Paper ballots and (almost!) decision time

My paper “ballot” came in the mail today — my first glimpse of the presidential candidates, listed in black and white, from which I will choose to be the leader of my country — the leader of the free world. In less than a month. Sitting on my table now to let me get an idea of just what I’ll be looking at come Nov. 4, I’ve already analyzed it to make sure I know just what I’m choosing. For me, there’s very little left to decide.

I haven’t been entirely politically-minded in the past, but this election has been far too important for anyone to ignore. As I’m typing this, the final presidential debate is waging loudly in my living room. Economic meltdown, health care expenditures, dependence on foreign oil (and gas prices!), abortion… yes, tons of complicated issues to discuss. Is there anyone who can honestly say they don’t have an opinion on these issues? Is there anyone left who can say they don’t care?

I’m not one to hop up on a soap box, and I’m certainly not going to pretend like I’m sort of political savant and grandstand on the election. I will say that I sincerely hope everyone out there is taking the chance to really listen to what’s being said by both Senator McCain and Senator Obama and choose the candidate they truly lead this nation — whichever gentleman that may be. Without a doubt, I know who my choice is — but what’s wonderful and terrible and incredible and scary about our big, awe-inspiring country is our ability to think critically, openly and honestly about who we are, why we do what we do and how to make it better. I hope when this is all over, we’ll be making it better. Everything. Better. And I don’t think that’s too idealistic… maybe a little idealism is what we need.