Hysteria is coming this November, and every vote is precious. Get ready to hear from the candidates how very important this election is and how both the republic’s and the great state of Oklahoma’s future is in their hands.
Yet, I must ask: Why don’t more people actually vote in the elections that touch their daily lives? Don’t get me wrong: I am an old-school, patriotic person who thinks if you don’t vote, you really have no business complaining about the government. We just have to look to Iraq, where the purple ink on the voters’ fingers is a proud badge to show their vote.
Here in Oklahoma City, we should be ashamed at the paltry percentage of voters. We have state House and Senate races and many county elections, and these offices have direct influence on our daily lives.
This November, Oklahomans will decide the fate of races in the House, Senate, the governor’s mansion, lieutenant governor, attorney general and labor commissioner, just to name a few.
In Edmond, Republican state Rep. Ken Miller is running for state treasurer, and Republican state Sen. Todd Lamb is running for lieutenant governor. Both are the prohibitive favorites to win the GOP nomination and then eventual victory in November. What does this mean to you and me? Two special elections where a slim number of voters will determine who takes those seats.
Yet, political dominoes that are set in play by political ambition feed into the cynical idea that your vote is worthless, which leads to people who don’t vote.
Contrary to popular and conventional wisdom, your vote does matter. Rep. Todd Thomsen, R-Ada, won in 2006 by two votes ” two votes out of roughly 10,000 votes cast. How both federal and local funds are distributed is done by the government closest to the people, so his work in the Oklahoma House is very important.
The direction and agenda of either party are determined by its membership. If the majority of the GOP came from the rural areas, we would have more rural and agriculture policy, so who gets elected makes a vital difference.
Our state, with a motto of “Labor Conquers All Things,” has unlimited potential and great days are in our future, but people need to have ownership and believe that getting involved can change the direction of our government.
At high noon with the fire of a pistol more than 100 years ago, the idea that became our state was born: farmers, laborers and blacksmiths rode alongside lawyers and doctors to get the opportunity to change their lives and grow their families with land.
Yet today, runaway spending, bailouts and officials who admit they don’t read the legislation they vote on all lead to apathy. Each election is important, and this one is no different. It is up to us Oklahomans to get involved by studying the issues ” not just the rhetoric ” and pick our best and brightest to send to the Capitol.
Loveless is the CEO of Phoenix Consulting and the business manager for Loveless Orthopedic and Custom Footwear.