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As I See It

Responsibility Comes With Right To Vote

    As I drive around in the State of Mississippi, I am reminded by all the signs on the roadways that this is the year we choose the leaders of our state and counties. Signs are in abundance but having been in a political job in DeSoto County I am reminded what an old man told me one day. I was thanking him for allowing me to place a sign on his property and he looked at me and said, “Now son just remember signs do not vote.”

    He was right, of course, but I suppose they are useful where name recognition is concerned. They are numerous now, but will become more so as we approach the first primary which will be held on August 7 and the runoff election on August 28. The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 6.

   While I am aware that the United States has many problems we need to solve, I would not trade my citizenship in this country with anyone in any other country on the face of this earth.

    Would you? One of the big things that divide us from other countries, especially communist countries, is the way we choose our leaders. The secret ballot is an important part of our freedom and we ought to respect and practice our right to choose those who represent us. I have actually heard Americans say almost in a bragging manner, “I don’t vote.” I have heard people say, “I am afraid I may vote for the wrong person and just make things worse.” We have a civic duty to vote for those who lead us.

   Now is the time to listen to what our candidates are saying and make the most informed choice we can. We then need to take that choice to the polls and exercise our duty and right to vote. We have a responsibility to get to know the candidates and find out as much as we can about what they stand for. Ask questions of the candidates and listen carefully to their answers. Our duty as voters is to cast the most informed ballot we can. Use these days between now and August 7 to prepare to vote. Our government is a representative government and we are making the decision who will represent us. Nothing can be more important in our great democracy.

   I have always been taught in school that democracy is not for sale but when I see how much candidates for governor are planning to spend to be elected to a job that pays $101,800.00 one has to wonder. I realize that to cover the State of Mississippi with solicitations for votes cost money but when candidates for this office spend 2 and 3 million dollars on the campaign it causes anyone to wonder whether or not our highest office is for sale. How the money is raised is also a concern to me but these are problems that can be solved if those we elect to lead us want them solved.

   One other problem that I wish would go away is all the “Mud slinging” seen in campaigns. I have zero patience with this kind of campaign. We perhaps ought to keep in mind that it takes a low person to try to tear down another person. As a voter I want to know the qualifications the person has and what they intend to do if elected. Let every person speak for themselves.

    “Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and an Elder in the United Methodist Church. He is Pastor of the Pittsboro and Shady Grove UM Churches in Calhoun County. He is a member of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him:

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