Thomasville Times Enterprise

Opinion

May 19, 2014

Do your duty

Tuesday is the day The Lord has made. Let’s rejoice, be glad and go vote in the primary! It’s a very important day locally, statewide and even nationally.

Kudos to those who already voted.

I’m not a civics teacher – and I don’t pretend to be one. However, the importance of today’s primary shouldn’t be ignored. Whether you know it or not, whether you acknowledge it or not, this Georgia primary is a big deal. In fact, it’s a really big deal. It’s actually national news. The eyes of America are transfixed upon the Peach State right now.

The Republican candidates for the soon-to-be vacant U.S. Senate seat are former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, businessman David Perdue, patent attorney Art Gardner, conservative political activist Derrick Grayson, Rep. Jack Kingston, Rep. Phil Gingrey and Rep. Paul Broun. The Democratic candidates for this seat are businesswoman Michelle Nunn, educator Todd Robinson, long-time reporter/anchor and former state Rep. Steen Miles and metro Atlanta Dr. Branko Radulovacki.

Tuesday’s senatorial primary winners will face each other this fall. And, of course, the winner on Nov. 4 will be the next U. S. senator representing our great state. Nunn is considered to be the front-runner on the Democratic side. The GOP front runner is thought to be either Perdue or Kingston, depending on which poll you trust more. Here’s the common sense rule of thumb, though: nobody really knows.

Regardless of their political leanings, years of experience and/or the statistical data they cite, no one can predict the outcome of these races in advance with any degree of certainty. That’s the beautiful aspect of such a race: anyone could win! That’s why your vote matters so much. Never let anyone convince you that any political race is a foregone conclusion. Don’t let anybody tell you who you should vote for. That’s strictly for you to decide. If you’ve read your newspaper, watched the news, spoken to people you trust/respect and done your own due diligence, you’re informed on the issues. You know who you’re voting for, right? All that’s left is for you to actually go and cast your vote.

Ladies and gentlemen, please go do so. You can vote Republican, Democratic or neither. You can vote for a man or a woman. Just vote for somebody. This primary is too important to skip, to sit out or to ignore. Bottom line: there is no excuse to not exercise your civic duty. Countless people of various races, systems of faith, and political ideologies have died in order for each of us to have the Constitutionally-protected right to vote. There are still (too) many places on this planet where citizens cannot vote for anyone… anytime.

Statistical data suggest that Republican voters consistently vote in most elections: general and off-year. As for Democrats? Not so much. There’s certainly room for improvement there.

Let me break it down in a slightly different way. If you live in rural Thomas County, and you only vote in presidential elections every four years, you cannot complain when your local government decides not to repave your street in 2014. If you live on Old Monticello Road and you don’t vote when a tax hike is the referendum, you have no right to complain when your property taxes increase. Government is most respectful of — and responsive to — the active voter. Every time you vote, you make yourself known to government. You make your community known to government. You even make your state more recognized by the federal government. For 238 years, this has been a good thing. There is power in your vote; perhaps even more power than you realize.

Such recognitions of our community, our city, our stateand our region have many outcomes. It could result in additional funding for local schools so your children have access to a better standard of education. It could result in more police officers being hired so we all feel a little safer and more secure in our homes or out and about. It could result in better infrastructure for our area in the way of better roads, beautification efforts like new sideways and curbs, or the restoration of historic buildings/bridges/structures. If there has been enough population growth, sometimes additional congressional seats are required. All of these things are beneficial. All of these things are made possible through voting.

A successor is needed for the retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Select your choice for all other statewide offices. Vote yes — or no — on the referendum. We all have the right to choose. We should all participate in this process. Tuesday is the day! Make Thomasville known. Help Georgia be better recognized nationally. On Tuesday, please make time to do your duty.

 

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