Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's After the Election: What Do I Do Now?

In the 1972 movie "The Candidate" Robert Redford’s character, Bill MacKay is elected to the Senate after an intense, whirlwind campaign during which his handlers tell him everything to do or say. Upon realizing his victory, he turns to his consultant and asks, earnestly, "What do I do now?"

While we were not subject to the same level of intense campaigning as Bill MacKay or the candidates in the 2010 mid-term elections, we were assailed with a continued barrage of radio and TV ads, phone calls, knocks at the door, posters, and endless circulars in our mail.

Our elected representatives must now deal with the rigors of being inside the beltway in Washington, DC, or in the local seats of government. But we… we have earned a well-deserved breather. We watched the winners declare victory and the losers issue concession statements on TV. We have either celebrated those victories or lamented the defeats. We worked hard during this campaign. We did our civic duty and voted and by God we deserved a rest.

Rest? YES! Disengagement? NO! What most folks in this country do after an election is leave all the rest to the successful candidates as they traipse off to their respective seats of office and conduct the business of government.

But what does that mean? In days past the politicians used their office to manage the best deal for their constituency. And in even more distant days past, the statesmen used their office to manage the best deal for their country.

Too long has the populace allowed the officeholder to "manage" on their own like a pre-teenager whose parent has permitted their child too great a degree of latitude and worse did not exercise discipline.

Yes, we worked tirelessly to get our champion elected and in some cases our "champion" failed to get into office. But that doesn’t relieve us of our responsibility to hold that officeholder’s feet to the fire in conducting the affairs of this country. Our civic duty did not end at the ballot box last election day. It must continue throughout the term of office, each and every day, until the next ballots are cast. That’s when you say, "Hey, I’ve watched you during your term of office and I think you really did measure up to what I expected. Have another term on me." OR NOT!!

Citizens of Nevada, this article is just a reminder that, "Freedom is not free." We pay for it through our diligence. Our watch phrase over these terms of office in dealing with our officeholders should be, "Show me."

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1 comment:

  1. Well said! If we don't make sure that our representatives know what we expect from them and what our needs are, then we'll suffer the consequences of them pursuing their own agenda.