The rhetoric on both sides is becoming increasingly nasty and mean-spirited, to the point that the real issues are being obscured. It is imperative that we ignore the rhetoric and ferret out the truth. To do less is to fall into the same trap to which other, less alert, people have succumbed.
Incredibly, we still have people who will not vote. It is difficult to imagine why one would forsake that right, for which so many have shed their life blood, simply because the “perfect candidate” is not running, or because “their guy” was not the candidate of choice or some such rubbish.
Those who choose that path do not escape responsibility. They have voted for the status quo, whether that was their choice or not. Make your voice heard. Vote!
In the 2008 Presidential Election, the percentage of eligible citizens who actually voted was a mere 56.8 percent. Cobb County was close to that. Neither percentage is anything to brag about.
Unfortunately, there is a plague of what can be termed citizen apathy sweeping our nation. When it comes to elections, it translates into voter apathy. That condition is far more dangerous than the plagues that swept Europe centuries ago.
Citizen apathy allowed Great Britain to succumb to ever increasing socialism, which led to exorbitant taxation to support a bloated government and the many services of which the government seized control, including health care.
Did you know that prior to World War II, Germany was a republic, like the United States? Citizen apathy allowed the transformation of the German Republic into Nazi Germany, beginning in the late 1920s. Hitler did not seize control of Germany. He was elected. He was elected by people too busy with their own world to find out what they were voting for.
Fortunately, the American people are not that apathetic, yet. But we need to be on guard to assure that we do not allow ourselves to become so complacent that we ignore what is happening around us and what has happened in other places where people were too busy to care about the government under which they lived.
Let’s not forget that the result of the presidential election, despite proclamations to the contrary, does not signal the end of civilization as we know it. We are still residents of a state and county and what happens here has an immediate effect on our lives, much more so than what happens in D.C.
Are we actively involved in what happens with our elected officials? Do we even know who our elected officials are? Are we knowledgeable about the legislation they are debating? Living in Cobb County, we are in the enviable position of being able to watch our state legislators and other elected officials, up close and personal. But do we?
Closer to home, it behooves us to get interested in and involved in what is happening in our county government and with our school board. These are the people entrusted with administering the government of our county, with spending our tax dollars, and with educating our children.
Do we know what they are doing? Do we know what they are supposed to be doing? Are we satisfied with the results? Do we even know who they are?
It is my belief that, if we were really an involved and engaged community, they would have to hold school board and county commissioners meetings in the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, the Cobb Energy Center or the new 900-seat auditorium being built at Marietta High School, and we would have SRO crowds at every meeting.
If we don’t care enough to take the time and make the effort to become involved and to serve, then we deserve whatever kind of federal, state, county or city government we get and whatever kind of school system we give our children.
We know what we need to do. Turn off “Dancing with the Stars” and turn onto living and being involved in your great country, state, county and city.
To quote a great American, Larry the Cable Guy, “Lets git ‘er done!”
Pete Borden is a retired masonry contractor in east Cobb.