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Why All the Focus on the 2016 Campaign When There is an Election Right Around the Corner That Will Determine Our Future?

“2014 is the most critical election of our lifetime. If we don’t do something right now in this election, there may not be a 2016.”

In this Oct. 22, 2012 file photo residents line up to vote early in Wilmington, N.C. In key swing states this year, Democrats who want to expand early voting and Republicans who want to limit it, are battling to gain even the slightest electoral advantages by tinkering with the times, dates and places where people can vote early. Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law last year reducing the early voting days from 17 to 10 and eliminating same-day registration. The changes are being challenged by both the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Justice Department. (AP Photo/The Wilmington Star-News, Mike Spencer, File)

The moment Ben Carson delivered his famous speech at the national prayer breakfast in 2013, he became an American icon.

Since that day momentum has built and he has received a groundswell of support from Americans all over the country, hopeful that he will run for president in 2016. But with all that is going drastically wrong in our country the question must be asked, “Can one man really fix what ails us?”

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Carson and his wife Candy at a book signing event in Omaha, Nebraska with that very question on my mind.

Arriving at the Book Worm a little early, I was able to speak with those waiting in line—a line which weaved throughout the store, out the front door and wrapped around the block. As I moved through the line of people adorned with “Run Ben Run” stickers, I found all ages, races, political parties and backgrounds represented. It looked like America. It made one wonder what it was about this man that united such a diverse group of individuals.

Ben Carson's book, "One Nation". Ben Carson's book, "One Nation." Author Kimberly Fletcher attended a book signing in Omaha, Nebraska and asked Dr. Carson about his plans for 2016.

I met some amazing people as I walked down the line. Some had travelled over a 100 miles to meet Dr. Carson.

When I asked Rod Schroeder of Ashland why he came he responded, “I want to look him in the eyes and see if he’s for real. I’m pretty sure he is but I just want to make sure.”

So what was “real” to these folks? As I went down the line speaking to those waiting for their five seconds with Ben I got a lot of the same answers.

“Honest,” “genuine,” and “common sense” were recurring responses.

Toni Kuelneman of Papillion said she hopes Ben runs for president because “he loves the country, speaks truth and respects the Constitution.” (I agree that would certainly be a nice change.)

“He’s a problem solver,” said Schroeder. “He cuts through the R’s and D’s and just deals with the nation’s problems.”

Justin Hardin, who said he would have traveled five hours to see Ben said, “He’s a good person. He’s for the people and an inspiration to everybody regardless of party.”

Credit: TheBlaze Credit: TheBlaze 

That certainly seemed true from those in line who included Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and several Independent voters.

“If he could bring us together,” said Hardin, “that would be awesome!”

Luper Akough, a black American from Omaha said he would love to see Ben run.

“I like what he stands for,” he said.

“If anybody can save this country,” added Lewis Mitzner of Omaha, “Ben can.”

When I asked Ben’s wife Candy what she thought about all the support for her husband in 2016, she seemed saddened by all the focus on the presidential election two years away, when there is such a critical election this November.

“Ben feels called to wake up the country in this election,” said Candy. “2014 is the most critical election of our lifetime. If we don’t do something right now in this election, there may not be a 2016.”

When I asked Dr. Carson if he felt the same way he responded, “With the state of America, where Congress won’t do anything, and the president unilaterally issues executives orders as law, I’m not sure the country can recover from that.”

It was clear from my conversation with them that they, like so many of us, are extremely concerned for the current state of our nation. But while thousands of Americans are putting all their hope in the 2016 presidential election, Ben and Candy are focusing all their attention on the election this November—knowing that what happens in this election could literally determine the fate our nation.

 In this Oct. 22, 2012 file photo residents line up to vote early in Wilmington, N.C. In key swing states this year, Democrats who want to expand early voting and Republicans who want to limit it, are battling to gain even the slightest electoral advantages by tinkering with the times, dates and places where people can vote early. Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law last year reducing the early voting days from 17 to 10 and eliminating same-day registration. The changes are being challenged by both the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Justice Department. (AP Photo/The Wilmington Star-News, Mike Spencer, File) (AP Photo/The Wilmington Star-News, Mike Spencer, File) 

The Carson’s aren’t the only ones expressing the urgency of this election. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), in a recent interview with TPNN said this is “the most important election of our lifetime.”

Every election is the most important election of our lifetime!

What makes this one so critical is the fact that we ignored the importance of so many prior elections. For example, 93 million people didn’t vote in the last presidential election. That’s 93 million people (people who determine the future of our country) that decided the election wasn’t important enough to vote.

Unfortunately it wasn’t just the 93 million who are suffering the consequences of that indifference. We could take surveys, run studies and discuss for hours why so many decided not to vote but the bottom line is, they didn’t feel it was important enough. How can one man, no matter how good he is, fix that?

I’m reminded of the words attributed to Deitrich Bonhoeffer, the Lutheran pastor who led a resistance movement against Nazism:

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

And not to vote is to vote!

I find it interesting that so many potential presidential candidates are expressing the urgency of this election when the media and the electorate keep talking about who might be running in 2016. I have to agree with Mrs. Carson, if we don’t vote in this election, there may not be another one to worry about.

“Our country is changing into something our founders didn’t intend,” Dr. Carson told me. “Their intent was a country for the people, but now we have become a country for the government. That was not what they intended.”

I think a lot of us are feeling that. What we do about it—or don’t do—will show how much we really care about the future of our nation. Elections have consequences. We can’t keep saving up our vote for when we think it really matters. It always matters!

We have a chance right now to be heard, to make a difference, to determine the future of our country. Maybe Ben will run, maybe he won’t, but right now he’s asking for your vote, not for him, but for the future of America, not in 2016 but this November.

For more voting resources, visit: Directory of U.S. Congressional Candidates2014 Congressional Candidates: Where they stand from Family Security MattersProject Vote Smart.

Kimberly Fletcher is the author of WOMEN: America’s Last Best Hope and the president of HomeMakers for America Inc. The views in her articles are solely of the author and not representative of HomeMakers for America Inc.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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