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Having a large Scottish heritage that migrated from England into Canada to Maine and other states. I am from a family of 9. Six girls and 3 boys. My dad died young when I was about 8 years old. I have 4 children and 3 step children with the great joy of 20 grandchildren. I worked in financial institutions and accounting for many years. Now I sew and make lots of stuffed animals and many other things. I'm a grandmother that has years of sewing in a wide variety of catagories. Photography has become one of my passions over the years. Nature that God has presented us is one of the greatest to photograph. My family and pets hate to see me with a camera in my hands. The bug took hold at Christmas time taking photos of my children in front of the tree. That became a tradition. Then you have family gatherings, vacations, grandchildren and the list could go on.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Political Views and Pre-Election Musings by Karen Rowe

Political Views and Pre-Election Musings:
Why do I Vote the Way I do?

By Karen Rowe

I am so proud to be an American. I've always understood this based on the freedoms I've enjoyed, but I never realized it in the political sense until this past spring when I had the opportunity to participate as a delegate in the WV Republican Convention (to vote). As I was leaving that event it hit me—regardless of how I voted or who won, I could leave that place where many differences of opinion were expressed without fear. Without fear that I would be verbally or physically attacked or that riots would break out. I understood for the first time the value of our democratic political system. That we can make our opinion known and disagree with others, but in the end we're all still Americans and proud of it!

I am a registered Republican, because most often it is Republican candidates who more closely reflect my personal views and convictions. However, I do not vote straight republican. I review each candidate based on their moral issues first, their voting records second and their political promises last.

I am very strongly opposed to voting ignorantly! I think voting is a precious privilege, but believe it would be better not to vote than to just randomly vote for whoever or whatever. I know people who have voted for someone because they were good looking or because they had the nicest looking signs. In this day and age it is so easy to learn about the candidates and issues, especially if you have Internet. There are unbiased websites that show voting records and the views of candidates as well as personal information about them.

I believe the media (even news media) plays a HUGE part in politics—that what media portrays may have a bigger part in the outcome of an election than even the candidates themselves. While the news is supposed to be objective, I know that just doesn't happen. News media can put any kind of spin on any event or quotation which can portray it totally different than what was intended. I personally know of this occurring to one of my fellow military wives from an interview during Desert Storm. They quoted part of what she said but in light of the rest of what the newscaster said, it came across directly opposite of what she actually said. Aren't newspapers supposed to report news? Then why do candidates seek endorsement from the major newspapers? Because they know the papers will be slanted their way in all the reporting.

While I believe there are a lot of politicians who have strong convictions and a desire to serve the people, I also believe that many politicians are just that—politicians—and very good ones at that; people who know how to play the game, so to speak. They say what they know voters want to hear and make promises that they probably cannot keep completely in light of the fact that they will be a president, not a dictator. One person alone does not rule—they have to work within the checks and balances of the way our government is designed. When there is a debate on TV, one of the first things to follow is a "fact check".

Based on my previous two points, I know I can't believe everything I see on TV or read in the paper. I certainly wouldn't base my vote strictly on that. How do I know what is real and what is just an image portrayed or spin put on by media? That's why I must look at what the previous record of the candidate is. How did they vote on the issues that are important to me? Did they change their votes-flip flop? Does what they say match what they've done in office?

Lastly, but most importantly, I have to vote based on the fact that I am a Christian and believe Scripture to be the Word of God. I cannot compartmentalize my life and put my Christianity in one compartment and my political views in another. What I believe about God and what Scripture teaches me must be intertwined with all of my being—including how I vote. I cannot vote contrary to what God teaches in His Word (abortion, homosexuality, marriage, etc.). If a candidate supports issues that are contrary to God's Word, I would be agreeing with and supporting those issues by voting for him. Therefore, even if I agree or disagree with a candidate on other issues (economy, health care, the war, etc), when it comes to Biblical values I have to stand on the side of Right! How could I expect or even dare ask God to "Bless America" if I do otherwise!?!

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