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Beyond social issues and self interest

By Jacquie Itsines Special to the chronicle

Your voice grants you the power to influence social matters that are of direct importance to you, but take into consideration  that those subjects don’t necessarily carry relevance in the broader spectrum of government. People attached to sociopolitical issues should pursue them individually and locally. Federal involvement should be reserved for electing a president who can lead the government to successfully handle the issues that are out of the public’s immediate reach. To look to the federal government for help in petty affairs such as bully control, for example, is an ignorant waste of time; the Fed has much bigger concerns.

According to Business Insider, our country ranks 22nd in freedom from corruption, 142nd in infrastructure investment, 169th in gross domestic product growth and dead last in net trade of goods and services. We are the first-place trophy holders in a few categories, though: external debt, total crime and cancer-related deaths. The United States was once perceived to be the greatest country in the world, but it has since fallen. The upcoming presidential election gives the U.S. a chance to reclaim the top spot, but some citizens are misusing the opportunity by planning to vote in accordance with the political candidates’ stances on social issues, like marriage equality and the rights to abortion and euthanasia, instead of with elements of their platforms that can improve the condition of the country.

If voters do not better prioritize to focus on federal spending, foreign policy, education, job creation and healthcare, our country will remain in a rut and possibly face further decline.

People invest themselves into social issues because they are easily understandable and possess a personal, emotional component. The subjects are relevant and important, but they can wait. Zoom out, and take a look at the bigger picture to see that social issues mean nothing unless we can get the country back on track.

So what if stem cell research is legal, when children are not strong enough in math and science to one day be able to properly conduct related experimentation? Who cares if two men can legally marry, if neither has a job? This country cannot afford for its citizens to be selfish in selecting leadership. Do not waste your vote by making a decision based solely on what matters to you—at least not yet. We need to concentrate on stabilizing and boosting America as a whole before we can even think about narrowing the national focus to meet our personal needs. The priority in the 2012 presidential election is choosing an executive official who has the guts to temporarily ignore the minor issues that affect our society and the brains to improve the major issues that affect our nation. Please choose wisely.

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