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Sunday, October 24, 2010

FROM WALLINGFORD - November 2 is Election Day

As published in the Record Journal on Sunday October 24, 2010

Jason Zandri


Faithful readers have come to know that my big slant every election season is to get people out to vote. They know that the times in between I push the message “get informed, get involved.”

Is it enough to at least go out and “just vote”? Some might say that the mostly or totally uninformed should just stay home with those that are unwilling to vote as they cause more harm than good.

While I would much rather have an informed electorate, at the minimum I want an involved and interactive one. If the most you can do is go into the booth and “pull” your party line at least you’ve taken some action for yourself.

Get over the notion that your vote doesn’t matter.

Everything you do matters and that includes casting your vote on Election Day. It’s unfortunate that most of the people running for office for this election have leveraged heavily on the negative advertising tactics. While I cannot say I have seen all the ads, I can say I’ve seen many. I have only seen one to date that was straightforward and spoke of skill, ability, plan and direction and that didn’t tear down the other people running for that office.

I think that is something that most of our candidates misunderstand and it’s a lost opportunity to connect with their constituents.

Especially in times like these, where the economy is still in rough shape and the recovery is slow to take hold across all sectors, an opportunity presents itself to the candidates who wish to serve to reconnect with “Joe the Plummer” and offer some hope and positive direction.

Why did we as children look up to the likes of Superman and Joe DiMaggio? Because they were all we could hope to be and they were positive influences. In many cases they were all that we could never be but they were positive influences all the same.

Why do we as adults fixate on Hollywood and the rich and famous more so than on our neighbors down the street? Some of it is because of the allure of what we can’t have and for the most part could never hope to obtain (but we dream we could anyway). The rest of the reason why is because the rich and famous have prosperity and that is another of those positive things.

It’s true that folks enjoy nothing more than when some famous person of the day is caught up in a divorce, scandal or some other downfall because that makes them as human and every day as everyone else.

Much of what draws us to them in the first place is the potential of being successful and “having it good,” something sorely lacking with the current state of things for most everyday people.

When it comes time for us everyday people to consider our choices of who will govern for us for the next term it’s unfortunate that most of what is presented to us is negative information on the other candidate.

I am foolishly hoping that perhaps next year will be a better year for campaigns and that people running for office would focus their efforts on the positive side of things, things they believe they could accomplish in office rather than deciding how to showcase how their opponent is lacking the ability to do something.

Running for office is like applying for a job; if any of these folks went in to an employer “selling” themselves by saying what the other people for the position cannot do I doubt any of the lot would be hired.

Nothing important is easy and voting is important — we are going to have to wade through all the negative information and try to make informed choices.

We owe it to ourselves and to our families.

Get informed, get involved and vote on Election Day.

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