Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vote For the Person, Not the Party

Greetings Happy People,

I rarely talk about things that annoy me. However, I will make an exception for this topic.

Campaign season is here. The signs are on every corner. The billboards are on the freeways and bus stops. Each of these candidates asks for your vote on the first Tuesday in November. The grandstanding, the politicking, the ad campaigns, the interviews and the debates are the few things we see throughout this election season.

As a Nevada resident, I find this campaign year to be quite annoying and a little nasty - especially in two of the major elections for this state. I receive mail ads from one candidate bashing another candidate on different issues. I hear different people complain about other candidates and the promises they make to the people. It is these types of things that turn me off in who I am going to vote for.

Many years ago, I had a revelation. I have been told by my family that no matter how you feel, always vote Democrat. From the time I was eligible to vote to the time I “woke up,” I had been a registered Democrat. When I woke up, I realize that there were candidates that were on the other end of the party that either had some good ideas or were doing a good job at the role they have done.

My “ah-ha” moment came when I voted for Kenny Guinn. He was a businessman, a past interim UNLV president, and a Republican. He was running for re-election for Nevada governor and I thought he did an excellent in whatever he had done. To show my approval, I voted for the man. It was at that moment, I realized that when it comes to voting, it is not about the party – it is about the person.

Another “ah-ha” moment came for me when a few Democrats were running for key positions in Nevada (Congress, Lt. Governor, and Commissioner). The reputation of these people did not stand out at all for me and I did not vote for them. After the election, they were faced major corruption charges and went to prison for it. At that point, I done only two things: shake my head at these candidates and became grateful that I did not vote for them.

After seeing the two sides of the rainbow, I switch my party allegiance from Democrat to Nonpartisan. I chose to not only be affiliated with two of the major parties, but also focus on just the candidate.

Amidst the political campaign that is going on right now, there is one type of campaign format that brings music to my ears. It is in an organization that promotes the development of communication and leadership skills for their members. It is none other than Toastmasters International.

Toastmasters stay away from the campaign tactics that pollute modern day society. Instead of talking negatively about their opponent, the candidates simply talk about what they bring to the table. Why they should be voted for a certain position. From club to International levels, this organization practices and promotes clean running campaign tactics. They dedicate so much to fair campaigning; it is in their bylaws!!

When I ran for Division Governor and District Lt. Governor or Marketing, I ran as a candidate that was not worried about any negative attack ads. Instead, I ran on what I can bring to the table. There was no mudslinging; there was no backstabbing, there were only fair chances for people to do what they can do. I like that!! Being with positive people like Toastmasters made the whole experience better for me because I am dealing with positive, happy people!!

I can only wish that some political candidates in this state can run on this type of structure.

As I walk to the voting booth in my neighborhood, I can only shake my head at what I have seen in some of these candidates. In some cases, it got to the point where I make a decision by flipping a coin. Someday, the people will get tired of the non-sense. Someday the people will get tired of the attack ads. Someday, the people will say enough is enough. And when that day happens, I am assured that they will not vote along any party lines, but simply vote for the person.

I made that decision many years ago. Will more people make the same?

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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