I know by now everyone is sick, sick, SICK of politics. To some of us the mere mention of the word “campaign” may prompt some to stuff ice picks in our ears. We are tired of the 18 month long presidential campaign, the negative ads, the flying accusations, the out and out ugly vibes the election process has turned out to be. The battle lines are drawn, the moats are dug, and the hot oil has long been bubbling. For what? Essentially people going through an extended interview process for a job.
Even so, I urge people to vote next week. Pick who you think will be the best man, or woman for the job, as there is a woman running for president in one of the smaller parties. But also consider other races. They are the decisions that are more likely to impact you directly. Almost every ballot in every district in every state of our union, will not only have choices for President, but also for Senators and Representatives, both on the federal level as well as state ones. Most ballots will have local seats to decide on as well. There are people running for local school boards, mayors, council seats, positions such as coroner, clerk of court, and magistrate. Many ballots will have decisions about bond referendums, alterations to state constitutions, county ordinances etc. It is in those seemingly smaller decisions that have the bigger impact on us locally.
Some of us have already voted early, and if you are able, it’s a great way to get this small yet important task out of the way. 15 states still do not offer early voting or have caveats about voting prior to the first Tuesday in November. As our schedules often make it difficult to get to the polls on that day, early voting is a wonderful way to participate in our election process and still take care of personal needs. If your state doesn’t offer early voting, I suggest you contact your state Senators and Representatives about considering changing those rules.
For those who haven’t yet voted, take a few moments and see if you can get a sample copy of your ballot. That way you can see what is there, and can have a pretty good idea of what to choose when you step into the voting booth.
I know it’s a hassle, but it is also a privilege. We are fortunate to live in a country and choose the people to run our governments. Sure there’s a lot of waste and incompetence. But that is part of what makes us free. It sounds odd, but to be truly efficient means less voices in the mix, less freedoms, less choice, less democracy. Personally, I’ll take the imperfect government system I can choose. Despite the warts, snafus, and problems, we still have roads, and schools, parks, and fire stations. We can know that if we go to the bank, the money we entrust to that bank will be protected. We know that there are protections in place for our work place, for the medicines we take, for the bridges we cross, for the food we put on our table. It is our government, our imperfect government, that helps take care of all that.
So vote. Sure we complain about our choices, the people in office, the people hired by the people in office, the people who want to be in office, but we can. There are people in other parts of the world that can’t complain as long and loud as we do. That’s a privilege as well. And, if we want to, we can always vote the next time around for someone else to try the job. Or, we can run ourselves.
If you do choose to run though, do us all a favor, and tell PAC’s and non-profits with secret donor lists of people likely not residents of your district, to stay away. It’s really cheating and to many of us a detriment to the process of hiring people to fill rotating, temporary positions. Run a campaign on your merits, what you hope to bring to the table as a person in the position you hope to fill. Let us know your plans, concrete as you can make it, and try to avoid those way over used cliches.
But for the rest of us, just vote. Besides, after Tuesday, our televisions, radios, and email in-boxes will revert back to the regularly scheduled commercials and spam ads..