Presidential election time approaching, prepare to vote?

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Mike Murphy
  • 22nd Contracting Squadron
Politics is a topic that should intrigue every individual in the military. After all, it directly affects everything we do - from our pay, which is periodically debated, to the status of the base at which we work, to our health care and benefits, to the military engagements we enter. All these things are decided in the political arena.

Though it may be in the distant future, the presidential primaries seem to overwhelm media coverage. Arguably, at no time in history have the candidates on both sides, Republican and Democrat, been so diverse. There are some serious contenders who have placed their tickets to represent their respective parties in 2008. There is an articulate, focused civil-rights attorney and a wise maverick who genuinely speaks his mind. There is a strong female senator who knows an ex-president named Bill and a tough New Yorker who has a knack for eliminating crime. There is an intelligent businessman who seems to get everything out of a financial pickle and a Southern gentleman who is adding to the interest of this race. There are also contenders who have strong abilities but who haven't officially entered into the running yet, such as a certain actor from the television series Law and Order. Any of our candidates could very well take the presidential nomination.

We understand as Airmen there are limitations that have been put in place with the roles we can play regarding politics. We also realize it is not our place to comment on the decisions made by our national leaders. But, as an American citizen, it is your duty to cast your ticketed opinion. I bring this up now, a year and some months away from the election, because I have noticed an obvious disconnect, especially amongst the younger generation, which I fall in line with, of potential voters.

In our spare time, let's stop worrying about Paris Hilton's jail cell and what song Sanjaya Malakar is going to sing next. Yes, I must admit they are very fascinating subjects ... well, no, not really. Instead, when we are not working on the mission, let's pay attention to issues that affect our lives, such as politics.

My goal is not to turn your interests solely to the overwhelming political coverage that touches every outlet of American culture. Rather, it is to implore everyone, especially the younger generation of Airmen, to get in touch with what these candidates stand for. Keep in mind, it's difficult to find a single person, whether it be a candidate or anybody, who shares your exact viewpoints on everything. Therefore, objectively, discover which gentleman, or gentlewoman, you want to be your next commander-in-chief -- with the thought in the back of your head, "Which candidate represents what is best for the country?"
The beauty of our Constitution remains evident; regardless of whom we personally see fit to run our country, the overall majority will decide who will live on Pennsylvania Avenue.

As members of the military, we should be intune with how decisions in Washington affect what we do, and we need to help elect the best candidate to confront these issues.

When it comes to anything political, know your limitations as a military member, but get involved as much as you can, and yes, even though it is early get ready to vote next year.