This particular year I learned some things that I apparently did not know firsthand before, even though I may well have been aware of them on some deep subconscious level in elections past, or from others telling me their personal experiences with “voters they have known.”
It has been my good fortune to personally get to know many of the candidates this year, and to hear their platforms and work with them in some small way, and to discuss the issues hither and yon. And I am ordinarily not considered a politically-involved person — which is not to say I don’t care, or haven’t ever cared, about the issues. I care very much; I just chose to be involved in my own way, which was very much behind the scenes. This year, probably because of the sheriff race most particularly, I put a little more into it, mainly because of all the information that came through our doors, and onto our desks, and found its way onto the pages of our newspaper, reminding us over and over again why one candidate would be the better choice. The sources were several, and reliable, and unmistakable, putting out the word why we ought to choose one candidate over the other. Yet if that
candidate does not find himself in the winners circle, what can we do but get behind the new sheriff and hope with all our hearts and all our might that he will really improve everything that needs improving and raise the morale that is currently so limp and sagging and practically at Death’s door, as those in the know have shared with us
that it is.
I doubt if any of the things I mention here will shock readers, but it is rather surprising when you come face-to-face with those who make it perfectly clear that they are one of the “many” or the “some” in the categories below:
—Many people haven’t a clue about who’s running for what position.
—Some people actually don’t know what the issues are, or why they should vote Yes or No on them.
—Some people are more or less totally clueless about everything and wait for their book to show up to see what’s what.
—Some people (this year) didn’t even know who was running for sheriff.
—Many people who do know the names of the candidates haven’t a clue about why it might be better to vote for one over another.
—Many people who believe they know for whom to vote cannot tell you why they are making that choice.
—Many people who vote go to the polls with no idea at all for whom to vote, but will check off whichever candidate strikes their fancy at the last minute, maybe because they like their name, like their ethnicity, or most usually, like their party.
—Many eligible voters want to be responsible voters but just don’t get around to it.
—Some people let others make their choices for them to save them the trouble of actually learning anything about the candidates.
—Some people will just go with the candidate who has the most so-called “experience” for the job, rather than choosing the better or best candidate, who might really make a difference for the better in this community. I have to remind them that “Practice does not make perfect,” it is “Perfect practice (doing the right thing over and
over) that makes perfect.”
—Some people are actually huffy when you suggest a candidate for a particular reason, because they would rather pick one they know nothing about just to say they did it on their own, or choose the candidate their family or friends suggest to choose.
—Some people are gracious enough to listen when you suggest a candidate for a particular reason, and offer them a reasonable “argument” as to why that would be the better choice.
So, now that another election has come and gone, — and by the time anyone is reading this the winners will be known — I want to say that those who did not achieve that lofty level of being deemed “the winner,” do not have to consider themselves “losers.” They all stepped up to the plate, which is no easy thing to do, spent a lot of their
own money, put in days, weeks, months, and many, many last-minute hours in an effort to get out the word and make their name more known and their platform more desirable to Mr. or Ms. Voter, often taking away time from their families and their work. True, some may have done it for the perks that go along with certain elected positions, but I have to believe that some still really care about this community and the job they would be called upon to do once in that elected position.
Those, of course, would be the public servants as opposed to the blatant politicians.
Because at this writing I do not know who will have won their particular races, I can still hope for the best. Although I have my idea of what that means, and my idea of which candidates most likely would bring that about, I cannot say that my choices are automatically the best. There could be much I do not know, but I made my choices on what I do or did know, and what I do believe or believed at the time I cast my vote. If I was wrong in any of my choices, I can only hope that the one I did not vote for who came out the winner will truly be best for this community. In my way of looking at the results of any election, it is not important (to me) that all of MY candidates win, it is important to me that the candidates who DO win do turn out to be good and even the best for this community.
If every candidate who really cared about what it was they set out to do and didn’t make it to the winners circle could offer their best ideas to those who made it, maybe — if their ideas are really best for this community — the winning candidate would take those ideas under advisement and give themselves that much of a head start in their new
position by being “armed” with those good ideas, ready for implementation for the good of all those they will now be charged to serve. Somehow, that doesn’t seem all that likely though, does it?
There’s a lot I don’t know about the world of politics, but we can’t really be alive without learning a little more each day about whatever surrounds us, or whatever we find ourselves involved in, in some way.
Life is our ongoing classroom, and election time is one heck of a teacher!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.