logo_background_whiteBy: Chrysa Smith

I’ve done it.

I’ve watched both the Republican and Democratic debates.

I watch both network and Fox News—even BBC America. So I feel like I’m fairly well informed, straddling both sides of the political spin.

It’s been weeks and months since the madness all began. And still, I’m saying—who is best for the country? Who is best for my family?

I think, when it comes right down to it, your background, job experience, education and present work experience—along with who you hang with and what you watch or listen to certainly shapes your opinions. For sure, one who is a member of a union has vastly different views than someone who runs a business. One who works in education is vastly different than one who works on Wall Street. One who works in agriculture can’t appreciate the one who works in the city factory. None is necessarily better than the other—each contributes to our economy in a different way—all working together, hopefully, for the good of our society.

That’s why, this whole thing is difficult. Elections come down to hard numbers, popularity contests and people angrily pinned to one side or the other. I’m not sure when we lost our ‘united we stand’ motto, but from where I stand, it’s long gone. Maybe I was just too young to understand, but as a kid, I didn’t really know or care about the political views of my friends’ families. But I somehow think, by osmosis, I would have picked that up. Now, it’s quite obvious. We know who is slanted one way or the other. Facebook is certainly full of it.

So, let’s go beyond the faces of the candidates and get down to what it is that they really do believe. Do their views help me and my family? Do they help the country? Do they serve and protect us? Do they make us better people? Am I seeing the whole picture? Why do others believe what they do? Do their beliefs make for a moral, healthy and prosperous society? And, are others wrong who don’t believe as I do? Whoever we elect, I sure hope its for the greater good. But for now, we’ve got about another year to deal with. Enough time to step outside of all party lines and put them all to the test. Enough time to put aside party lines and be kind to each other, regardless of party line. Enough time to grab a few dozen glasses of wine and hope for the best.