This is going to be a do over of the columns that I normally write during election years so please indulge me just a little. Candidate filing is now over and it looks like there is going to be a bumper crop of candidates to choose from on this year’s ballots – and there are actually going to be some races on the local front in November.

This is going to be a do over of the columns that I normally write during election years so please indulge me just a little.  Candidate filing is now over and it looks like there is going to be a bumper crop of candidates to choose from on this year’s ballots – and there are actually going to be some races on the local front in November.
Some campaigns have already begun and for the others, they will not be too far behind.  That means television, radio and newspaper ads and of course the always popular “vote for me” signs that will start popping up all over the landscape.  And some candidates will even go door to door to woo voters.
During my first campaign youngest son Patrick loved going door to door but Sean said he wouldn’t do that but would help put up signs.  I remember one hot day we were driving t-posts into very dry ground to hang a large campaign sign.  He asked me why he was helping me.
I told him that if I got elected (to the House) that I would be gone 4 days a week 5 months out of the year but if I didn’t then I would be home every day.  With all the seriousness of a teenager he looked at me and said “well let’s put up some more signs”.  Sometimes you just have to have the right motivation.  
As the candidates start pitching themselves for the various positions, remember that campaigning is a sales pitch and everyone is going to tell you what they want you to know.  That’s just the way it works.  It’s going to be your job to learn everything you can about the product (the candidate) before you make your decision.  
Please do not be swayed by a slick ad or by the number of signs you see for a particular candidate or the fact that you might have heard the name at some point in time.  These are all wrong reasons for supporting someone for an elected position.
Unfortunately, far too many people do not take the time or make the effort to learn about the candidates and exactly what they stand for and what they want to accomplish in the position.  Some people have “pure” motives for running for political positions and some have less than “pure”.  That may not be the right term but you get my drift.
A lot of people nowadays are tied of “partisan” politics.  I have heard more than one say that they wish there were no political parties and that we could just judge the individual without attaching a D or R to it.  In reality, partisan politics play a viable role in a republic like we live in.  

If there were no parties there would be anarchy (from a political point of view).   And, I don’t think much would get done as there would be a constant struggle to form coalitions on each and every topic that comes along.

I will be the first to agree that radical partisanship is seemingly strangling common sense in our country at this moment in history.  But, if we did not have the order that political parties bring, the inefficiency we see in Washington would be exponentially worse.

In this column I am not going to debate the merits of being a Democrat or a Republican.  That is something only you can decide for yourself.  But, I do want to make sure that you realize that when someone runs for public office it does really matter which moniker they choose.

I think partisan distinction matters very little in offices that are administrative in nature.  But, at the state and federal level, where public policy is made, it carries much more meaning and is crucial in determining the direction the state and country takes for the future.

Again, I am not here to debate which is right or wrong and I definitely don’t think that all Republicans are right and all Democrats are wrong.  I served with some very honorable Democrats that I admired and I also served with some pretty stinky Republicans. But, at the end of the day, the party in power sets the agenda so be careful that you truly know who you are supporting and why.

If a Democrat tells you that they won’t support liberal causes or a Republican tells you that they are liberal, I think that you need to ask them why they are identifying the way they are.  Because, at the end of the day, it matters what you call yourself.

I have probably muddied the waters more than I cleared them but my point is that you need to know what the person you support stands for and why they are running.  If you do that then you have done your job as a responsible voter.              


   
      


   

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.