The value of your political voice

Michael Westerman, IV Leader Editor-in-Chief

The primary elections are finally under way as both Iowa and New Hampshire have already voted, and the candidates are kicking their campaigns into high gear as March brings Super Tuesday.

The choice, your vote, is a difficult one to decide with such charismatic, big idea candidates like Trump, Hillary, and Bernie. The extremely different and bold ideals between each candidate has caused an uproar of conversation in the broadcast world; a conversation of people angry with government and the money driven world and questions of what a legitimate elected official should look like and how do we know which one will make actual change for the real issues that need to change.

For the voters with shaken faith in the political system and the non-voters who don’t believe in it, there is something to be celebrated from this election, something to be excited about from the recent debates, something much deeper than who will win.
Bernie Sanders, the blue grass playing senator, has sparked the nation with his campaign against big business and stale government, and he has the donations to prove it. He goes up against the experience and star personality that is Hillary Clinton and, of course, on the Republican side, Donald Trump whose brash comments and big tough guy personality turns his rallies into rock concerts with plenty of loyal screaming fans.

For many liberals, it was hard to understand how Trump has been leading in the Republican poles with the amount of offensive and obscene things he has said, but after speaking to many Trump supporters it became clear why so many people find him to be an attractive candidate.

Americans see a government that can almost never agree on anything while real issues are going on and going wrong in this country. Before them stands a man seemingly with no filter and enough moxy to fill up any stage twice over.  More importantly than any issue or political stance, people want results and they think Trump is a big enough bully to make congress cooperate.

For Democrats, Bernie also appeals as an against the grain candidate from his religious background to socialist ideas. A candidate being Jewish would have been a major problem in elections of the past and words like socialism would be labeled as political suicide. It is clear there has been a reaction by the American people in what they care about in a candidate caused from the recent failures of congress.

The debates, the democratic ones at least, have had a change in tone from the questions asked to the answers. Candidates are giving their honest opinions on big issues and how to work to make real change rather than just answering with what will poll better than their opponent. Although we still see differences in opinions, we also see cooperation and respect for the American people.

In a country with the perception of little progress and unjust leaders, people are growing united in their desire for change.  The people are demanding transparency and trust from these candidates, and they are starting to deliver. It’s a small victory for those with shaken faith, and a reason to be interested for those who are not.

Regardless of who wins, this election has shed some light on how politics and government really work and that it is not a particular issue that needs changing but it’s the people making those decisions that need to change.

Congressmen and women need to be responsible for the people they represent and earn their trust and not the trust fund of their party. It is the American people’s responsibility to vote for candidates that actively seek out that trust and hold their responsibility to the people above everything else. That is what campaigns should be based upon. That should be what wins votes.

So come March, we all have an obligation to tell anyone running for office what we want and expect out of their service. Convince campaign managers that what wins elections isn’t slandering the opposition but sharing plans to make this country better. We all have a voice through our vote and each voice matters.

Let it be heard.