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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Civics

Today and tomorrow are important days for my family. The oldest two daughters are eligible to vote. In fact, they insisted on getting registered on their birthdays. To say I was overcome with pride about that little fact would be an understatement.
Tonight I'm going to flex my Google-fu muscles and come up with a list of candidates, who endorses them, and their political voting record.
Yes, voting in the Presidential elections are important. You have to vote in the primaries in order to vote in the election. What's more important is voting in the state and local elections.
Despite it's name, the Texas Railroad commission does not have control over the railroads and commerce. It has a more important role: jurisdiction over the oil and gas industries. All the pipelines of natural gas, surface mining, and utilities to name a few. They have regulatory and enforcement responsibilities under the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation Recovery Act.
These guys are the ones who control how much my utilities bill is going to be as well as the quality of water coming out of the tap. So yes, I want to be familiar with them.
When I talk to my friends about voting, the typical response is, 'Oh, that's today?'
That's why I try and get in on early voting as much as possible.
If you don't vote, you can't bitch.
On the other hand, I think it's an awareness problem. People are honestly too busy running in a circle. Work, home, sleep. Wash, rinse, repeat.
"I have to do what differently today?"
When I first heard the idea of making voting day a holiday, I thought; 'Why not?' We'd certainly get better turnouts. I know far too many people who are afraid to take time off their job to go vote. Scary, no? It's like going to the dentist. People don't go out of their way unless there is a problem. The same mentality applies here.
If you don't vote, you are letting someone else decide your future. There is a part of me that is thinking my children are trying to take control of their lives by being active participants.
Really, I couldn't care who they vote for. It's a bit personal. I want someone who reflects my ideals and who I feel will represent me in a responsible manner.
Not only do I pay attention to who's running in the election, I get the news letters and e-mails from my senators and representatives. When they do screw up, I make a note of it and stick it in the back of my mind for when that person is up for re-election.

One of my rules is I don't do fear. That's not to say I'm never scared or afraid. I've faced my personal demons, stared them down even. When some politician tries to incite fear and paranoia in me, I know this is a person not worthy of my time. When he demonizes whole populations with broad strokes, I know this person is dangerous. More to the point: He's a waste of oxygen.

Don't trust a man who doesn't know how to play a musical instrument or create something by hand: He doesn't have patience or discipline. Beware of soft men who have no callouses on their hands. They don't know the meaning of work. That goes for scars too.
Most of all watch out for the guy who says; 'God wants me to run for office.' It's curious that his personal beliefs are exactly what he claims God wants.
No matter what color on the political spectrum you fall, get out and vote. 

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