If I Only Had A Brain – Overcoming The Manipulation Of Political Endorsements By Celebrities

celebrities in politicsVoting is a privilege that we have long taken for granted. It has become subject to the indifference of our entitlement rather than being subject to the scrutiny of our responsibility. The significant work for this next election will not be accomplished by the candidates, or at least it’s not supposed to be. The most important and essential work for the next Presidential election will be accomplished by the electorate, the American voter…you and me.

We tend to believe that on November 4, 2008, we will go into the voter’s booth, push a button or two, and magically, our candidate , whoever they may be, will be elected to office. When, in fact, the real work should be taking place right now, in the privacy of our homes, as we do the research necessary to make the best possible decision. The alternative is that we continue to spend months on end being dirtied by political mudslinging while we sit on the sidelines and let the candidates “fight it out”. Political campaigns have become sport and we have become avid spectators. And, this is what we call democracy?

Political campaigning has become a sideshow, of sorts, designed to distract us from the work we need to do to put forth an honest vote. Candidates for public office, Presidential or otherwise, should not be sold to us like exercise equipment on a midnight infomercial. We have to choose who our personal candidate will be, not told who they will be. Voting is as much an exercise of freewill as anything. Rights come with responsibilities. We, then, need to be responsible in how we make the decision. In order to exercise our right to vote, it is incumbent upon us to turn away from the glitz and glamour of the political “red carpet” back to the organic nature of true democratic process. We are too far afield of the essence of the democracy, and have become far too enamored with the fame and celebrity overshadowing the candidates.

Exercising your right to vote consists of 4 essential steps:

1. Knowledge of the candidates. Who they are. Why they’re running. What they stand for.

2. Understanding of your personal values. What you believe and why.

3. Diligence: Which candidate has most closely demonstrated that he or she values what you value. (Tip: This decision should not be party-based, it should be value-based.)

4. Vote using the information you acquired in completing steps 1-3 above.

What we know today as democratic process is long overdue for an overhaul. Voting is a private decision albeit one that has public rewards or consequences, or both. Our individual votes determine who will decide how we will live as a nation and what our position in the world will be. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly or left up to someone else to make on our behalf because ultimately, the choice is ours and we will be held accountable before GOD for it.

We have minds of our own we need to use them to make the right decisions. We must stop the cycle of being influenced by another person’s world view. Each of us has a world view, and therefore, each of us also has the responsibility of doing some heavy lifting, pitting value to value, between now and the next Presidential election. We have the inherent capacity of being able to make informed decisions and we need to use it. We don’t need celebrity endorsements, multi-million dollar campaign “war chests”, special interests, or any such thing.

When you step into the voting booth in November 2008, it should be simply you and your candidate. The only voice in your head needs to be one telling you that you can confidently vote for the candidate that you believe will, based on your own due diligence, best fulfill the spiritual, intellectual, ethical, and physical demands that will be required of our next President. It’s your voice and it’s your choice. Choose wisely.

The contributor, Michele F. Richardson, is a Business and Personal Consultant who is dedicated to helping others fulfill their GOD-given destiny. Ms. Richardson draws on her own experiences to educate and motivate others. Additionally, she is a motivational speaker who is able to confidently address issues relevant to today’s society including GOD, sex, politics, relationships, parenting, and personal edification and enrichment [http://www.michelefrichardson.com].

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