Opinion

Family values matter during election season | Guest column

By Jason Coleman, Federal Way resident

I remember growing up as a young boy looking forward to the fall season with much anticipation. Excited for a new school year to begin, raking up great big piles of leaves and 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. I no longer burst with excitement and anticipation for these fall and winter months. The school zones are now patrolled on a daily basis by officers in their shiny new motorcycles and radar guns. The days are beginning later and ending earlier, or so it seems, and those leaves 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 fill the air as dozens of political signs crop up seemingly 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 time of year that many Americans have begun to dread.

It’s the time of year when mailboxes are stuffed on a daily basis as candidates strut their accomplishments like a peacock in mating season. Doorbells ring throughout the neighborhood as candidates canvass an area drudging up votes. It’s 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 the time 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 a most important time of year for America. Regardless of which side of the political aisle you stand on, this is your time to be heard. This is your time to exercise the vote that you are entitled to as a law-abiding citizen of America. This is your time to be a part of “We the 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. An opportunity to forge the future of the next generation. An opportunity for your voice to be heard.

When you exercise your right to vote this November, consider the candidates family values. 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 I have nothing left but I have my family, I would consider myself richly blessed. And I believe most people feel the same way.

So, family values really do matter when it comes to your vote. Either your candidate has them, or they don’t. Either they live according to a set of principles, or they meander through life as their political party pulls their string, supporting what they are told to support, rather than what they truly believe in.

This is our time. If we are going to turn the tide in our country and regain the American dream and the American way of life, it’s going to start with individuals and families, and the values we place on those we love.

It doesn’t matter, really, whether your candidate has a D or an R behind their name, or is part of the Tea Party or some other organization. What matters is character and the values they cling to. Let that be your deciding factor when you choose your leaders this fall, not the number of political signs you pass on the way to work each day.

And when you drop your ballot in the mail, listen closely, and you just may hear those cheers from a local park. After all, it’s football season!

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Federal Way resident Jason Coleman is co-author of “Discovering Your Amazing Marriage.” Learn more at www.youramazingmarriage.com

 

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