Voters in Floyd County and throughout Virginia have a chance to alter the current course of our government, protect the status quo or provide a mix that could or could not benefit the Commonwealth.
It is not our job to tell or recommend how you vote, but we do recommend that everyone who is eligible to vote do so in this important, and all other, elections. We live in a democratic republic created by the nation’s forefathers more than two centuries ago, and the voters should always be the ones who determine our government and its leaders.
Some, we know, will vote a straight ticket of candidates from their party of choice. That, of course, is their right but does blind faith in any party giver us our best representatives or leaders? Is it not more feasible to examine each candidate, their qualifications and their experience, individually?
Often, a single issue may guide some voters, but we ask that each of you examine what you think is best for the many issues that your communities, or the Commonwealth, face in the four years — in most case — that they will serve.
For example, are their intentions defined by a national leader whose record could be good or spotty? Does that individual share their values? Is he or she is guilty of crimes or under investigation? Is he or she someone you would want your daughter or son to be with alone?
Too often, a candidate’s charisma masks a darker side, perhaps even a criminal or fraudulent intent. If you are a manager who makes hiring or firing decisions, would you hire the candidate, even one who supposed represents your preferred political party.
The mayor of the town of Floyd is the public face of that community? Is it a face we admire? Can he, or she, serve the town better than his opponent? Same for a county supervisor, or a delegate, a governor or others.
I served as a political operative for the national Republican Party for six years in Washington in the 1980a. Our role was to create an image of a candidate who the voters would, frankly, buy. That image could or could not be close to the real candidate. We, frankly, did not care if the candidate was the right person for the elective office. Our job was to sell a product to the voter.
It is the duty of each voter to look beyond the smokescreens and determine is they are helping put a real person into the job. Each should look hard at a candidate’s qualifications, their experience, their values and their honesty. It’s not easy, or at least it should not be.
Our county and our Commonwealth deserve voters who look beyond the hype, the slick ads and the claims. Doing so serves the real public need, not the too often hidden agendas of the political parties.
On Tuesday, voters determine who represents us in our town, our county and our Commonwealth. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you voted for the winner or the loser. What matters is that each of us voted.
If you did, thank you. If you didn’t, you have no role in our community or its future. Don’t bitch about the outcome. In a democracy, non-voters are nobodies.