by Mike Payne
I was recently chatting online with a group of people from where I used to live. We moved to Texas from a county that is much like Williamson County. The group was discussing elections when someone commented, “It really doesn’t matter who we vote for,” implying that those in power were going to govern however they wanted without regard for the preferences and well-being of their constituents. That seems to be the position of a substantial percentage of voters who are six degrees removed from those they are electing (meaning they don’t know the candidates personally).
I reminded him that politicians are people too, with belief systems that guide the choices they make. Yes, it’s true that some seek office for the wrong reasons, but many others do the right things for their constituents. One thing is for certain− if you don’t show up to vote for the person who is most closely aligned with your positions, then by not voting, you have, if fact, cast a vote for the candidate you definitely do not support. So, you see, the argument that “it doesn’t matter who you vote for”, or if you vote, couldn’t be further from the truth.
It is an indisputable fact that “you get the government you elect.” It really is that simple. There is no better example of this than the December 2017 City Council election in Round Rock. In what is arguably considered the most important election in the history
of Round Rock, out of over 61,000 registered voters, 5.1%, or only 3,270 voters showed up at the polls in an election that will forever change the landscape of the city. After decades of conservative fiscal government management, this election ushered in a “social justice” Austin-style of government to the city of Round Rock, Texas. “Liberal creep” has definitely arrived. Round Rock is about to learn how difficult it will be to hang on to what’s in your wallet, the fabric of your communities, and even the moral compass of the city.
In this election, 58,000 voters sat it out. We must seek to learn why they’re completely out of the process. Bill Vaughn, noted columnist and author once penned, “A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for Democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in…elections.” The Bible is even more clear. “To him that knows to do good and does not, it is sin.” Don’t yell at me. I didn’t say it, God did!
Sure, all politicians aren’t candidates for Saint-hood. But then neither is your multi-level marketing brother-in-law, and still, you invite him over to your house on the Fourth of July. You don’t just outright pretend he doesn’t exist. And he probably has far less influence on your life than your elected officials.
Doesn’t it make sense to at least take time to find out who’s running, what their positions are, and how they align with your beliefs? Then take the half hour it takes to exercise the most fundamental right of this Republic we call America. You can consider yourself a hero. After all, you get the government you elect…meaning what happens to you as a citizen, and the very future of your children and grandchildren, is a result of how you pull the lever in the voting booth. Go. Vote. Every. Time.