I just returned from taking matters into my own hand. I did so by exercising my right and privilege to vote as a citizen. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t understand the importance of voting. As a child, I observed my parents sorting through the various campaign promises and platforms of local, state, and national office seekers. With them, I watched TV coverage of the national conventions and read newspaper and magazine articles about the candidates. I even plastered my bicycle with bumper stickers in support of my choice for president.
Gerol McSwaim, my ninth grade civics teacher further instilled the importance of citizens exercising their right to vote. He taught us that good citizens made good choices when they were informed citizens.
This election year may well be the most important one in my life. The issues are many and the candidates, at least for our local city council race, plentiful. The future of our local community, state, and nation will be shaped by what voters did today.
Following the example of my parents and the teaching of Mr. McSwaim, I sought through the current, long campaign to be informed both about issues and candidates. So informed, I voted today for those persons I believed to be the best candidates with the best interests of their constituents in mind. Doing so is the only way that democracy will work and that we the people continue to be governed well.
Informed voting citizens make democracy work; but they do not so alone. Democracy only works when some of the citizens are willing to run for office, to step out front and declare, “Here is what I stand for and here is why I am running for office.” Without citizens who are willing to run, democracy will fail.
At the local level of the Eminence city council race, we have seen democracy at work. Thirteen people stepped up to offer themselves for election. They are to be commended. While I, like others who voted, made a choice as to which six out of the thirteen should be elected, I count all of them winners. Whether I agreed with them or not, each of the thirteen cared enough about our community to run for office. I do care about who wins; but most of all, I care (and pray) that those elected will fulfill their responsibility to act in the best interests of our community.
Democracy worked today because candidates stood for election and citizens voted.
Michael R. Duncan