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Your Views: Apathetic voters keep returning the same people to office

POSTED: May 7, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Winston Churchill once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

I believe he was right. The typical voter goes into the voting booth not having a clue about the candidates they are choosing. This week, a well-educated man told me he voted for an incumbent he didn’t like just because he didn’t know the other guy’s name. So, that’s how we do it, Mr. Educated Voter?

But is Mr. Ed (it seems to fit) any different from the guy who votes against every incumbent. My brother loves the saying, “Politicians are like diapers; they get dirty and need to be changed often.” He votes a straight anti-incumbent ticket and will until they start getting it right in Washington. He believes that our country was not supposed to have career politicians — that’s why they created terms and called them representatives. How do they represent who we are?

Here in North Georgia, the average salary of the working person is around $40,000. Yet, we pay $174,000 for each U.S. senator and congressman. Nearly 50 percent of our U.S. House and Senate are composed of lawyers, compared to less than 1 percent of the population.

Thomas Jefferson observed correctly, “If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?”

But isn’t that our fault for sending them? How do we choose these people?

I listened intently at a recent forum to all the candidates speak. The incumbents are an interesting lot. They get up and take credit for everything good that has happened in the two or more years since they were elected (most of which they had nothing to do with). As I sat there, I wondered: Shouldn’t I already know if they had done such a great job?

But do I vote against them just because they are an incumbent? I admit 83 percent of the American public disapprove of how they are doing their job and we would certainly fire any employee who had accomplished so little and been so reckless with our money. But how is that any better than voting for them because you recognize their name or see their signs littering the roads?

I refuse to sit back and be that apathetic ignorant voter anymore. I pledge to hire my next representative exactly as I would hire a manager to run my company. I will see what they’ve accomplished before they got into politics. I will see if they are a true representative of who I am and what I believe in.

Won’t you join me in becoming an educated voter? Let’s walk into that booth with a list of candidates we have researched and know who we are voting for, not just check a name of someone with a familiar name.

Suzanne Crews
Blue Ridge


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