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We are the government

Posted: May 1, 2014 8:51 a.m.
Updated: May 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Well, it’s time again to avail ourselves of the time-honored and sacred privilege of voting for our local and national leaders. In June, we will decide the winners of our primaries and in November, we will finalize our candidate selections. Collectively, our votes could significantly impact the operations of local and national government. This collective impact, however, will be only as strong as the willingness of the citizens to exert their will. Citizens must rise to the occasion and cast their votes. Voting must be viewed not as an option, but as a mandate. The success of our government, our communities and even our families depends upon our willingness to wield our influence through the power of the voting ballot.

Understandably, becoming a part of today’s political environment in any form is distasteful at best. Voters are barraged with negative messaging via any and all methods of communication about everyone and everything. Daily we are reminded that government, as much as ever, has failed to deliver upon its promises of improving the lives of its citizens. Polls validate the extreme lack of faith that citizens have in government and their leaders. In today’s environment, persuading voters to set aside their cynicism for duty is a monumental task. It’s a task, however, that must be done.

Our fate and the fate of our loved ones cannot succumb to the forces of cynicism. By failing to vote for leaders and issues that best align with our values, we abdicate the right and responsibility to demand the best for our loved ones and ourselves. While the current state of affairs would lead one to think otherwise, pressure of the electorate is still a formidable force. Millions and millions of dollars are spent at election time to obtain that most coveted prize -- each and every vote. Why would anyone want to surrender that enviable source of control to the power of cynicism when this control can be used to force the hands of fate?

We owe it to our families and future generations to raise the torch and run the race as best we can. Collectively, we are the government from local to the national level. Hence, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we, as a collective unit, address the perils that threaten the existence of a nation that has served as a vital shelter for our ancestors and ourselves. We want our children and grandchildren to be able to reference the grand achievements we have made in addressing such critical issues as our unprecedented national debt, health care, education, immigration and tax reform, and national security, to name just a few. We certainly do not want to leave our descendants with a legacy that forces them into dire circumstances and inability to salvage the resources required to sustain themselves and their loved ones.

We owe it to ourselves to demand better. What better way to channel our demands than to become informed citizens who cast our votes? Edmund Burke, a renowned 18th century English statesmen and political philosopher, used these words to remind us how critical our participation is to the success of society: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Let’s not succumb to the paralysis that will inevitably result in evil, but rather carry the torch that will generate the light needed for future generations to prosper.

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