At some point in time it needs to be said that a person’s presidential ballot should not be based on political cartoons or endorsements by John Stewart and Steven Colbert.  It has come to my attention that for us Americans, voting just might not be our best talent.  

Now before you burn me at the stake for what I just said, here me out.  I love that as an American I have the right to vote for who I believe is the most capable person to lead our great nation, but the bottom line is that too many people today cast their ballot based entirely on physical image, who their parents voted for, or on the cracks about conservatives that Comedy Central makes every 15 minutes.  

Now I’m only 20 years old, but if the federal government decided to increase the voting age from 18 to 25, I would embrace the idea.  Nobody wants to admit it, but half the time the youngest voters have no earthly idea what the person they voted for stands for in the first place.  

I believe that it’s time my generation put a little more effort into researching presidential candidates before we blindly throw our ballots out to whoever “promises” the most.  Politics has two distinct seasons, a season for promises…as well as a season for alibis.  Instead of gawking at what a candidate claims they will do, maybe we actually take their political track records into account?  Which brings me to my next point:  Newt Gingrich’s past history with his ex-wife has absolutely nothing to do with how he can run a nation.  Claim that his “morals” are not fit for the Oval Office, but then please, examine our past presidents’ affairs.  You will quickly find that it’s easier to name the presidents who have not been caught with mistresses than the ones who have.  And that’s not an American thing either, since the dawn of mankind leaders have always been promiscuous.  Not saying it’s right, but it’s true.   Anybody remember the Kennedys?

Nothing aggravates me more than watching the media or rival candidates smearing mud on a presidential hopeful’s campaign.  It seems to me that candidates seeking office in any form of government often spend efforts attacking a rival’s personal character rather than their political beliefs.   These tactics used to rattle my brain because I never knew why these people (whose overall focus is supposedly the “welfare” of the nation) could relentlessly attack one another and still hope to win an office, but now I know why.  It WORKS.  

Think of the votes Gingrich lost because of his past relationships.  Think of the votes Romney lost because of his taxes.  Think of how Herman Cain dropped out of the presidential race because of a supposed sexual harassment incident that may or may not have happened 20 years ago, and finally, think about the votes President Obama lost, strictly because of his missing birth certificate and his middle name!  The point I’m trying to make here is this:  What draws our votes more—the successes and differences these candidates have made in their past political careers, or what kind of personal baggage they might be carrying that has little or nothing to do with the presidency?  

As of right now, my vote in the primaries is undecided.  But when the primaries finally roll around to Texas in the near future, I will make sure my ballot is based on research from what the politicians have accomplished in their careers, not on every single aspect of their personal lives.  I encourage everyone in 2012 to join me this year in becoming more educated voters, especially those you who are members of my generation.  Let’s show the nation that young people are capable of voting for the most qualified people fit for the presidency of the United States of America, and let’s get this country moving in the right direction.

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