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Voters have an important decision to make in electing someone who can best represent them on a Local, Statewide and National level. Today's voter has more information and research at their fingertips than ever before. We are exposed to issues that affect us throughout all forms of media and we see elected officials and party activists in the news everyday.

It has become predictable that if one political party agrees with a solution or policy, the other will by in large disagree. This tactic is what citizens have come to know as "Politics As Usual". It is the biggest factor in the dismaying trend of voter apathy. There is a better way:

Over eight out of every ten registered voters are either registered as Republicans or Democrats. We choose these affiliations for a multitude of reasons: family upbringing, societal associations, respect for past political leaders, or historical performance of a political party over a period of time. Despite our commitment to party affiliation, there is growing sentiment in our society that does not believe that one political party has all of the answers over the other, that one party is always right while one is always wrong. If it were the case, we would not have had such revered leaders on both sides of the political spectrum throughout history.

How then, is an undecided voter to determine whom can best represent them? The answer is to focus on the issues. Which candidate is focused on the issues that you most care about? Which candidate is looking to lead through ideas, not sink to partisan attacks, or tow their party line at the expense of those they are representing? Which candidate is interested in solving problems and providing you with specific solutions?

I am a proud, life-long member of the Republican Party. This does not mean, however, that I agree with every single issue that every Republican elected official puts forth. It also means that I do not disagree with every issue a Democrat puts forth. I choose to define my approach as a form of "Pragmatic Conservatism". This philosophy is rooted in my belief in the citizens of our communities, districts, states and nations--in that order. I do not believe that all government solutions are bad, but I do believe there is a limit to which government should extend itself.

We must be respectful of our differences within our party and those within other parties. What unites us is far greater than what divides us. In many cases, the solutions to our problems lie somewhere in between the beliefs of both. We must have the courage to exert pragmatism and leadership over politics and partisanship. A healthy debate on the issues is good, but we are too often caught up in the partisan assignment of blame, rather than the pragmatic solution to a problem; the partisan positioning to a keep a job, rather than pragmatic leadership to do a job.

It is therefore that I humbly ask for your support. Together we can begin to change the "Politics As Usual" attitude in our local, state and federal government. We can have a government that listens and acts more on the behalf of the governed. We can show that crossing party lines to find areas of agreement makes sense. We can do all of these things and much more. If we begin one campaign at a time, one election at a time, then over time we will get back to unleashing the full capacity of our society's greatness. A new method of leadership is within our grasp. Let us go forth and have the courage to embrace it.

"Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

You can reach Michael Wissot by contacting SymAction Communications