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Vote with your heart and mind in the primary

With much talk of we only have one choice or the other, there are many choices for our primary voting here in New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders (an Independent running as a Democratic candidate), former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg (both Democratic candidates) are at the top of the voting ticket with President Donald Trump at the top of the Republican ticket. Sanders and Warren, along with Andrew Yang, are progressive candidates. While more moderate candidates are Biden, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (in opposition to ongoing wars) and former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick (a Democrat) and Matt Matern, an attorney (a Republican). Several candidates are at the top of the ticket while the lower-level candidates (according to their status in polls) offer us more good options.

Many of the lower-tier candidates are qualified and, perhaps, lesser known than their counterparts who are known and mostly have larger war chests in this presidential race. Voting from the gut and not from the issues is a major problem in this voting cycle. A friend was chatting with me over the telephone last week and said, “You are all haters, you Democrats; Trump is only a bully.”

I am not a hater, and I do not want a bully running our government. We left England and formed the United States of America to not be governed by a monarchy and controlled by specific religious beliefs. The Secretary of State a week and a half ago verbally attacked a female NPR reporter and asked her to point out the country that she was talking about on his map with no countries listed. Then, last week, President Trump commended the Secretary of State for his berating the reporter. Now, the Secretary of State is back in Europe, and that reporter did not get a seat on the plane. No one from radio got a seat. Reporters are being harassed and being prevented from accessing news. Is this the kind of government we want operating for us? We will be told what the government wants us to hear? We will not have access through qualified media who justly cover current events? News is not made to be skewed and given to us revised to how it is presented.

It does not matter which political party you favor. There are viable candidates in both tiers. I like two candidates in the top tier and four candidates in the lower tier.

In New Hampshire, we are privileged to have the first primary voting and need to use our hearts and brains, not our guts, in making a choice for who sits in the White House and properly leads our government in the United States of America and around the world.

Issues are important whether we are looking at inequity of wages, climate change, security of Social Security, health care, money spent on and on in wars, trade, lack of affordable housing, affordable and equitable education, fair access to voting, campaign finance reform, gerrymandering, jobs and careers that offer adequate pay, secure retirement, protecting our national parks, producing non fossil fuels, etc. It feels good to have investments doing well right now, but does not feel good seeing people working two or three inadequate paying jobs to support their families. Unemployment is not at 2%, it is pushing over 6%; still many people have given up looking for work and those figures need to be incorporated in the analysis. President Barack Obama had our country on the right track for increased employment, and that track has been abandoned.

Compromise cannot happen if we do not have politicians working together, listening to one another and looking down the road for what our citizens and country need.

Electing officials who are willing to work together for the betterment of our country is what is needed in Washington, D.C., and electing those around the country who are just in their work is needed.

I was lucky to grow up in a family with one parent a strong Republican and the other a strong Democratic party member. Oh, those discussions at the dinner table were calm and rational or mighty agitated. When I was 7 or 8 years old I stopped eating and just stared at a parent who had jumped up from the chair and stood there being overbearing at dinner hour; I was wondering what was going to happen, but the outburst subsided and everyone went back to eating.

I grew up around both sides of issues, and that was a good education for me.

Voters, open your hearts and give consideration to the candidates who are running for president and do not feel locked into someone whom you do not feel comfortable voting for. The gut is a great place to place at your dinner, but your heart and mind are where you need to travel to get your choice for the next president of the United States of America.

Kathleen R. Allen is a resident of Peterborough.

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