The importance of political conscience

Michelle Berry, A Fresh PerspectiveWith the presidential election just a little over a month away now, the media coverage continues to pick up day after day.It can be easy for Americans to get lost in the shuffle. There is so much spouted on television about both candidates, and many are doing their best to sort through what is fact and what is fiction. Some people even give up trying to figure it out, believing whatever comes across the TV screen.However, it is important that Americans have a political conscience. We need to care about the races that affect our country the most. We need to know where the candidates stand on issues that matter to us. We don’t need to just believe everything that is spouted on television. We need to do research for ourselves and be absolutely certain about the choice that we make come Election Day.Call me a nerd, but I have had an interest in politics from a young age. I followed the presidential races when I was in upper elementary school. I wanted to know what the candidates stood for, and I was passionate about who I supported. If I had gotten the chance to vote at a young age, I probably would have jumped on it.For a brief time, I even toyed with being a politician in some form or another. I had a keen interest in political issues and wanted to make a difference. It was during that time in my teens when constant changing of the mind was always taking place, and I shifted my focus to several different career paths before settling on the one I am on now. However, being in the media, coverage of politics is an important part of my job, so I still get to keep that interest alive even though I’m not involved in them directly.When I was close to turning 18, I got registered to vote a month prior to the 1998 state elections. When I got that voter registration card in the mail, I was proud. It was a right I could not wait to exercise.After the experience was over, there weren’t any fireworks that went off or anything like that. However, I was proud that I finally had the opportunity to make my voice heard. It may not have been outwardly exciting, but I had an inward excitement.During the 2000 presidential race, which we all know was a close one, one of my college friends and I actually stayed up until two o’clock in the morning to watch totals come in from the state of Florida, which ended up played a key role in that election. When Bush was declared the winner, we both went to bed. Of course, it ended up taking longer than that one night to decide the presidency, but keeping tabs on that election was exciting.Since making my way further into adulthood, I have continued to have a passion for politics and for voting for candidates that support my views. For the longest time, I based my political views solely on the moral issues, and have voted for candidates that support my views on those issues. However, having been involved in the working world and seeing more how business operates, that has helped me shape my political views on such matters. The moral issues are still incredibly important to me, and I do take those into account. But I also try to look at the whole picture, and see how they stand on matters pertaining to business, the economy, terrorism, education, and international issues.You may be an American who has the same type of political conscience. You may care deeply about all kinds of political issues, vote in every election, and stay up late to get election results. Or, you may be an American that feels lost in the shuffle. You may not know where to start to get the facts. I encourage you to not take everything you hear at face value, but to research the issues and candidates for yourself. Don’t take someone else’s word on things. Know where you stand.It is important for all Americans to have a political conscience. If you care about the future of this nation and the people in this nation, it is important. Make your voice heard. Take a stand. Don’t take that lightly.