What Matters to Me this Election

As we move towards election day, I am thinking more and more about the top issues I care about in this election.  This election is far too important, far too many issues that are critical.

It can be downright infuriating and confusing, cutting through all the rhetoric and  extremist banter.  And I think that single most terrible thing about the great divide that has permeated our political system is that the true message, the true issues gets lost amidst all the hot air.  It gets to the point where the middle majority is not heard, or worse yet,  is marginalized.

So, I got to thinking about my top 5 issues that I find important this election.  Here they are:


Being a former teacher and a mother, this one is at the top of my list.  I honestly feel like we are in crisis when it comes to the quality of education in our country.  No Child Left Behind, while it had very good intentions and made an attempt to hold teachers accountable, left every child behind in my opinion.  It widened the achievement gap, masked standards as standardization, and created national policy that had little positive effect on individual districts.  In a word, it is a disaster.

And yet we set poised to do it again.  ”If you raise your test scores by “x” number, we will give you more money.”  ”Let’s open more charter schools.”  ”Let’s allow privatization of our public schools.” “We need to hold teachers accountable.”

These are not the answers.  The fact of the matter is that we need reform of our schools, we need oversight, yet the majority of that oversight cannot come from the federal government.  It is too big to do so, and has  a history of hiring professionals that have little knowledge of pedagogy to do perform such oversights.  What we need are some great local and state leaders that are willing to call upon experts for answers.  Many people vote in the big elections, but in this instance, I feel it is the local elections that make the most difference.  Please, look at your own school boards, state boards of education, governors and look at their stance on education reform.  Really listen to what they have to say about the issue.  Remember, that it does not just affect your own children or grandchildren.  If we have an education system that fails, we have local communities that fail, local cities that fail,  and local economic systems that fail.  Elect people that do not just pay this lip service, but are committed to making real reforms work.

Civil Rights

Today, in the year 2010, the fight for civil rights continues.  We have homosexuals that do not get equal protections under the law, we have Muslim-Americans having to defend their own rights under the constitution, we have an achievement gap in our cities that, in part, can be blamed on gentrification, and we still do not have equal pay for equal work.  The constitution does not say the laws of America were written for one class, race, gender, creed of people, and could be forfeited for another.   I refuse to elect someone who chooses to “interpret” the constitution in ways that bend the document to their own ideological will.


Integrity.  Standing up for what they believe.  Hard-work.  No games.

These are the things I look for in politicians.  I know that sometimes it is impossible to get all these things all the time; it is politics after all.  But I am tired of  gotcha politics.  I don’t prescribe to the idea that the best thing for this country is locking up the next two years of  bills in gridlock.  I am for beating the rally drums when then need to be beaten.  I am also for putting  our nose down and getting things done for the American people.  I believe that when you say “no” or “yes” just because you feel an extra one percent of the voters (or companies) you have in your pocket might get annoyed, but you haven’t read or  weighed the merits of the bill, you botch the integrity of the entire system.

Health Care

Really, I don’t want to make this its own category.  To me, this should be in the “civil rights” category, but here we are.  I want to be  sure that the legislation that passed this past spring grows legs and is enacted.  I want oversight into insurance companies, I want the out of pocket expense for those that can afford healthcare the least but need it most to go down.  Health care is not a privilege, it is a right.

Fiscal Responsibility

I don’t prescribe to the notion that democrats want to just throw money at everything hoping that it will get better.  Nor do I prescribe to the notion that republicans have no heart and don’t want to give anyone anything.   It is a fact that money alone does not solve problems.  We can not wish our way out of this mess by throwing money at it, borrowing against ourselves.  It is also a fact that without money, this problem will not be solved.  We need leaders that do not fear doing what needs to be done, spending money when it needs to be, but doing so with a carefully detailed plan and with oversight.  I want leaders to consult experts.  I want leaders to exact the details.


The press that this election has mustered has been boiled down to who makes the most noise and the most ridiculous statement.  I urge you too look at your own candidates, really look at them and their policies, and vote your conscious next Tuesday.  This election matters too much to stay seated.  Vote and perform your civil duty.

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One Response to “What Matters to Me this Election”

  1. Caroline 27 October 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Awesome post. Retweeting this now. Thank you for writing it!
    Caroline´s last blog ..My ComLuv Profile


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