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Election season kicks off

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To those of us that are avid political system observers the upcoming election cycle is an exciting time to be involved in the process. The current climate is supercharged with change and possibility. The effect is similar to that of any organized sport in all of its passion and excitement. 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the moment as the players square off against each other with the public assuming the role of referee and scorekeepers. The signs, the ads, the speeches, the activity is frantic and the excitement level is high.

It can become easy to dismiss all of this activity as disingenuous and nothing more than mere politics, not to be taken seriously.  

As a citizen of Lake County having awoken to the realities of our present political situation in the last few years it has been glaringly obvious that like the frog that doesn’t jump out of the water when it is heated slowly we have become complacent as citizens to the pomp and circumstance around us. 

A little introspection might be appropriate. 

A famous quote from President James Garfield says, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.” I don’t know about you but this quote really hits home with me as being one who has railed against the excesses of a bloated government, the mounting debt and the loss of individual freedoms, not to mention the gross moral decay of our values. 

I came to realize that politicians came to be that way, because “We the People” didn’t hold them to a higher standard. We have tolerated the “Win at all costs, don’t stand for anything” mentality that creates career politicians and rewards those that easily compromise their morals to gain political points. 

That will never stop until our elected officials are held accountable to us and to a moral standard that requires them to do what they have sworn to do when they were elected into office. The problem though is us, the voters of Lake County. Until we stop voting for the candidates that run negative campaign ads and use personal attacks to make themselves look better by tearing down someone else, we get what we deserve.  We as voters have a solemn duty to choose the best leaders that we can to represent us, to fight for us and our future. 

If we don’t require our Public Servants to take the high road during their campaigns then why in the world would we trust them not to do something as equally wrong as an elected official? 

Be a good neighbor and vote on principal and character, and educate yourselves on the issues. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because we may not agree with a candidate that we are justified in destroying his signs or starting rumors to discredit them. Let the people decide and just vote them out. 

Please join with me in doing our part in holding our elected officials accountable and working to make Lake County a place we can all be proud of.

(Brent Matson of Polson is the Chairman of the Lake County Republican Party.)

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