Please Do Your Duty
There are so many different ways to look at the election tomorrow. On the macro level, the results could shift the way the country conducts its business for the next two years. Should the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, key committees will change leaders and Nancy Pelosi would become the Speaker. In the less likely event they seize control of the Senate, which means they will control the legislative agenda.
Many view the election as a referendum on how the Bush Administration has conducted one issue: the war in Iraq. I say it’s much more than that.
It comes down to asking yourself if you are happy with your lifestyle, you level of economic and job security, your ability to buy groceries or pay for college. Do you feel your elected officials are acting on your behalf, are they voting on the issues as you would?
Stepping into the voting booth tomorrow, those are the matters that should be on your mind. After all, the theory is we’re electing people to represent us and act on our behalf. If you’re pro-War and your official is against it, then maybe he’s not the right guy regardless of party affiliation. No one should be stepping up to the poll voting the straight party ticket without considering what those votes will mean to you in the future.
Where I live, a 19-year congressman, Chris Shays, is up for re-election. He’s a great guy, I gather. He shows up at one local event after another and is plain-speaking. You like him. Yet, he’s been trumpeting his “maverick” stance as a Republican and touts his 14 visits to Iraq and shows off reams of letters he’s written to the President. Sounds good, right? But, then you ask, what got accomplished during those 14 visits and did the White House actually write back or did his letters sway any policy? He can’t say. After 19 years, he should be a Party elder, someone with key responsibilities and a member of the leadership. Turns out, he really isn’t. Chris Shays may sponsor and co-sponsor a lot of legislation but in the end, he’s a party spear-carrier. Not a leader.
After 19 years, I expect more and according to the polls, my fellow District 4 voters are expecting more, too.
We’re given this precious right and I despair at how few of us actually exercise it. Ask me, it should be a national holiday and compulsory so people are more a part of the process. I’m also dismayed on the micro level how few people pay attention to the local issues when they step into the booth.
Tomorrow, Fairfield will vote on changes to the town charter. Most seem blissfully unaware of what those changes are and what they might mean. It’s been in the papers and there have been numerous public forums discussing the changes but so few have turned out and it’ll be those few who decide how our town of 57,000 will be governed.
This all boils down to my asking that each and every one of you reading this make a point of getting to the polls tomorrow. By now we’ve all learned that yes, every vote does matter. Companies are pretty flexible these days if you have to come in late or leave early to do your duty. The polls are open 14 hours in most places so there’s really little excuse not to take a short trip and use one of the most valuable tools you have as an American citizen.
Thank you for voting.