WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --

        Wow, I am glad that our country is really not in that bad of shape. If you look at where we were at when the great recession hit,  I feel we have come  a long way from that point. Are things perfect, not really, there still is a lot of  poverty in the country, the country is very much divided politically,  and we have two of the oldest candidates who both are very unpopular! I guess that should be a good thing for me running as a write in candidate, except for I am older than the youngest of the two. I would like to think I am not disliked as much as either of the two running.

At least I have not received any hate emails yet.

    I really donít know if Donald Trump is opposed to women, a racist, or prejudice against several races and religions. But many things he has said in the past and early going of the campaign suggest all of these things. Do I agree with the statement that half his supporters fall into one or more of those categories, no I donít. However from things I have heard, read or seen it would indicate that it is true to some degree.

    But the thing that bothers me the most is that a lot of his supporters, who I would  consider good people must be looking the other way when it comes to these issues. I suppose hate of his opponent figures into the equation.

    My position is that I donít hate either of the candidates, although I prefer a more moderate political candidate to an openly radical one. Both candidates have a big problem with telling the truth. At times both have been caught in blatant lies or exaggerations.

    If I am elected the first thing I would do as president is to clean up the political process with serious campaign reform. I would see that candidates and their constituents be held somewhat accountable for their advertising and what they say. I am a staunch supporter of free speech, however if you are running for political office,  you or your supporters, should not be able to run ads that are completely or in part false. We donít allow businesses to do this so why should we let out elected officials do it?

    Another thing I would like to see changed  is limits on lobbying and spending by lobbyists. I believe that every organization should be allowed to lobby, and be able to have access to their representatives. Of course we all know the pen is mightier than the sword, so as an individual you have the right to address your representatives through letters or email communications. Your representative may not read your correspondence, but someone  in their office more than likely will see it. If enough people correspond to a particular issue it would be likely they would respond to it.

    If you made it this far, my name is Thomas J. Merchant and I approve this message.

Have a great week and do good!