Jeff Ward: On March 20, You Have the Power
Forget all the bombast and the vitriol and the pre-election robo-calls and hype from pundits like me. It's your vote. And if you stay home on Tuesday, you've got no excuse to complain about the outcome.
It’s go time!
Like reasonable bosses everywhere, we’ve applied our best due diligence by interviewing these job applicants to within an inch of their lives. Not that they really mind. Give a politician (or an opinion columnist) an ear, and they’ll gladly seize the moment.
Some of 'em did a great job of getting their message out while others insisted on going after the other job applicants instead.
As fascinating as they were, the debates are done, the candidate forums are history, and the newspapers have made their choices. Like a neighbor who insists on undressing in front of a window, there ain’t much left to the imagination.
The signs are everywhere—literally! The last-minute mailers are on their way, the robocalls are in full bloom, and those final efforts to shake just one more voter’s hand are well under way.
And speaking of the voters, whether we agreed or agreed to disagree, I want to thank you all for your frequent and semi-civil discourse during our regular Friday Patch roundtable political conversation.
No one appreciates those spirited debates more than me, but the truth is, that and four bucks will get you a grande cup of coffee at Starbucks. The candidates may be getting ready to take a breather, but you and I still have one more task to cross off that list.
If you close your eyes and lightly inhale, I swear you can catch the unmistakable scent of ballot ink wafting on the too-early summer breeze. The time for discussion is done because, as we all know, that final step into the voting booth is always a solitary venture.
Dear readers! It’s time to put our money where our mouths are! One person, one vote; it doesn’t get more sacred or profound than that.
Please don’t try and tell me that your vote doesn’t matter, because it does. Even if your candidate loses, the fact that you choose to participate in the process means everything. We know the kind of trouble these folks can get themselves into when they think no one’s watching, so it pays to remind them that you haven’t forgotten their names.
Not only that, but if you’re as unhappy about your taxes as you say you are, then those local offices—from your county board on down—mean everything. I know it’s fashionable to sign anti-tax pledges and bark at Washington legislators, but most of us remit a far greater portion of our paychecks to local government than to the feds.
If that ain’t enough to get you to leap off the couch, this is one of the tightest GOP presidential primaries I can remember, and there are significant differences between the three contenders. They can spend money till they’re blue in the face, but the bottom line is, their political life ultimately rests in your hands. Talk about having all the power!
The only statement that staying home on Tuesday will make is that you’re not willing to make a statement.
There will be upsets, there will be tight races, there will be landslides, and we may even see some recounts. But when the smoke does clear, the will of the people will prevail. No more, no less!
Some of us will cheer the outcome while others will lament what might have been. But no matter how it turns out, instead of tearing the winner to pieces before he or she even has the chance to make their first move, let’s come together and work in the best interest of our city, our county, our state and our country.
While we should always be cognizant of the tyranny of the majority, if one of these job applicants manages to pull down just 50.1 percent of the vote, then we the people have granted him or her the right to govern. Within the bounds of reason, they should be allowed to do just that.
Though we may take it for granted, the truth is, in the 10,000 years that humans have dominated this planet, the idea of a smooth transition of power is a new and miraculous concept! It’s something that’s only gained steam within the last two centuries. This almost magical process is what sets us apart from so many other countries.
If you doubt me, take a look at what’s going on in Syria for a stark reminder of how it used to be. And speaking of those brave Syrians, the mere thought of being able to cast a meaningful ballot is enough to keep them going in the fight against tyranny.
I can certainly understand how some folks have lost faith in the political process. But to them and their compatriots I offer one my favorite Winston Churchill quote:
“Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
Voting? It’s even better than Christmas day.