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From the Publisher’s Desk – Winner of this race is up for debate (March 9, 2016 issue)

By Keith Whitson

Many are willing to put it all on the table this election year and play the “Trump” card. Now, I am not going to take a political stand here, but I am finding this presidential election to be very entertaining.

Whether you are a Donald Trump supporter or not, you’ve got to admit he has changed the playing field during this election. I don’t know that I have ever witnessed an election become so shaken as it seems this one has.

What started with so many possible candidates has gone from name calling to referencing “hand” sizes. I know “those” qualifications may have been used in “negotiations” for several of our country’s leaders, lastly Bill Clinton, but not information I need to determine my vote.

I think the other candidates would have played tougher early on had they known Trump would still be in the race and the top contender. Now it seems they are trying to catch up and pull out all of the stops against him they can.

After the large number of Republican candidates entered the field, it seemed to take most of the focus away from Hilliary Clinton and her email debacle.

Regardless of whether you are Republican or Democrat, I think you will admit this race is one like we’ve never seen before. Trump has made it clear he has the money to support his run for office. There is a lot of strength to that. For one, he can’t be “bought” or influenced by large groups trying to put some money in the pot for favors later, should he win.

It seems this year has opened the door to many candidates who don’t have political backgrounds. Voters will have to decide if they want some experience going in or a fresh start.

One thing I like about the campaign this year is it’s given people hope. It is the first time in a long time that the general public seems to feel they stand a chance at change. Whether Democratic candidates or Republican candidates, it is obvious the voters are looking for something that will shake up what the current way things are done. They are looking for a change to what sometimes seems like stale governing bodies, working for their own agendas rather than the betterment of the middle to lower class population.

If Trump becomes our next president, he  has a lot riding on his shoulders in expectations from those voters who put their faith in him. Should he not get it, there is a big voice of the American voters who have now been stirred up to want more. I am not sure they are going to be content with anything less. Will that in turn create another party or a stronger independent party?

My thoughts have often gone back to our founding fathers and their intents with the system they set up. I am sure they never thought we would face some of the issues and obstacles that we have in our lifetimes. It’s true that we are a growing and changing nation.

They might find it hard to believe we have a black president and that we have possibility for a female president. I, for one, am glad to see the diversity. I am glad that as we grow and change from the divisions that have separated our nation over the years, that hopefully we become more accepting and unified as a stronger country.

To me it is not gender, race, social status or income level that makes a great leader. It is in being level headed, compassionate, resourceful and able to work well with all those involved to make the best decisions for many who have entrusted their care in your hands.

The history books are being written everyday. The world looks to the United States for leadership and strength. Does any single candidate have all of the answers? No. In fact, I see various things I like from several in both parties.

I try to look at who I think is the best for the job. I know for many citizens, their party’s roots run deep. Many carry back through generations of party support from their family line. It is like carrying on the torch. For many, the need to hold onto a particular party affiliation is as strong as supporting a favorite professional sports team.

I think one thing that is a huge contrast from presidential races in the past, is the media attention. If someone has the gumption to run for office, he or she needs to make sure they have a clear background or at least willing to have it all aired before the nation. With major networks vying for a chance to host a debate and boost ratings, everything is going to be asked and brought out.

With today’s technology, little is hidden and much is available through various sources. By the end of this election we may know more about the winner’s personal life, “hand size,” family relationships and all things personal, more so than the way they stand on the real governmental issues.

Who will lead us into the future and all that we face as a growing, changing nation? I’m excited to find out.

“Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call. Don’t stand in the doorway. Don’t block up the hall. For he that gets hurt, will be he who has stalled. There’s a battle outside ragin’. It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls. For the times they are a-changin’.” Bob Dylan