Loose Ends: The most important civic duty

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There are a lot of references to doing one’s civic duty throughout the year. Making a change in the community involves more than signing up to help a local organization or two. It means taking time on Election Day to vote.
Listening to politicians across the country make ridiculous promises to the populace and to the plethora of political calls has created jaded citizens. It is easy to understand why so many don’t do their duty and cast their vote but not when the same non-voting public criticize and complain about the decisions made by those who have been put in office the rest of the year. The truth is, even without voting, each of us has determined the outcome of a election.
People like to hedge their bets. It is easy to believe that not taking an active role in a community and especially not casting a vote gives one the right to complain but it does not. Much like the national political atmosphere, small town politics can be brutal. Tales abound of vindictive political opponents casting their own “votes” in the community by refusing to do business or socialize with those who did not support them. They often say nothing when a deadly smear campaign is carried out. This decimates the ranks of the community members who are willing to run for office.
Community service includes being part of the electoral process in some way, even voting. Those who feel they have not lived in the community long enough to cast a vote need to be encouraged to become actively involved. Originally when the founders of this community worked together it was not because they had the passion for politics, it was a survival strategy. Making a conscientious decision to find out a little bit about the candidates running for the various community boards and then voting to put them into office is more than a duty, it is an obligation.