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We can think for ourselves

This year I have gotten into national politics more than I ever have.

Perhaps it’s because of my age; the last presidential election year was the first I’ve ever even been eligible to vote and honestly I wasn’t that educated on various issues at that point in my life.

In 2004, I was fresh out of the Army after being discharged due to being injured during training.

My only concern then was the war and so I supported President Bush.

Now, I find that I am a lot more interested and more informed as well on other subjects… and I have found myself more and more researching the various candidates in both parties and their stances on key issues.

I identify more with the Republican party even though I am a registered Democrat.

I suppose that makes me somewhat of a moderate in all actuality. However, in this particular election I find myself rooting for a Democrat.

Senator Barack Obama has captured the hearts and minds of countless Americans even though he has very little national political experience.

The &uot;Yes We Can&uot; video that was produced by his supporters and launched on YouTube has received nearly two million hits in just five days.

For those who haven’t seen it, it’s a very powerful, moving music video made by Obama supporters (including many celebrities) based on a speech he gave on needing change in America.

How very true.

One thing that really bothers me about this particular election is the reaction of white males to the views of any woman, regardless of race, on the Democratic hopeful candidates.

It seems every male I come across has an opinion as to why women like whichever candidate they so choose.

If you like Senator Clinton, their brush-off statement is, &uot;Oh, you only like her because she’s a woman too.&uot;

Yet if you’re an Obama supporter, you hear, &uot;You’re just intimidated by the thought of a woman in power.&uot;

Excuse me, but the last time I checked women were just as (if not more so) intelligent as men.

We are perfectly capable of choosing our candidates based on political views, character and yes, even charisma.

I find it highly offensive that a man would dare try to psycho-analyze the motives of a woman in her voting preferences.

Why is it always men versus women, black versus white, rich versus poor?

Why can’t anyone (especially women and minorities) make up their own minds without fear of being ridiculed by others for their supposedly prejudicial choices?

It has nothing to do with race, or gender, or any of that superficial nonsense.

It has to do with the key issues at hand and, admittedly, the likeability of said candidate.

Period.

One of my co-workers and I have always been slightly at odds with our political views.

I jokingly call myself a &uot;semi-liberal Republican&uot; and he calls himself a &uot;semi-conservative Democrat.&uot;

It’s ironic that regarding the upcoming Presidential election, he hopes to see Senator McCain (a Republican) in office while I hope Obama (a Democrat) wins the nominee and later the election.

No, I don’t agree with all of Senator Obama’s policies.

I particularly disagree with his &uot;pro-choice&uot; stance, as I am pro-life.

However, as somebody pointed out to me once, I can’t in good conscience vote on just one issue.

I have to look at the bigger picture… and the bottom line is, the nation is indeed in great need of a change, one that I think Senator Obama can help bring about.

The main thing this country needs today is an economic boost.

I believe Obama can give us just that.

Would I be horrified if McCain ended up as President?

No, not at all.

I think he’s a great man.

I just think, for now, a Democrat needs to take the helm.

(Though I never thought I’d be one to say that, of all things!)

As far as Senator Clinton goes, I simply don’t like or respect her mudslinging ways.

Whoever your ideal candidate for President may be, don’t let anybody bully you into questioning your own beliefs.

Be educated; research all the candidates and choose the best one for you.

The Google search engine makes that quite easy today… all the information you need to know is right at your fingertips.

Don’t feel like doing the research?

There’s a nifty little site online (www.votechooser.com) that another of my co-workers passed on to me.

It will pick the candidate that best fits your views based on your answers to 10 easy questions.

And come November… the most important thing is to go to the polls and VOTE!

Want to let me know what you think?

Have a suggestion for a future column? Feel free send an email to: jennipher.dickens@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7208.