With elevated gas prices, a severely damaged economy, and many of our friends and loved ones fighting a war, it is needless to say that voting is more important now than it has ever been. Not only is it important to get out and vote. It is important to weigh the options and make an informed decision that will affect your future.

Coming from a long line of Democrats, I initially thought the decision would be a no-brainer, but after seeing Michelle Obama at Reynolds Coliseum in April, and listening to the many issues and controversies on my own, I’ve found that I had to vote for a candidate based on what is important to my future, independent of what my family believes. Luckily, my values and situation are not much different than my family’s, but for some people it is not a simple choice. Many people are struggling to make a decision simply because of what one of the candidates looks like, and how old the other is, but the true challenge for everyone should be to find a political truth.

In my opinion, finding your political truth means accessing your personal needs as they relate to American society. For me, college loans, the economy, and gas prices are most important to me at this time. Barack Obama’s plans for these issues are in my best interest. As a Christian, I’m sure I could easily find favor with some of John McCain’s proposed policies, but economically would that really be what’s best for me?  I believe the average American can find something positive in both candidates, but the true test is evaluating which candidate would best suit your needs, at this time.

This election is one to be remembered forever. It means different things to different people. To me it reinforces the idea that I can be anything I can imagine in a country that hasn’t always been so kind to people of my color. To my ailing grandfather, it is an indescribable privilege that hasn’t always been real. For some, the outcome of this election could literally be a matter of life or death, as our flawed healthcare system prevails. To you, it may not seem so important, but I believe if you think carefully about the issues that affect your life the most, you will find political ground.

On the campaign trail, Barack Obama has been quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, as he talks about “the fierce urgency of now”. This phrase pertains to the immediate need for change, before it’s too late. Not too late in the sense of the world ending, but in the sense of the degradation of our society beyond any repair that our generation will live to see. This is why it is so important to make it out to the polls and make a clear, sound decision on November 4th.

So, as you go out to the polls, take it seriously. Think about the many men and women who were physically and mentally scarred, so that you can vote. Think about our country as it is and how it can be. For once, put aside family tradition and peer pressure. Vote based on who can best serve you. Look beyond here and now, but most importantly, think-vote!