By: Bill McAllister

It’s finally here! We can finally cast our votes for who we would like to lead us as a nation for the next four years. More importantly, we can finally watch television without being inundated with political ad after political ad. Mud slinging is nothing new but it has reached a new high in 2012. A study found that 78% of the content in President Barack Obama’s TV ads was negative while 98% of Mitt Romney’s content was also negative. Can’t a candidate simply tell me why I should vote for him instead of why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy? Beyond shocking everyone, I think it would actually help the candidate! But I shouldn’t be surprised, society has been angling that way for the last decade (I’m looking at you Facebook and Twitter).

A review of polling data says this should be the closest election since 1936. The 2000 Bush/Gore fiasco was close and the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon was neck and neck but this year could be anyone’s guess as to who wins. So, if ever there was an election where every vote counts, this is it. If you don’t vote, don’t care or don’t like the process or the candidates, that is your right but I think the thing that is lost in all of this is…you HAVE that right. And I think that far too often, as a society we are so obsessed with letting someone know not only that we disagree with them but that their opinion is dumb, uneducated or in general, not thought out at all. Healthy debate and conversation seems to be a thing of the past and if that’s going to change it needs to start at the top. If our “leaders” continue to tear each other down instead of engaging in real debate and problem solving, we’ll continue moving backwards instead of leading the world forward.