cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Spring Election Day 2014 is here. I suspect the turn-out will be quite low; I think there has been a prediction of low double-digit turnout. We can be rather unappreciative of the rights that were earned for us by our forefathers over the centuries.
While we may not turn-out to vote today, we are certain to retain the right to criticize whoever is elected that takes a position contrary to whatever our position might be. It has been said that all politics is local and that is absolutely true.
Local politics is where the rubber meets the road. That is where we run into the local elected officials in the restaurant or the grocery store or at the gas pumps. These folks are the people who have given of their time and talent for relatively little monetary return although the Milwaukee County Board had a pretty solid part-time job that paid full-time money; that is likely to end today if I don’t miss my guess.
As our politicians move beyond the community boundaries, politics becomes a bit less local. I doubt it unusual for a citizen to have never met nor spoken directly with a County Board Supervisor. That kind of position is both local as well as not-so-local. That can be the proving ground for the politically-minded person to develop the skills, experience and mindset to take a shot at statewide government.
As the step to a statewide position occurs, the politician has an even more difficult job of staying in touch with his or her local base and his or her county base. He or she takes on decision-making on subjects that tend to have a broader implication and thus more supporters and more detractors. If that person has the inclination and the required public engagement skills, there is often the need for him or her to take on statewide political campaigning on behalf of other political party members.
But I digress…intentionally.
This little exercise was intended to simply help us each understand the importance of local elections. While we might think there is little of import that will hinge on the local or county level candidate that gets elected, we can be terribly wrong. We are abdicating our responsibility and we are abdicating our power of individual selection and individual participation in what many in the world die for today.
Remember the proud people waving their purple fingertips after the thrill of voting in Iraq. They risked their lives for that purple fingertip. That is what today is about albeit at a lower level of government and at a much lower threat level. We take so much for granted as citizens of this great community, this great state and this great country but we all retain our right to complain about people we weren’t interested enough to go out and vote for or against.
Shame on us if we choose to not vote today. If we don't, then at the very least we ought to keep our criticisms to ourselves. But, of course, that won't happen since we have freedom of speech. This is a wonderful country after all.