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Who cares what you think

UPDATED and adapted for the current election cycle

Well, you better hope it’s the people your elect to represent you.

But so much noise is made by candidates touting their “leadership” and “positions” and “promises” that it’s a little tricky to stay focused on the actual mechanics of representative governing. It’s about us, not them.

It can be useful for political office seekers to describe themselves in terms of their general view of things and their guiding philosophy. But neither of those are reasons to elect them. The job they are standing for requires them to give their attention and consideration to what we think, which is why we owe it to them - and ourselves, and our community - to make sure we are clear about it. They can’t hear you shaking your head.

Step One: Vote!

Well, maybe Step One is to learn who these people are and why they are asking for that vote. And while you learn their answers, ask them questions, and learn more.

Step Two: Don’t let go!

It’s not unfair to say that many citizens wear their “I Voted” sticker with the air of someone who has done their duty, and now may be relieved of any further requirements of their citizenship. This is where it all falls apart.

Cynical observers may suggest that the alleged American ideal has never actually existed. When in history, they might ask, has the citizenship of the country influenced the decisions made by the governing bodies they elected.

Maybe never.

But now is a good time to start, and every candidate seeking your vote is well advised to pay attention. Residents of Lakeland and Polk County are about to register their choices in the August 23rd primary, which for some offices is nonpartisan and therefore will stand as the general election because all voters can participate. Registered Republicans and Democrats will choose party candidates for the November election.

Choose wisely, fellow citizens, and hold the candidates accountable. Pay attention. Plead your case. Rouse your allies. Speak your mind. Engage your citizenship. If you quit after you vote you might as well not have voted at all.


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