BY SHARON MARTIN
If you have an ounce of political sense, you’ve probably been riled up lately. You can avoid the news, but that’s like covering your eyes so you can’t see the Grizzly that’s lumbering toward you.
It’s hard to be angry all the time. It’s bad for one’s health and it isn’t effective. So, don’t get mad – get busy. Here’s a short to-do list to help you prepare for the fall elections:
— Don’t get mad about laws that restrict voter rights; get ready to vote. There’s little evidence of voter fraud. The bigger problem is voter apathy. What if we make voting easier? There are sane ways to streamline registration and still insure one vote per person.
Help the disenfranchised get valid IDs. Vote for candidates who respect the right to vote. Get busy.
— Don’t get mad that special interests are selling out public education. Instead, ask the candidates some questions.
Do you believe my tax dollars should be spent to send someone else’s kid to private school?
Do you believe that every citizen should be given the best education we can provide for them?
How do you propose to accomplish this?
Listen closely to campaign speeches for honest answers, not empty lines provided for candidates by their handlers. And vote for candidates who want to save public education.
— Beware any candidate who wears his religion on his sleeve. Our Constitution insures a politician’s right to believe and to worship and it insures our right to choose a candidate who won’t impose his beliefs on the rest of us.
Speak out against hate and intolerance. Vote for the candidates who truly believe that people of all faiths are welcome here.
— Do you agree that we have both the right and the responsibility to be armed?
If so, beware of recent gun laws, and call them what they are: political grandstanding and another way to tax and register gun holders.
Laws are meant to protect us. Laws that allow vigilantes to shoot without question don’t protect anyone but the vigilantes.
Our Constitution not only guarantees our right to bear arms, it protects us from unreasonable search and seizure and insures our day in court. It doesn’t allow witch-hunts, however.
Ask police what they think of the new open carry laws. Talk to prosecutors and defenders. Then, vote for the candidate who believes the Constitution protects every citizen.
Get ready to vote wisely in the fall elections. Choose men and women who believe they represent us, the people. It’s up to us. And we have to vote.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer