've cared everytime. I'm sorry to say that I never took voting very seriously before. I've come to it relatively late in life...I'm so old...lol.

But now I care very much and see what a difference it can make in the kind of society we have.


pays to live green said...

I totally agree that people need to look more into candidates before they vote instead of being fooled by the stupid ads they put on tv. There are many more than just 2 candidates and many people fail to realize that.