Political battles end at ballot box

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By John Whitlock

It doesn’t really matter if you vote for Barack Obama.

It doesn’t really matter if you vote for John McCain.

Whether you support Mitch McConnell or Bruce Lunsford is kinda beside the point.

The point is to just get out there and vote.

Almost everyone has had the old saying “if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain” drilled into their head by their mother.

And complaining about politics appears to have replaced baseball as America’s true pastime. It could probably give NASCAR a run for its money.

Every year, editorial writers, rockers and rap stars urge the public to get out and vote. In most instances, it has little impact. P. Diddy isn’t considered in most quarters as a beacon of upright civil pride.

But really, what are all these people asking for – a few minutes of your time, a few minutes that could affect the nation and the world for countless years?

A good democracy doesn’t expect a lot from the average citizen on a day-to-day basis.

Taking part in a democracy isn’t building a ship in a bottle. It doesn’t take months or years of meticulous dedication and attention to detail.

It doesn’t matter if your television never leaves Fox News or you can’t wait to see Keith Olbermann’s snarky smile each night. You do need to be informed to be a member of the democracy but it doesn’t need to be a full-time job.

Voting requires the average citizen to maybe take a couple of hours away from Dr. Phil, Dancing With the Stars or a football game and find out where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to them and their community and nation.

Whether you vote a straight ticket, weigh each issue carefully or just like the way one candidate handles him or herself, American democracy is ready for you to make that one decision it needs.

Politics end at the ballot box. All that remains is one man (or woman) and one vote.

This is why our ancestors threw the tea in Boston Harbor.

This is why our fathers and grandfathers fought overseas.

This is “country first.”

In Owen County, it’s unlikely that you’ll run into the one-, two- or three-hour wait that some Americans do. In many instances, the whole experience takes less than 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes can get you four years of guilt-free complaining or plenty of pride in your country.

It sounds like a pretty good deal.

John Whitlock, News-Herald News Editor