Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4, and we have the opportunity to vote for state, county and federal officials. Those elected will be asked to make vitally important decisions that in many cases affect our daily lives.
Out-of-state money is flooding our mailboxes with fliers touting candidates. Television ads range from bad to worse, and lies and misrepresentations and out-of-context comments lead the way.
As it gets closer to Election Day, the ugliness can be expected to get worse, although making negative comments about a candidate’s appearance and physical attributes, as recently happened, is hard to beat.
It’s hard for the average voter to fight his or her way through what’s just not true and what is way out of context. Meanwhile, many candidates deliberately choose to speak in generalities rather than with facts. Which candidate is going to be in favor of raising taxes? It’s safe to say every one wants taxes lowered.
But if you ask for details on how less government and lower taxes will be accomplished, and at what cost to specific services, few are willing to suggest the answer – or acknowledge that one person alone cannot effect broad-based change.
We remind you that every candidate is going to smile broadly, shake as many hands as possible, promise wonderful things. Their family members will say how near-perfect they are. Should that persuade us? Don’t get sidetracked by the packaging.
So even if you’ve already made up your mind, consider your choice again, weighed against the competition. How would voting the party line benefit you? What about a candidate’s willingness or ability to work with people of all political persuasions – i.e., working across the aisle. If we had that in Congress, we’d be far more likely to have a functioning government.
Your vote counts, but it means so much more if you cast it after making a studied, educated decision, not one based on inflammatory rhetoric or physical appearance or a bright smile or a party label. All those will become nothing more substantial than a fading memory after the election.
Holding public office is a vital part of our democracy. No one is entitled to it. Public officials should have to earn our trust and respect before they get our vote. Think about that as Election Day approaches and you decide on your choices.
And please, don’t miss this opportunity to vote.