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Letter from Jay Sharp, Editor of East Texas Banner

Why do we Vote?

I remember asking this question when I was a child, “Why do we Vote?” One family friend stated, “It’s our duty to the country!” Another said, “You do it because it’s the right thing to do.” My grandfather, a Korean War Veteran, said to me, “Son, your vote in this country IS what this country was built on.”

The answers always seemed some what like a riddle to me that I’ve often pondered. The fact that “my vote” mattered at all was a strange proposition.

Now at 47, I can see it very clear. I’ve had a number of years behind a pen & paper on the journalistic front while simultaneously continuing my work in the oil field. I’ve met many different types of people through this adventure and have watched the political arena turn into a dumpster fire.

Where did we lose our dignity as people?

Social media is the saddest expression of our freedoms… almost like watching a slow train wreck engulfed in flames only to pour a little more jet fuel on what might be flickering.

Where are the statesmen? Not these crooked politicians who mascaraed as the “common man!” Where are the ones who still have sweat dripping from a days work, fed up with the lies and deception? And those willing to take a stand?

The working class out number the mascaraed by 1000 to 1!!! The power is in that reality.

We have a government that doesn’t know how to close the door on immigration? Why? Who is getting paid?

We have a government that gives free money, food and lodging to “immigrants” while our nations homeless cannot get any real assistance? Why? Who is getting a cut of this program?

I could go on with one question after another but the real of it is… Where are the Statesmen?

Over the past 6 months, I have been lied on, lied to and called biased pertaining to local elections. So, I only imagine the toll on some candidates. I was told the other day… “I know you are a ‘FILL IN THE CANDIDATE NAME’ guy but I want you to know that I think I can do the job if elected.”  Let me be clear, those who know the truth… know the truth. I am a “democracy guy" and I will die on that fact! I do not care who you vote for! The sign of a healthy democratic process is for differing views and options. We will continue writing the news regardless who is in office. I WANT to see people exercise their Right to Vote. On a local level we have to remember that we are involved because we care about our communities. We are passionate about our towns and cities and personally I appreciate the passion, but we are neighbors and after today... maybe we go back to being friends. We can’t forget that! I think all local candidates would agree, that No One should lose their dignity or reputation to non-factual and baseless narratives or mud slinging. No one should be made an enemy because of the candidate they support. All of our local candidates have dealt with this type of "BS" during most of the campaign season and it’s a shame.

My son recently went into the United States Air Force, graduated Basic and recently made selection into the SERE Program. I’ve had military men and women around me most of my life and I can say that the patriotism I felt while at the Lackland Air Force Base Ceremonies was jarring and eye opening for me.

Since that graduation day in Lackland, I have discovered that the reason we vote is not only a “duty” “right thing to do” and the basis of “what the country is founded on” IT IS a celebration of liberty and freedom. We don’t vote because America is perfect. We vote because we have a say in what matters … namely our local elections. It’s an act by the citizens of this country to express an appreciation for the overall work that has taken place in establishing our democracy and our country.

We should never take our vote lightly or haphazardly. Be an informed voter not a lazy one. Research and see the reality of each campaign and each candidate. Good luck to all the candidates!

Democracy is about the freedom of expression for those who are its citizens.

So express your appreciation and Go Vote!


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