Family Values Matter
I remember growing up as a young boy looking forward to the fall season with muchanticipation. Excited for a new school year to begin, raking up great big piles of leavesand running through them for hours on end. Counting down the days to Halloween and playing pick-up games of football in the park. Ah, those were the days.There is no mistaking what time of year it is, but how different things are for me now. Ino longer burst with excitement and anticipation for these fall and winter months. Theschool zones are now patrolled on a daily basis by officers in their shiny new cars andradar guns. The days are beginning later and ending earlier, or so it seems, and thoseleaves I once played with are now clogging the storm drains on the city streets.Halloween is no longer as safe as it once was. And, rather than cheers coming from the ball fields, the sound of hammers fills the air as dozens of political signs crop upseemingly overnight, littering the streets as each candidate competes for the most visible piece of real estate.That’s right. It’s not just ‘back-to-school’ season. Or football season. No, it’s something bigger and more important than that. It’s election season. Unfortunately, it’s also the timeof year that many Americans have begun to dread.It’s the time of year when mailboxes are stuffed on a daily basis with candidates struttingtheir accomplishments like a peacock in mating season. Where doorbells ring throughoutthe neighborhood as candidates canvass an area drudging up votes. The time of year when you can’t turn on the radio or television without hearing smear ads and mud-slinging politicians taking aim at their political opposition. And, unfortunately, it’s thetime of year when it’s difficult to separate truth from fiction.However, as annoying as all of these ad campaigns and political signs can be, this is amost important time of year for America. Regardless of which side of the political isleyou stand on, this is your time to be heard. This is your time to exercise the vote that youare entitled to as a law-abiding citizen of America. This is your time to be a part of, “Wethe People.”Some say it is a right. I say it is an opportunity. An opportunity for you to choose your representation, both in the ‘other’ Washington and the Washington we call home. Anopportunity to forge the future of the next generation. An opportunity for your voice to beheard.When you exercise your right to vote this November, consider the candidates familyvalues. Consider their position on the things that matter most-the sanctity of life and of family. You can strip away my money, my dignity, my pride, and my self-esteem, and if Ihave nothing left but I have my family, I would consider myself richly blessed. And I believe most people feel the same way.