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Next Tuesday is election day.
If you haven’t met the candidates, read their ads, or heard from them in some way that will help you make up your mind as to how you will vote, please take time to do so before Aug. 3.
The right to vote is one of the greatest privileges we possess in this country. If you don’t take time to vote, shame on you.
We don’t all agree. We don’t all see things the same way. We don’t all want or expect the same things from our elected officials. That’s why we have political parties and that’s why there are as many as nine candidates on the ballot this year for one state office.
The way I look at it is this: if I vote and my candidate loses (or wins), I can gripe and complain all I want during the next term of office. But if I don’t vote, I have no right to complain.
I’ve watched the political game for a good number of years, and I’ve always felt the incumbent had a decisive edge over challenging candidates.
However, I’m not so sure that is true now, in these days of sagging economy, political unrest between nations, and as one politician says, just being “fed up” with government, in general.
I discussed this with Tommy Sowers, Democratic candidate for Congress last week when he was in Ava. He didn’t agree with me, but then, there are other points on which he and I disagree, I’m sure.
But my point is, both he and Bob Parker, the Republican who is opposing Jo Ann Emerson for the congressional seat in the 8th District, can go after the incumbent’s voting record and cite the times she has failed to represent the wishes of her constituents. (If given the opportunity, she could also tell you why she voted that way.)
You can’t do that with the challengers because they don’t have a voting record. They tell you what they will do, but there’s no paper trail to tell you what they’ve done.
This is not intended to be a plug for Jo Ann Emerson. I only use this office as an example because we had that discussion.
This also came up at the political forum held in Ava last week with local candidates. Those in office can tell you why they did what they did; the challenger will tell you what he (or she) would do, if given the opportunity.
It all boils down to a matter of trust.
Select the candidate you like, the one you can believe in, the one you want to work for you. Exercise your right as an American citizen next Tuesday and vote.