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Political season on the horizon

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By John Whitlock

Owen County may still be wrapped deep in winter but make no mistake, a new season is just around the corner – the political season.

Normally, the big national elections get all the good press. The national and statewide stages are where most of the good ideological fights take place. Because most of the social, philosophical and economic issues that get so many people excited are determined at the higher levels of government, sometimes the importance of local elections are overlooked and voter turnout is significantly lower than state and national elections.

Although it might be true that casting a vote for dog warden isn’t exactly striking a blow for truth, justice and the American way, local elections touch the lives of each of us on a very real basis.

These are the people you depend on every single day to clear your roads, make sure your garbage is picked up, oversee law enforcement in and out of the city, and make sure every tax dollar is used for the betterment of the entire community and not friends, relatives or those with connections.

Local elections are tough because most voters either don’t know the candidates or have a connection to a candidate based on their personal history.

Before the May primaries, the News-Herald will try to give the community enough information about the candidates to make a well-informed decision when they enter the voting booth.

On Friday, about a dozen people turned out at the Owen County Public Library for a meeting for people supporting the Tea Party protests and opposed to President Barack Obama’s plans for health-care reform, spending programs and social agenda.

I congratulate them on standing up for what they believe in and the willingness to have their voices heard. A lot of people on all sides of the political spectrum will cry, moan or shout about the government from the comfort of their couch but anyone who is willing to take their opinion to the streets should be applauded.