A few days ago I was asked by the Craig Daily Press to write a guest editorial on the subject of the election and the importance of voting.
A few days after this invitation, I was in a conversation with my 24-year-old son, who said everything about the election process makes him not want to vote. I remember those feelings, though they were 25 years ago, but the thing that he said next struck a chord with me. He alluded that the real importance of the democratic process is people and doing what is right. Edmund Burke was a parliamentarian who tried to persuade Parliament to let the colonists have the land and establish themselves. When questioned about this stand and cautioned that he could be shot for treason and lose his seat on Parliament, his reply was, "For the lack of good men and women doing what is right, evil triumphs." This may be a paraphrased version, but the same intent is there. Against all odds and having no support with his peers, he chose to rise up and try to make a difference, and I believe he did.
Our political campaign process has become at best cumbersome and I can empathize with my son. I, too, am tired of hearing about everyone running for office stealing or giving away water and all the other accusations that have accompanied this campaign. I have had the unique opportunity to meet personally some of the candidates in the state elections and I can say that the ones I know are good, honest individuals that I think have the best interests of this state and country at heart. Luckily, we have very little of the "mudslinging" in our local elections, and that is a breath of fresh air. But we all have the opportunity to know these people on a personal and small-town level. If we lived in the Denver area, we would have the same problem with our local elections as well.
All that lays the groundwork for the intent of this column. I would like to address to every apathetic person out there.
At the ripe old age of 17, I was a member of the Grand Junction High School student body. In those student body elections, the underlying theme was "student apathy."
Realize that at this time probably 50 percent of the students did not know what apathy was, but the campaign had made them not care.
I learned through this that there are really three types of people that run for any type of elected office. Type A -- the person who has a hidden agenda to get even with some area of government; Type B -- the person craving power and notoriety; and Type C -- the individual who really cares about his or her government and community.
By the way, the only type we really want is C.
I would encourage all voters, and especially the apathetic ones, to find one of these candidates and make a difference in our country by casting your votes to elect them.
Another little tip: Never judge politicians on what good they say they are going to do, but the good you can see they have done without telling you about it.