This I Believe

Kathryn - Salt Lake City, Utah
Entered on December 12, 2007

Someone asked me the other day if I was a Republican. I cringed at the thought of answering. Yes, it is true that I live in the Red State of Utah. And I’ll even admit that I am a registered Republican, for the sole purpose of being able to vote in the primaries and go to caucuses, but I’d rather not profess loyalty to any one party.

It’s just another label I’d rather avoid.

It seems like these parties are creating divides within our political system which make passing legislation next to impossible. Why can’t we just work together on issues that really matter? No one party shares all of my values, and for me, voting for someone just because they are from a particular party is selling my vote cheaply. It’s as ludicrous as voting for someone because they are a woman or because they are black or white or because of their religion.

What does this person believe about abortion? What are they going to do about the health care system? Who is going to clean up our environment? Who is going to pay for it?

Where is the candidate that practices what they preach? The one who continually tackles problems with positive outcomes? Which candidate treats those around them civilly and respectfully? Can any one of them balance the budget!

Furthermore, I am troubled by the constant media buzz featuring forerunning candidates for president. The news has been littered with controversial stories targeting presidential hopefuls based on such issues as race, religion and gender.

It seems obvious that you cannot judge the fundamental character of a person based on personal bigotry, chauvinism, racism, or by other such demeaning methods. Why then judge the competency of a presidential candidate based on religion, race, or gender? If one has not studied the doctrines of another’s faith, how can they judge with integrity whether or not that person’s religion will be a detrimental factor in holding the office of president? Why would the color of one’s skin determine whether or not they are capable of understanding the American people? Why can’t a woman change the course of America for the better?

I will not vote for Hilary Clinton because she is a woman. I will not vote for Barack Obama because he is black. And I will not vote for Mitt Romney because he is a Mormon. I believe that candidates should be voted for based on their merit. What have these people accomplished? Where do they stand on issues that impact the American people? Is their conduct morally consistent with what they profess to stand for?

In short, I believe that if a candidate were elected because she is a woman, or because he is a Mormon, or because he is black, he or she would have been elected for the wrong reason.

So, don’t ask me if I am a Republican, because I just may ask you who you are going to vote for. Or worse: why.