Editorial: Be the solution not the problem

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Our View

It’s easy to complain about elected officials, but our representative government demands citizens get involved for it to be effective. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem.

At many coffee shops, family gatherings and community meetings, you are likely to hear the same complaints about the government’s inability to manage the taxpayers’ dollars. The editorial board contends that the point being made is valid.

However, when people complain about the government, they are in essence complaining about themselves. The government as we have it set up is a representative government, and the citizens have an equal — if not greater — responsibility for its successes and failures.

It is obvious to the board that citizens of cities, states and our country have become complacent in most cases. There are a few cases of brilliance with regards to citizens being active, such as the recent events surrounding HB 10-1365, otherwise known as the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act. However, if you attend a city council or county commission meeting, or one hosted by a state elected official, you will more than likely notice that there are very few citizens involved in the decision-making portions of our government.

To say that this trend is disappointing is an understatement. And we find it troubling, just as we do the weak turnouts at voting booths on election days. We are excited nowadays when we reach a 50-percent voter turnout — how sad that we celebrate half of the registered voters celebrating and exercising their right to vote.

The editorial board is begging the public to get more involved. Go vote on Nov. 2. Attend more city council and county commission meetings, and while you are there, make your voice heard. Become part of the solution and stop being part of the problem.

You must know that when elected officials make a decision and hear nothing from their constituents, they begin to believe that they are acting correctly at the behest of those who voted them in. And they will continue on that path, unless they hear differently from residents. Unless they hear differently from you.

We encourage you to take a stand and start the trend of an involved citizenry right here in our own community. The next time someone complains about the government, ask the questions — did you vote and have you attended any civic meetings? If their reply is no, then insist that they close their mouths, at least until they get involved.

If you aren’t being part of the solution, then you don’t have the right to complain about the problem.

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