I can’t count the number of times people have told me they no longer vote because it doesn’t matter who gets in office, they all do what they want to do. For years that upset me because I felt it was my civic duty to vote and express my opinion.
Over the past few years I have felt the same as those who don’t vote, a feeling I never thought I would have.
I have been a political junkie since I was 18 years of age; I am now 75, not as active, but I follow the political circle still. And I have seen more and more of our elected officials after elected, given a few years, fall right into the same self-interest pattern as those serving for years.
Once they see the perks from the lobbyists they become selfish. This not only on the federal or state level, but right down to the local level.
Tomorrow, Delaware has school board elections. I have seen too many candidates in the past campaign for change, from candidates who are members of school booster groups to just parents wanting a change, all fired up, to see them elected and fizzle into oblivion. What happens to them after they are elected?
If you ever wondered why CEO’s of large companies command such large salaries, bonuses and other perks, one only has to look at their board of directors, all usually on the board because they were appointed or helped to be elected with the support of the CEO. Board members receive large salaries, so to stay in good standing with the CEO and to secure their position on the board, they play ball with the CEO.
A sharp school board superintendent will do what ever he can to keep his board members happy, are at least a majority, since they have the power to renew the superintendents contract. I have seen band booster members upset by lack of money for the band, elected to the board, and suddenly the band gets new uniforms, band equipment, and the new board member is a hero with the boosters, and is an ally of the superintendent.
When I was on the Sussex Tech Board, for a long time I was the only person to vote no on issues, or argue a point; everyone else went along with the Superintendent. After a few years I picked up a supporter or two, and sometimes garnered enough votes to make a difference. The debate gave us a very strong board; a strong minority makes for a stronger majority.
I fought the administration to get a pregnant girl to the school; With the help of former Rep. Biff Lee, we got the job done. The girl graduated with honors, went on to get a nursing degree and is a productive tax paying member of our society. It doesn’t hurt to be vocal; sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t but you make others think before they vote.
I have seen other citizens very vocal, elected then suddenly vocal. Upon checking you can sometimes find the reason; a family member or friend was hired to work in the district.
Nothing seems to change and no attempt seems to change no matter who is elected. All I hear when I ask what happened to your position you campaigned on is, “Well, you don’t understand………..yadda, yadda, yadda.
I’m going to vote tomorrow because I still feel I can’t complain if I don’t vote. I have no idea which candidate I’m going to vote for because for the first time in my life, I don’t think my vote is going make a difference, because whoever is elected is going to fall in line with the rest of them.