“I hate politics.” “I don’t like politicians.” “I don’t follow elections.” “What I think doesn’t matter.” Do these words sound familiar? I hear them all too often and it saddens me.
Until a few years ago, I had never been a member of a political party. I hadn’t knocked on doors to discuss issues with folks or considered myself a viable candidate for office. While I didn’t expect to win, I felt that even if I lost, at least my children would know the importance of engaging in the democratic process. It was a challenge jumping headfirst into something that I knew little about; however, I believe that this is what the authors of the Constitution intended – representation by the people, not wealthy, politically connected elitists who could buy their way into office.
Our government was given to us by some of the brightest political minds to have walked this earth. While not perfect, our political process is important. There are bad actors in government just as there are in all walks of life, but we need not let that discourage us from our responsibility as citizens. The majority of elected officials are in office to serve, to stand up for the Constitution and to ensure that our freedoms are not trampled upon.
Good representatives take their constituent’s thoughts and concerns to heart; I personally read every constituent contact. Elections do matter, and they will matter this fall. They should not be about who is the most attractive, who is the most popular or who will provide the most handouts; rather, they should be about who will preserve and protect our rights and freedoms today and for years to come.