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Do not take your right to vote lightly

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

The political machines and candidates know what we want and they know how to make us feel like they will give us the results we long for. Every election cycle we bite at the same bait, so perhaps this cycle it’s not up to those running to make the changes we need, instead let’s agree that it’s up to the electorate to alter our course of participation or be prepared to suffer the same fate as in past years. Oh, we might get lucky and the right person or persons just happen into office, but ask yourself, do you want to risk the fate of your future or that of your children or grandchildren to pure luck?

More than ever we need to approach this cycle differently. We can not let the political machines, the political parties nor our past allegiance dictate our course of action. We must be far more inquisitive, take a much stronger role in listening to what the candidates are saying and research their true past voting record than listen to the spin doctors and take their word as gospel. Whatever method or methods you’ve used in the past to arrive at your choice for pulling the lever, you’ve got to approach this cycle differently. Be more informed, less gullible, less predictable and far more involved. We need to quit picking sides and look for candidates who will reach across party lines to address the concerns we all share.

We need to recognize the shared sacrifices we must all make to move the economy forward. It won’t happen solely on the backs of any one group, be it the rich, the middleclass or the poor or under-privileged. Class warfare only creates more infighting and we can’t allow the political systems to get us so focused fighting among ourselves that we neglect who lead us to this point and who keeps fanning the fires of class warfare. Our next elected leaders must address the injustices that exist within our systems and propose solutions immune to the influences of lobbyist and power brokers that have manipulated our elected officials and the system for their own advantage. This goes for national elections as well as state and local elections.

On the local side, because our communities are so small and so tight-knit, we must have even more transparency so as to avoid the appearance of personal vendettas while staying focused on the issues, facts and cost saving solutions that must be initiated.

Let’s face it, the system won’t get any better until we make it better and the only way that happens is for us to change how we respond and stay focused on common ground we can all agree on rather than allowing those issues we can’t agree on to irreparably divide us.

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