Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Do We Care?

How often do you hear someone say, "Nobody tells me what to do!"? After watching the recent election results, it seems that over 80% of Texans, including those in Orange County, are willing to let someone else tell them what to do.

Most folks, if asked, would claim to be good, loyal Americans as well as good citizens. Unfortunately, their conduct, or lack thereof, at election time belies their claim. How could you be a good citizen if apparently you do not care about selecting those who control many aspects of your everyday lives?

Sometimes, I wonder whether or not so many of my fellow citizens have ever stopped to consider the fact that people we allow to hold public office have so much control. For example, we are told by our officials the speed and how to conduct ourselves on public roadways; told in many instances how much of our daily income we can keep, rather than give it for taxes. In a crisis, tell us we need to evacuate our homes, wear masks or be vaccinated for some pandemic. The selection of our leaders, also, has an effect on our public safety, regulating the size and conduct of police forces as well as caring for our international safety from aggressive nations such as Russia. How can one who makes even the most cursory study of our nation's history not value rights that our forefathers, many of whom fought and died for a right that we now take for granted?

The catch phrase, "Use it or lose it" is usually applied to exercise and body building. It also, however, has application to preservation of having a country with freedoms such as speech, assembly, bearing arms or worship. It is often said by deep thinkers that America will never succumb to a foreign power but there is a real danger that it could collapse internally if citizens do not care enough to participate in an informed way of self-government.

While too many of us shy away from even discussing politics for fear of offending someone, we should not be so shy the next time a friend or acquaintance complains about politicians or what's happening in Washington, Austin or Orange. Tell them if they don't vote, then they should never complain.

Making an informed choice at the polls is an essential element of good citizenship.


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