CARMI - We crossed over in to Illinois Thursday in Carmi. It's a city where family values and the well-being of children are more like ways of life than political issues.
When you hear Carmi resident Loretta Vangampler talk about history, it seems to just come alive. History is one of her many passions as a member of the white county historical society.
This upcoming election has many voters, like Vangampler rethinking the direction our nation is going. For her, fixing the problems ailing our country will start inside our homes.
"I think parents, it's their job to raise their children. I don't think the government should. I don't think your neighbor should raise your children unless it's a necessity because, nowadays, a lot of parents, both, have to work to make a living."
A mother of three with five grandchildren, Vangampler says our nation's future will depend on the younger generation in years to come. And she worries about the mess, she says, we stand to pass on to them unless something changes soon.
"A lot of children, if they don't think high school is important maybe they don't think college and training is important but it really is. They need that. So, I think the nucleus of the family and education is two things we're kind of lacking on a little bit."
Curt Hale is a newer father of two. He says fatherhood as forced him to care about issues that maybe he wouldn't have just a few years ago.
"It's definitely important to teach our younger generation the value of hard work in our country and how a positive attitude, working attitude can definitely lead you a long way in life."
Hale says he wants to see more fiscal responsibility in government, especially for future generations like his own kids.
"What are we teaching our children if we can't teach them to live within our means? I think that goes right along with the hard working aspect I was talking about."
Many relate family values to an opinion on gay marriage. But keeping marriage between one man and one woman isn't what Vangampler says she's talking about when she calls for stronger families.
"They are people and they have rights just like anyone else. Whether I agree with it, that's their reasoning and whether it's right, I don't know. I think the future will tell."