My vote in the upcoming presidential election will be driven by an old political axiom: All politics is local.
For me, local issues go beyond the social bugaboos that divide us on the national stage. Local goes beyond the wars we fight in foreign lands.
Local is on my street, in my community, in places I can see, touch and hear. And for me, local is often a matter of life and death.
Local is the gun violence that periodically mars my peaceful community.
Local is the suspected drug house that has moved into my neighborhood.
Local is the dark driveway where prostitutes and johns leave used condoms.
But more than any of those local issues, and perhaps even because of them, my children’s well being is my primary concern.
Looking toward the future
That means I vote to provide my children with access to good schools, safe places to play and the opportunity to thrive in a world where competition is international.
While I am keenly aware of the economy, and its role in my ability to provide for my children, I don’t vote purely on financial issues. As a man who has experienced fatherhood both before and after marriage, I’ve learned that providing means much more than a check. So yes, my politics are local, and they are centered in the most important place in America — my home.
Home is a place that means more to me than it might mean to others, because for a time, I didn’t have one.
Perhaps that’s why I protect home so fiercely, and cherish it so completely. Perhaps that’s why I’m determined to build a foundation from which my children can avoid my mistakes, rise above my shortcomings and achieve beyond my wildest dreams.
I vote, quite simply, for home.
That’s why my vote has never been driven by issues that drive people apart at the very time when we should be striving to come together. I vote with an eye toward tomorrow, because my children’s futures depend on it, and frankly my future does, too.
Looking toward the past
I vote with a keen understanding of the history I carry into the voting booth. People died for my right to cast a ballot. But more than that, I vote with the knowledge that history is written by the victors.
I vote so that I can write the history.
Of course, there are those who vote out of their desire to return to the past, and while I respect their right to do so, I don’t share their enthusiasm for yesteryear.
I don’t need to look too far back to see a time when my voice would have been silenced beneath the strident wail of racism, or classism, or some other unfortunate social ill. That’s why I prefer to look ahead.
Leaving a mark
Up ahead, I see a future where my children’s fortunes will be limited only by the scope of their imaginations.
I see a future where they will learn from other cultures rather than fear them.
I see a future in which my daughters will be on a level playing field with my son.
I see a future in which they will be equipped to be the victors.
In that future I see up ahead, my children will be the ones to write the history, and that history will begin with my vote.