Bob Denny: Sick of politics yet?

Published: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 12, 2012 at 4:21 p.m.

This could be the most important election in your lifetime. Our country is in the throws of some serious problems. The housing market peaked and crashed, and banks had their bad days, too. We have serious problems competing with nations that are either developing or have a lower standard of living, with less human rights, and less regulation and less corporate taxes. To succeed, so many companies relocate their operations overseas. This is one factor that caused probably the greatest unemployment since the great depression. Unemployed people have less money to spend, and business suffers a second blow.

To make things more difficult, our legal/judicial system has redefined corporations, now treating them as individuals. Individuals are allowed to support political campaigns, and can contribute financially to influence elections. Since they aren’t directly related to candidates, they can produce infomercials using negativity and distortion of facts. Even the television news media is corporate, and can slant their news toward their favored candidate.

What can we do? I believe the best thing going for us is our right to vote. This country has the longest lasting successful democratic government the world has ever seen. Rare in the rest of the world, citizens of our United States have the awesome power to make choices that determine what kind of world we will live in today and in the future.

It would be a terrible waste to not make the most of that opportunity. We can continue to be a leading world power that builds a better world, or we can neglect this opportunity and lose leadership to those who are often motivated by greed, power, self-interest, and show less interest in principles like freedom and human rights. To responsibly continue as a world leader, we have a responsibility to be aware, to be educated, and to use our vote to make choices based on good moral principles rather than out of fear, anger, greed, or ignorance.

What are some worthy principles to guide us? I have faith that our people love our country, and want to do what’s right for it and for our citizens. The Constitution says it best, and I paraphrase, “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people…to ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare for all…”

We should have some understanding of the national budget. Where’s our money going? Is it doing what we think it should? Like a family, shouldn’t we try to live within our means instead of borrowing from other countries, printing extra paper money, and running up the biggest deficit and debt the world has ever seen? As the Constitution stipulates, can’t we promote freedom of religion, and stop allowing the state to ban religion from much of our lives? Shouldn’t we support freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as long as it’s not harming someone else’s freedoms or harming them?

For moral principles: Isn’t it better to light a candle than to curse the darkness? Let’s have an ideal vision of the country we want it to be, and vote accordingly. We can be pulled by our hopes and dreams, not pushed by fear or anger, or by negative campaigning.

The best thing we’ve got going for ourselves is hope. Please inform yourself, and go vote. We don’t ever want to say “You don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.”

Bob Denny is a licensed mental health therapist and teaches psychology at Florida Gateway College. Comment to

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