Not that such a thing is actually, literally possible. Maybe not even likely.
But there’s little question that the numbers of those who actually participate in this “of the people, by the people, for the people” system of ours are small indeed.
In this election year, right up until filing deadline, it looked as if we would have a dearth of candidates for local government offices.
Marshall County seemed headed for of an “election” largely of unopposed incumbents.
At the last minute, the field was filled out a bit.
We’re certain all the candidates who waited until the last minute had their reasons. We’re happy that there will be more options available to voters.
We wish we had more enthusiasm than that, but “better late than never” is, in this case, an example of damning with faith praise.
We are staunchly unconvinced that there’s either a shortage of concern or an abundance of satisfaction regarding the status quo of our local government.
So, the logical reason for minimal participation is that citizens have given up on the hope of ever improving things. It seems that we accept the present-day cliché “it is what it is” at face value and have resigned ourselves to that presumption.
The only activism these days, it seems, is at the extreme fringes, and there it is fever-pitched.
Do what we propose, and everything will be just perfect.
Don’t do what we want, and there will be absolute, positive doom.
Very likely, the mind-numbing and intelligence-insulting extremism has contributed to the disinterest in the political process.
Not only that, but the extremist debate is almost always ugly.
It isn’t that there has never been ugliness and petty partisanship in our political process before; quite the contrary.
It isn’t that there has never been sensationalist, self-serving grandstanding instead of statesmanship; hardly.
In every instance throughout our history, those surges of untoward behavior by elected officials and by the aspirants who would dethrone them have blackened the eye of our political process and pushed us closer to the brink at which we now stand – to throwing up our hands and leaving the battle to the worst of us.
We hope there will be more competition for positions of local leadership in future elections.
We hope it will in the future be more vigorous and forward-reaching, as opposed to last-minute and lukewarm.
We hope all those who are not perfectly satisfied with the way everything is will get out and do something about it, if that “something” is nothing more than registering and voting.
We hope more of those who have strong feelings about what needs to be done and who have the wherewithal to pursue a position in local government will not be dissuaded by the cesspool-like atmosphere of politics in recent decades.
Above all, we hope the discourse will rise above the gutter level to which it so often sinks.
If we stand by either in meekness or disgust and let it continue on its present course, we deserve what we get.