Arise from the Sofa
November 3 is coming fast. It’s the date of Frederick’s city election. Voter turnout for this election is often low, but was truly abysmal during the primary this year. We may not have been motivated, possibly because the city election stands on its own, or, on the Republican, side by the withdrawal of Ron Tobin, the second major candidate.
Maybe we can only muster up the energy to vote every four years, and should change local elections to coincide with national ones.
Whatever our explanations, the bottom line reason for the poor turnout is us. We, most of us, chose not to vote.
During a recent conversation with a close friend about national political issues and how to solve the problems of government, she said: “My opinion doesn’t matter because I’m unknown and no one cares what I think.”
I was disturbed, to say the least. If everyone thinks that, then no one will try to make things better. If no one tries, things won’t improve.
For this, I applaud all of our candidates. Not only do they believe they can make a difference, they are willing to step up and vie for a grueling job at pay that, for aldermen, will require full-time work to make a living, or an independent income. They’re offering to endure meeting after meeting, public event after public event, eating more chicken than a human being should consume in a lifetime, and, essentially, give up their personal lives to try to make a difference in Frederick. It’s truly amazing that there are so many candidates. Thanks to all of you.
And who would have enjoyed being Jeff Holtzinger during the past four years? He must be more than sick of repetitive comments about his living arrangements and the buyout, to name only two items. In this small town, he couldn’t get away with running a stop sign, not to mention having a private life. He deserves our thanks, too. He’s done a good job, and, as the father of four, is leaving to make a good living.
Randy McClement and Jason Judd are volunteering for the same treatment, offering to work like dogs for very little return. I wish them both well, whatever the outcome. With their ideas, they have already made a difference.
You may not even have to leave your sofa to vote. You could apply for an absentee ballot.
You certainly don’t have to leave it to read about the issues and the candidates’ platforms. Just look them up on the Internet. Type in their names on Google or Yahoo. Read the online Frederick News Post, where you can find videos of their forum performances, not to mention their views and plans.
Most of you are online anyway. Just close down your email for half an hour or so, and find out what’s going on with people other than the stars. Just think what would happen if you and every other thinking person voted.
What if 90% of the electorate in a given congressional district contacted their congressman (E-mail works for this, too) and informed him that he would be voted out of office if he didn’t vote their way on health care reform, for example? Could that make a difference?
If every citizen of Frederick City informed our aldermen of his opinion on the disputed annexation, what would happen?
It’s mind boggling actually. All of us who are out working to get enough fried catfish and hushpuppies to feed the children, and who are certain of our powerlessness and victimization, could be counted, just as our forefathers intended.
If you’re thinking of voting just your party line, or for people whose names you recognize, stop reading now and go right back to “Wheel of Fortune.” Whatever you do, don’t trouble yourself to vote.
Everybody else, those willing to pay a little attention and do some fairly brief homework, please head for the polls on November 3, and invite a friend.
While you’re online studying, E-mail your federal representatives informing them that you expect them to create transparency in legislation before the next election, or they won’t be returning to Washington.
There’s only one valid reason for a thousand-page bill. It’s to keep you from knowing what they’re up to.
See you at the polls.