Our political views and policies work for us. Our policies were created by the men who started the Armourdale Optimist club in 1956. Men like Cy Long, Armourdale' s lawyer, Art Eickhoff, Sr., Armourdale's Sav-U-More Grocery Store owner, Harold Smith, founded Smitty's Boats in 1937, Lester Milgram. Milgram's Super Market, Herman Dillon and Mayor Paul Mitchum, many others too many to mention.
As a 10-year-old girl sitting at the counter of Mason's Drug Store, listening to these people of various political persuasions, I absorbed politics in both memory and through my skin. Cy Long and Paul Mitchum both said, "Any politician worth their salt can say their piece in 3 minutes or less." For some reason those particular words stuck in my mind the rest of my life. Only God knows why I would be passing that on in my older years. Herman Dillon, our state representative, said, "Incumbents always reserve the right to speak last." He stated this at the very first political forum in 1995. Having given previous political service gives the person that privilege.
The most important thing to remember is that you the voter elect the people you want to serve both your community and your country. As a voter you need to know that the "all politicians are crooks" statement is usually made by non-voters who do not care about knowing anything about their candidates. "When good men do nothing, corruption thrives." An uninformed voter usually chooses the candidate that makes the most noise or consistent TV commercials. That usually means they have the most money.
Political forums, town halls and cross-country train tours are where you can listen to your candidates up front and one on one. I would like to see a candidate champion an ordinance abolishing frequent TV political ads, why not make those only once a month for 30 minutes - one hour. Television would still make money and the voter could choose the candidates they want to listen to, this might actually generate interest in the candidates and relieve us of the useless rhetoric. Long debates and opponent bashing is what makes the useless, time-consuming rhetoric.
The last point I would like to make is vote at the local level in your primary and general elections. Do you realize that our city mayor, commissioners, BPU and school boards represent us in both public policy, appearance and in our pockets. Get our there and use the voting privilege. Voting apathy is ruining our country.
Patty Dysart moderated the recent Armourdale Renewal political forum. She has been active in the Armourdale Renewal Association and Optimist Club for many years.