Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of Your Vote

Many Registered Voters did not vote in 2008. In Macon County, more than 6400 (46%) people chose to stay home rather than cast a vote for anyone this year. In Putnam county 4,704 people that took the time to vote, refused to vote for Congressman. Another 14,653 registered voters decided they had better things to do, meaning 45.7% of those that could vote chose not to vote for Congressman.
I'm not sure I completely blame them. The results seemed obvious before we went to the ballot box. There was no real opposition to Gordon, the polls showed Obama would win despite our desires, and Lamar Alexander had all the support he needed to return.

Turnout across the district was higher than ever, with 193,854 citizens turning out to vote for at least one candidate, but we have more than 450,000 adults in the district. Does your vote really count? Yes, it does.

It counts less when compared to the millions voting for President than it does in choosing Our Senators and more when choosing Our Representative to the House than the Senator of Tennessee. And though we had little choice in 2008, we will have a real choice in 2010. Though there will likely be fewer voters when the highest office chosen is between Rep Gordon and myself, it counts more.

But even more important are the lower levels of government. You are much more likely to know your Mayor than your President. Your vote has more power when choosing your Councilman than your Congressman. Your opinion has more weight and hence more influence the lower the level of government.

While I wish to hear your opinions, issues, and concerns, I urge you to get to know the positions of all that ask you to trust them to govern. It is not enough to know the letter behind their name. I urge you to vote for the best person for the job, the one you trust most to represent your concerns, particularly in your local elections.

And we must also consider the most effective level of government for all roles of government. Clearly, some things can only be done at the Federal Level, such as Our National Defense, but do we want California and New York involved in Our Schools? Do we want our hard-earned tax dollars paying for ACORN and the politicization of Chicago Schools?

If I must choose between tax money sent to Washington or sent to Nashville, I'll choose Nashville. If I must choose between tax money sent to Nashville or Gainsboro, I'll choose Gainsboro. Why? You have more control over the Gainsboro Government and how it spends its money than you do over Washington. Local Elections are important, more important than many realize. There are fewer middlemen between you and your city budget than you and the national budget.

Government must be returned to the lowest level that can govern. The governed have the most power at the lowest level. Our federal government is out of control and that is why we must send a Common Sense Congressman to Washington. But we must also vote in the best members of our communities to every level of government.

No longer should we allow our politicians to believe that their party membership means an automatic return to power. We do have a choice in the next election and I hope that every eligible voter goes to the ballot box and casts ONE vote for the person they trust most. I hope to earn your trust in the upcoming two years and that having earned your trust, that you will find it worth your time to go to the ballot box and cast your vote.

I can not tell you to or expect you to trust me. It must be earned. I will not claim to be an honest politician. I am reluctantly running for political office and I trust neither a person who has to tell me they are honest nor a politician that tells me to trust them. Honesty is proven daily in awkward situations and trust is proven daily in things that might not otherwise be known.

But, investigate your choices in representatives to all levels of government. Register to vote and do so.
TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

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