From: Brent Land

Columbus

It may seem hard to believe, but midterm elections are already nearly here. Historically, midterm elections produce low voter turnout. That is a situation that needs to change.

It might just be my opinion, but it seems as though a large number of people perceive our national elections as more important than state or local elections. I disagree. We, as citizens, have far more control over what is going on in our state and local government than we do our federal government. Most of the laws that affect our daily lives and livelihoods are passed in city and county councils and state legislatures. I would place a far higher value on local politics.

Additionally, I believe that many people choose, at some point in their lives, a single political party to support almost unconditionally. I get the impression that few people frequently reassess their political choices once they are initially made.

I understand the appeal of having a singular, permanent political choice. When it cannot be easily distinguished which individual candidate is being sincere, it is comforting to fall back on the knowledge that, as members of “our” political party, they at least publicly support the same philosophies and ideals as we.

These parties are well aware that they have the majority of voters convinced of the dangers of stepping out of line. The idea that third party and independent candidates are not viable choices and that voting for them is a wasted vote is a perfect example.

I have my own opinions about politics and the issues, just as everyone else has theirs. I will happily share my thoughts, sometimes to the chagrin of my family.

I refuse, however, to demand that everyone else think and live as I. I believe that any people who desire to be free must insist on maintaining an environment with a diversity of thought.

Homogenization leads to despotism. Liberty is only achieved through the free exchange of goods and ideals. Liberty is only maintained by the fervent insistence that people have the inherent right to exercise their individual preferences so long as they do not infringe on someone else’s rights. In the republic in which we live, our voice is heard and our resolve demonstrated through our respective vote. It is for this reason that voting in every election possible is vital to maintaining our freedom.

We should all vote. Prior to that vote, we should all take the time to closely examine the candidates. We must find a way to ignore the pile of partisan rhetoric that has been heaped on us in the hope we would be too afraid to leave the relative safety of our comfort zones.

I sincerely hope that you will take the time to vote in the coming elections, and that when you do, you do so without fearing the Hydra of our two-party system.