Look what I got in the mail this week. My official American voting ballot. As I opened it up and saw the candidates names staring back at me, I felt a bit panicked. This voting stuff is important. This voting stuff is a big deal. This voting stuff, well, it makes me think and analyze and research and....and....I have to be an adult. I have to be a good American. I have to do my part to make the American ways, liberty and justice for all, a reality. But I am just one teeny, tiny person clear across the waters not even standing on American soil. I hear and see the negativity that froths forth coming from people on this side of the world. I want to hear them speak of America as the powerful, beautiful, helpful country I once knew it to be. I don't want to be one lonely soul in a sea of Europeans trying to defend my country. It is the job of my country, the politicians, the citizens, the president...to do that for me. And now, it is my job to pick my choice for the upcoming president.
I have deliberated over this for months, watching the debates online, reading news, researching candidates. I am interested, but feel only slightly informed. I have two main candidates in which may take over the job of leading our country. I personally like Obama for many reasons, but I am fearful that he is too inexperienced, will need assistance in making decisions. Is this the right man for the job? Someone I see as unfit to make a major decision on his own? Someone who can't make a spur of the moment decision because he isn't sure it is the correct one?
And then there is McCain. He is old. He is more experienced in life. He shouts out cries of following on the steps of the Bush administration (YIKES!) and he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate (double YIKES...though I am in favor of a woman being in the white house, I am not keen on this particular woman).
So, what to do? My own views and values follow a more liberal, social approach. But as Americans, we're quite limited to choice in our democracy. So, these two candidates spark through, and we know that one of them will win. Which will do a better job? Which will pull America up, help her to shine, help our citizens feel safe, healthy, comforted and in control? Help me to stand proud and tall when announcing that I am an American citizen, even as the government bulletins I receive from the American Embassy warn me to shelter my American identity when in public situations?
I'm getting out my pen, doing my tiny little part by marking that circle with my choice. The man I feel will best help America to shine...and hope, that I won't be failed by too many promises, too much media favoring, and find that glimpse of what America truly stands for, liberty and justice for all.
** I am voting for Obama. I already 'know' that his message for change offers too much of a good thing. But if some of what he proposes becomes a reality, I think America has a good foot in the right direction. I just hope he learns quickly enough and is able to make some of those necessary decisions for change. Keep your promises, Obama!