For the first time in three years, I am not playing an active role in politics, local or greater. It feels good on one hand, because my schedule has been a lot lighter. I learned first hand what it takes for a candidate to make the commitment of running for a public office. I also found out the price a person pays for exposing themselves to public scrutiny. There is no such things as privacy, once you set out to do the “right thing”. And often times, because of the success in the direction of a campaign, the methods used by opposing sides to deal with the more positive campaign, are nothing less than questionable. And because of the timing of such negative attacks, typically days before the election, there is little time for the “good guy” to respond.
Last year, I shocked my campaign when I informed them that I had filed for divorce. I had to tell them, because my ex-wife’s family expressed adamantly that they would do everything they could to cost me my campaign run as revenge. Their threats included anonymous letters, and protests at election polls. The most surprising came when a family member actually called my main opponent to spread three brutal, but defendable lies, only if I had the time to do it, which days before the election I did not. I could prove everything a lie, but I did not have the time or the money. I could only hope that with it just days before the election, people had paid enough attention to the good that I wanted to do. After the election, I would deal with the slander that was tossed around.
Long story short, they followed through on their threats. I did lose the election, but I will not give them the credit for costing me the election. Voter turnout was abysmal. With a huge voting base, and plenty of angry voters, a change for the better could have taken place.
People take elections for granted. Now I am not going to get into Republican versus Democrat because personally that irritates me. Elections are about making an informed decision, not being told what to think. The strategy of voting “straight R” or “straight D violates my belief in making an informed decision. If I believe a candidate in either party is going to support what I believe, I will vote for them. As long as a candidate is going to run the business of government, local, state, or federal, without infringing on the personal beliefs of others, I will vote for them.
Everyone should vote. As they say, if you don’t vote, you cannot complain. And a vote will not make any bigger difference, than in a local election. Literally, every vote counts and might just make a difference.
There are two elections of special interest to me. The first is back in my home state of Pennsylvania. A dear friend is running for election to House Of Representatives. Suzan Leonard is a stand-up candidate. She does not duck questions or topics, and is quite up front what her concerns and plans are for as a State Representative. As a school board candidate and member, Suzan carried herself with nothing but professionalism. She has stayed true to what she stood for as a member of the school board. And for that reason, I hope my friend Suzan wins the State Rep office that she has truly earned through her campaign.
The other election concerns Amendment #2 in the state of Florida. I have written enough to show my support of why this amendment is necessary to be approved. Those who oppose Amendment #2 are doing it for the most selfish of reasons, which has absolutely nothing to do with the amendment itself, but strategy has planted the seeds (no pun intended), that legalizing medicinal marijuana is legalizing recreational marijuana. Which it does not, and will not. What the legalization of medicinal marijuana will do, is provide relief to millions of patients who cannot find relieve through other expensive and addictive prescription medications, many of which are more lethal and addictive than marijuana.
So, get out tomorrow, Rock the Vote. It is your duty, no matter what election is happening in your area, school board, judge, state rep, whatever, your vote does make a difference. It is up to you.