Please tell me that I’m not the only one who is over this political season? It’s like having a set of heifers that you bought that were supposed to calve for 30 days, and it’s now day 60 and they are half done.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and thinking about the political system this year, and even though I do lean right, my voter registration still has me listed as an independent.

I try to remain open-minded. I try not to say anything disrespectful about the candidates, and no matter whom the President is, I try to hold the office in high regard.

I’ve been an avid watcher of the last two debates. The first one I felt that we were all losers, no matter what side of the aisle one was on. The second one I felt there was one side that focused on social issues, and one side that had more focus on economy.

This is where I struggle — I have a tough time with social issues in politics. It seems that if you belong to a party, you are supposed to believe a certain way. I’m pro-life, but I don’t feel the government should regulate your body, just like I don’t feel they should regulate whether red meat is good for you. I’m not LGBT, but I have friends who are, and they are no less important. I have Black friends, cop friends, white friends, but I have no tolerance for destroying property or unnecessary riots.

When did we start focusing so much on these issues and have this attitude that if you don’t think like me that you are a bad person? Have you ever sat and talked with someone from a different political party on social issues? Surprisingly, if you really get down to the deep and dirty of it, we are not as different as you think. It more comes down to the process of us getting to that certain point we feel we need to be at.

I really would like to go back to the day when politics focused on economics. What can the government do that makes us more money, with fewer taxes and less regulation? Most importantly, I’d like to go back to the days where it wasn’t a Republican/Democrat thing. Where there was bipartisanship. Where we, as Americans, did not need to insult and degrade every member of the opposing party. I lose so much respect for those who, day after day, post political garbage.

I’ve been asked to serve on numerous boards over the years. One group in particular that we had built and developed over a couple years was to the point of determining when leadership needed to change. I was the first volunteer to ask to be replaced. When we serve in the same position for too long, ideas become stagnant, and too often we coast on ideals that may no longer serve the best interest.

When did we start voting on people instead of policy? When did we start voting based off of the junk the news media tells us? When did everything come down to who can spend the most money in an election cycle? When did we start to destroy families if an individual was nominated or ran for an office? When did we start to threaten to change the Constitution if we did not get the way we wanted? When did public service become a way to make serious money? When did it become OK to decimate our flag, and our history?

The United States was founded on freedoms. We cannot change history; instead we should relish at the changes that we have made and continue to learn and work on those that can make our country better. Every citizen of the United States should be grateful for the opportunities that they have, and yes, there may be additional challenges if you are a different race, or a different gender, which means put your head down and keep plowing forward.

We are not all equal. I am not the same as a person who lives in San Francisco. I don’t have the same needs. My mentality and work ethic may be different. My regulation needs may be different. My everyday requirements and services are different. It doesn’t make me less or more of a person, or more or less important. Unless you live in my boots, do not try to tell me how to put them on, even if they are full of floodwaters.

Look at the data. Look at past voting records. Look at past speeches, but not just news clips or unnamed sources. Look at what a person has done over their lifespan. Get away from the emotion and make an informed decision. What is an informed decision? It’s realizing the steps to come to the decision. Want to clean up the environment? Look at how each side wants to do that — will jobs be lost, will economics suffer, will it really make a difference based off of sound data and research not a he said/she said stance?

Make an informed decision off of your own research, not what social media or the news media tells you. Try and take the emotion out of the decision-making. Once that decision is made, go to the store, purchase an American flag and hang that from your house. Because at the end of the day, we are all Americans, and it’s about time we start acting like it.

Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. She can be reached at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com.   

Jaclyn Wilson raises Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Nebraska. Send comments to her at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com.