I Got Your Back

Who do you vote for this year?


I thought it was important to endorse a candidate this year for President of United States. Robert Kennedy once said “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events and in total of all of those acts will be written the history of this generation.”  I believe that voting is one of those acts that Robert Kennedy speaks of. We are coming up on Election Day on November 6.  It is critical that all of us vote. I have a long standing belief that we get the president we vote for. We don’t always get the person we want but this country is based on the fact that each of us has a voice and gets to choose who we want as president. Over the past 12 years our country has been polarized by elections. The question to me is not who won but how they governed.

I think it’s time for a change.  There are many reasons to vote for a particular person for president, but I have a few compelling reasons that I base my decision on. I will share mine; you must choose your own reasons to vote for the person you think will make the biggest difference in your life and the lives of future generations of Americans. I may not agree with your choices, but I believe in your right to make them.

I’ve made my choice based on three criteria and I thought I would share them with you. I’ve offered many people the opportunity to guest blog on the topic of the election and all have turned me down stating they don’t feel it’s good business to share their opinions in such an open forum.  They think they should vote and keep their feelings hidden from clients and potential customers.  They’re concerned of the repercussions to sharing their feelings on such a widely read blog. Several said it’s a personal matter that is best left to private discussions. I honor their requests but feel in such a critical election it is important to say the things no one else might.  Thomas Jefferson once said “I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” I hope you feel the same way. If not you might want to turn away from today’s blog because I will be sharing my opinions and endorsement for president.

Of the three criteria I look at, the first is how the candidate would handle the economy. It shouldn’t surprise you if you read my blogs on a regular basis that I’m an unapologetic capitalist. I believe that the wealthy are concerned for society. I’ve worked with several of America’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and also the biggest philanthropists. I believe that the best way to help grow the economy is to get out of the way of progress.  The one common complaint I’ve heard from my many different clients is the amount of regulation they have to deal with today. This healthcare bill is making them rethink their growth, hiring, and retirement strategies because of the Obama Health care bill.  They fear exponential growth in their healthcare costs, so they’re thinking about putting fulltime people on part time to avoid bankruptcy.

The second criterion I struggle with is working with President Obama.  His feeling about private industry gives me pause. He was very clear about the role of government with his, “You didn’t build this” comments.  He has recently started calling Governor Romney a salesman in a derisive manner.  As a sales professional, I’m insulted by how he feels about people who are good at advocating their positions. I blame his unwillingness to advocate his positions as part of the problem we face as a nation. Compromise and negotiation are not in his bag of his political skills. We need a president who can build consensus across party lines. This president and his political associates Pelosi and Reed are unwilling to discuss and debate their ideas in a public forum.  It’s funny to me that a man who made his campaign about big ideas last time, this time has been driven to  pettiness and attacks to try to keep his job.  He might have been better off taking some of the money he invested in negative ads and hire a good sales coach to sell his ideas.

The final reason I will not be voting for President Obama is Benghazi. You can read more about my feelings about what happened there in my blog “A Father’s Worst Nightmare” at Developing Serving Leaders at http://www.trippbraden.com.  It has been several weeks since the killing of four brave Americans overseas in Benghazi, Libya. The White House has not shared their findings over the last couple of weeks. The press is MIA on this situation in Libya. Where are the reporters who are willing to speak truth to power? The President and Vice President are hiding behind the idea that they can’t talk without complete information. Vice President Biden has brought being an attack dog to a fine art during this election cycle.  Since when did they not rush out before having all the facts? When every leader on your leadership team steps up to protect you from your decisions, a real leader steps up. I would just like a press conference to answer questions about how this could happen on September 11. How did we miss all the signs up that led to the death of our Ambassador and three other brave Americans?

The reason I’m supporting Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for President and Vice President is that I believe that our nation can do better than we have the past four years.  These men have stepped up and addressed the real issues America faces.  They are focused on the issues that will restore America’s economic vitality. I want a leader who believes that America is the world’s leader.

They have not been afraid to share with us the hard truth.  Both these men are willing to compromise to get things done. Our nation needs a president who can advocate his positions to the American public. They both will work to get things down. It’s funny to me that compromise has become a four letter word in the American political system. We need a team who will work to represent all of our interests, not just their biggest contributors.

I’m voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan because I know these are men that I can trust do the right thing for our country. I believe past performance is the best predictor of future actions. Mitt Romney is a hardworking, honest man who understands what it takes to get things done. He’s not afraid to make the tough decision and stand behind it. He understands that he’s responsible for the government. He is also a good and decent man who puts his time and resources in helping others in need. The stories about Mitt’s time serving others are compelling to me as a serving leader. How Mitt took care of his wife Ann while she was sick tells me more than all the campaign ads by either party. This is a compassionate man.

So Mitt, I know the election will be close. Don’t worry for all you’ve done and all you will do as President. I got your back.

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