Those who would lead us out of our current difficulties are not paragons of virtue. They are as flawed as the rest of us, but they have managed to convince many others to support them in their quest for control of the Executive Branch of our government.
Our role in this election is to choose wisely enough so that the next four years will be better for us and our families and our communities than the last four years.
How do we do this when the air is full of accusations and recriminations? Who do we believe when every candidate has failings that will affect the way they think and act?
It is not as hard as it seems. We must listen and observe the candidates as they speak about and to each other. Listening to what O'Reilly or Blitzer or Gibson or Limbaugh say is far less important than doing our own listening and our own research. We can often find transcripts of speeches and unedited videos by using Google or other search engines. We can even find public documents if we are thorough.
The side with the fewest blemishes on their character is probably the sanest, but you will have to make up your own mind as to what you are going to rely on and who you will choose. The important thing is to become informed and to vote as your conscience dictates.
Some of us may find that we are inclined to vote across party lines and choose the individuals at local and national levels who are most aligned with our needs regardless of party affiliation. Others may vote a straight party line. Whatever we do, it is important that we get out and vote and that we support honest elections so that we can live with the final results.
We may not have a perfect system for electing our future leaders, but we do have the responsibility to vote and influence the outcome of this next election.
Listening to the Presidential Debates is a necessary part of being informed. It is not always what people say that reveals their character. The action of speaking under pressure shows a side of the person that is not usually on display. We have another chance to see the candidates in action tonight.
Barack Obama and John McCain will have another chance to show how they handle difficult questions. It should be quite informative. I wonder if there will be any surprises?
If you miss the live broadcast, the transcripts will be available within days. The transcripts are also helpful to confirm if you heard what the candidates actually said.