Yes, there will be a test (on Election Day)

Yes, there will be a test (on Election Day) ~ Jennifer DeJournett

When our children went back to school each year, parents often reflect on the summer and the previous school year. It’s hard to believe that a year has flown by and a new year is just about to begin.

What struck me this year was that our country’s economic environment really hasn’t improved. Being in my late 30s, my generation really hasn’t seen a prolonged state of economic stagnation before. Bubbles burst only to re-inflate and overall our lives improved.

However, this economic downturn has struck us all in a way that hasn’t happened before. Our basic understandings of how one moves up the economic ladder no longer seem to apply. For example, one mom was recently speaking to her friend about her desire for a higher degree. However, she was lamenting the fact that the risk of being unable to find a job upon completion of the degree would no longer justify the time or expense.

The generation of latchkey kids has learned a tough lesson. If you spend more than you have and you might not be able to dig yourself out of the economic pit. The implications for political figures are catastrophic.

Fancy speeches and big promises will no longer work. Standing at a podium and telling us lofty visions will always be seen with a skeptical eye. What the new America is longing for is that leader who will walk in the trenches with us, who has seen tough times but yet has prevailed. Vague concepts of “hope” and “change” must be replaced with specific tasks that have measures of progress and effectiveness. The mantra “it was like that when I got here” needs to be replaced by “everything that happens from this point forward, good or bad, is my responsibility”.

As one looks out into the political field of 2012 and one carefully considers the strengths and weakness of each candidate, it quickly becomes apparent which leaders understand that America is changing and some would-be leaders are still struggling with that concept.

The same can be true for the national media. Lately, it appears that they too are starting to see that this “spend less” and “real leaders” isn’t some cute “Cabbage Patch Doll Lunch Box” phase that America is going through but is something lasting.

America wants to take her time understanding who a candidate is, who they will be in office and most importantly if they can really make a difference if elected. If that candidate cannot past her test, she is willing to move on to another candidate or leader that will do as she asks.

As we all listen over the next year to these leaders who ask for our support, let’s all make sure we do our homework.

Let’s make sure that those leaders are who they claim to be and are willing to take responsibility for getting America back on track. Take out those pencils, take good notes, and study the candidates and their records.

Yes, there will be a test for us all on Election Day 2012 and it is a test we must pass for the future of our country.

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