In the coming two weeks, we will see numerous charges hurled by both political parties, amid armloads of statistics and examples to support the various positions. Most of us realize that information, including polls, can be manipulated in order to support targeted positions. We can look at all this as a smokescreen. So, if we want to make intelligent choices that will benefit us, and ultimately our children and grandchildren, we would be wise to find objective ways through all this.
Here’s how I do it, while keeping my shoes clean. I realize that, clearing away the smoke, both our candidates indicate that they agree on numerous positions, though they differ hugely on other key issues. So, I turn to a deeper layer of consideration -- morality and consistency of message. Then, voting records, economic record and what they say in private -- is it the same as what they say in public?
By morality, I mean the courage to apply the same moral values and ideals to practical solutions, unwaveringly, through the years. I mean a person whose ideal person is Abraham Lincoln rather than Ayn Rand. A person who makes the same commitments and expresses the same values whether the wind is behind him or against him. This is the man I can trust and believe in. This is President Barack Obama, but you will have to decide for yourself.
As Suze Orman said last evening on HuffPost Live (paraphrased), ‘Yes, the economy is important, and with Pres. Obama, it is steadily improving. But there’s so much more to this election, that we need to care about -- women’s rights, for one.’ Women’s rights are human rights. Our women can fly jet fighter planes and serve our country in numerous additional ways, but do women get paid equally as men? Pres. Obama’s Lily Ledbetter Act opened the door to that; Mr. Romney won’t even discuss it.
Women bear and raise our children; as such, they/we are, perhaps, the most influential social unit in America -- but how do our candidates regard women? The answer could determine how we, our daughters and granddaughters will face life here for generations to come.
On gay rights, whether we support gay people or not, they are American citizens and as such are entitled to all the rights, including the nearly 1,200 ones they are currently denied under the Defense of Marriage Act.
For people who believe in the importance of keeping Church and State separate, equal rights for all is fundamental. We have, comparatively recently, gotten past legal equal rights for all races; now, it's time to apply the same to women and gay people.
And here's why it's important to keep Church and State separate: We might say, 'America is a Christian nation; we have to apply Biblical teachings to every aspect of life in America'. Well, if that's so, why wouldn't other citizens also say, 'We are Muslims/Jews/Buddhists, etc; we insist that America follow our laws.' America is really not a nation of one religion; it's a vastly varied nation, and as American citizens, we have to follow a set of rules that applies to everyone across the board.
So, please, let the mainstream media carry on about polls and the economy if they like; we can go to Huffington Post Live for a well-rounded picture of the entire political and social scene. And, we can get valuable links to a wide variety of not-so-publicized websites for real, solid information. For example, The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (http://www.cbpp.org); this is an awesome site showing how decisions are made that affect our lives every single day. I found it on a HuffPost Live segment. (huffingtonpost.com/live) And, to keep the record straight, I am one of the unpaid but oh-so-loyal contributors to various segments on HPL.
Let’s blow away the smoke and see all the issues as they really are. That’s our privilege and obligation as citizens of the United States of America. May God bless us all with wisdom, maturity and the interests of all our people!
Molly Darden has been invited to participate in a Huffington Post forum after the third presidential debate on Oct. 23. The forum will be from 9:45 to 10:30 p.m. on huffingtonpost.com/live.
@MollyDarden (Twitter), Molly Alexander Darden (Huffington Post blogs)