Editorials published by the Goffstown Residents
Association are written by various members and
contributing non-members of the GRA.

October 30, 2008

Think very carefully before voting


Here we are just a few days from decision day, November 4, 2008.   And we've noticed that more people than usual are willing to talk about the candidates and the dilemma confronting them this year. 

There is unease everywhere. The last time we can recall the same degree of 'unease' was in 1980. 

Back then, at this point in the 1980 campaign, most polls had Jimmy Carter ahead of Ronald Reagan by as much as 10 points. Yet, as we all know, Reagan won that election. And, he won it big. 

Reagan won the national vote by a landslide 9% margin. That means, if the polls as reported 7-9 days out were accurate - during the home stretch, Reagan won by a swing of up to 19 points. In the Electoral College, Reagan earned election with a vote blowout of 489 to 49. 

Back then, more than 86 million eligible Americans thought very carefully about what they were hearing from each candidate - then made their decision. This year, about 125 million are projected to cast ballots, setting a new record for participation. That's good. 

And, with thoughtful consideration, we can make it better.

Every eligible American citizen can do their part to make this election better for our country by thinking very carefully before deciding who to support with their vote.

None of the candidates this year is a Ronald Reagan. And, while all could learn much from studying our 40th President, "We the People" can learn what we need to really know about each of the two major candidates by thinking very carefully and comparing each to the "Gipper". 

Yes, Reagan was an outstanding speaker and deservedly earned acclaim as the "Great Communicator".  But, Ronald Reagan had an edge. That edge was not his speaking skills, poise, and timing, although those certainly enhanced it. 

Reagan's real edge was his belief system, personal principles and core values. Those informed and molded his political philosophy and the foundation upon which Reagan based his public policy positions. 

Ronald Reagan

Reagan's real edge was his belief system, personal principles and core values. Those informed and molded his political philosophy and the foundation upon which Reagan based his public policy positions. 

Ronald Reagan won in 1980 -- and was re-elected in 1984 by an even larger landslide because he had the courage of his convictions, was willing to stand up and - without apology - clearly disclose and describe his beliefs and political positions to the American people, and explain why he believed those positions were right for America.  Reagan loved our country with a passion and believed that Americans could accomplish whatever needed to get done, reminding us that "our best days lie ahead".

Reagan also took his oath of office when the country was suffering from severe economic problems (sound familiar?).  In his inaugural address, Reagan declared "[Today's crises require] our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us." 

Pausing, Reagan added, "And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans."

Fast forward to today

Our decision this year really has momentous implications.  So, every citizen should think very carefully about: 

  • What each candidate believes about the United States of America...

  • What each candidate believes about the American people; and our capacity as individuals to perform great deeds...

  • What we know - and don't know - about each candidate's belief system.  Is what we know, or think we know, consistent with our Constitutional principles and the values of America's founding?

You get the picture. 

If, like many citizens, you find yourself still fighting emotion, here's an approach that might help you tune in to reality's transmission signal as you ponder our country's future.

First, bring into focus the 'What' questions that are important to you and to our country.  Doing so should get you about half-way to a conclusion. 

Next, think very carefully about 'why' each question - and the answer - is so important.

When you complete the exercise, you will know which candidate you should support. 

We urge all voters to use this same process to determine which candidate deserves your vote. If you get bogged down in the process, need input, or tie-breaker advice, just call that guy they were interviewing on TV last week.

What was his name?  We seem to recall he's a plumber....


  Do you agree or disagree with the above editorial?  Let us know!

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  Copyrightę2008, Goffstown Residents Association.  All Rights Reserved.


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