Election 2012: Four Worthy Men, Justice and Mercy

Here's a fantastic opinion piece from the Roanoke Times that is perfect reading for this day that is exactly one week before the big election:

Like many Americans — and despite the fact that it sometimes makes me squirm — I have watched all the debates. Chances are that you probably haven't, that is if the pollsters who describe you are right in saying that you haven't decided because you really don't feel strongly for or against either candidate.

That worries me a bit, because I talk to so few people who can, with conviction, say: Two dedicated Americans are hoping to become the next president. Both are devoted husbands and fathers. Both have spent a good amount of time in public service. Both have running mates with a combination of experience and skill that will stand our nation in good stead should whoever becomes the president be somehow incapacitated. Both have strong faith in a higher being and concern for their fellow Americans — and for those in the world not fortunate enough to be American.

Should we not all be grateful that, despite a Congress that seems to be able to do little other than argue and say no, four such able individuals have been willing to step up to the plate?

That's some pretty good stuff, but the best part to me is this:

But more than that, I hope that we who go to the polls will recognize that none of us earned the freedoms and opportunities that are ours. Our vote should be for the candidate we believe will assure that every American, no matter how dicey his or her beginning, will still have a chance.

Will some take undue advantage of the programs that offer those opportunities? Of course. Is that fair? NoI learned a very important lesson, though, from a man who grew up one of 12 children within the kind of poverty that dictated he quite literally had no shoes to wear until he went to school. "I hope," he said, "that God is just. But I pray that He is merciful."

That man was my father. Today, were he alive, I really am not sure for whom he would vote.

Of course I think this is the best part because I'm biased. The author of the piece is my mother, and the wise man of whom she speaks was my grandfather. I urge you to read the rest, not because it was written by my mother, but because she makes some great points. You don't even have to agree with her politics – her points are still worthy of thought.

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