Opinion: 2014 elections, a hard-fought year
Free Press Opinion Columnist
A huge sigh of relief is heard throughout the land.
Let’s give a moment of pause to think of all the candidates who ran and those hard-working supporters who stood by their chosen candidates.
Within the last year there were those who uttered the words “I would consider running for (insert elected office position here).” Anyone within earshot would jump on this pronouncement with all the reasons that person should seek elected office, saying “Sure, I will be there for you.” To have that kind support throughout a campaign is about as rare as Charlie Brown actually kicking the football, however. Pretty soon, “supporters” avoid eye contact. They’re just too busy, you know.
These brave souls that seek office are very fortunate to have only one or two people that stick by them throughout the campaign: This may be a spouse, sibling, mom and dad.
Candidates sacrifice their time, money, and ego as they figure out the best strategy and what questions may be asked at the next forum or debate. As one candidate mentioned, “I studied all the issues relevant to the position I am seeking, but I was never once asked a question relevant to that position.”
Questions race through their minds: Can I answer correctly? Should I use notes or speak extemporaneously? (If I do this, will I remember my name?) Should I sit down or stand for each response?
Two of the best questions I heard in a debate format were: What is the question you wish you had been asked?; and what is the question you wish you could ask your opponent? Both of these questions stirred a bit of debate and excitement.
In local races, there is just no way to know how the vote is going. Funds are not available for polling. We can go by number of signs placed and amount of money raised, which are both guesses. There is secret stuff about how many doors each candidate knocked on, but we are not privy to that information.
As we close out 2014, each party is no doubt celebrating victories and sorry for losses.
My thoughts go to a tough, hard-fought year for many — win or lose. It is a most unnatural experience to fight through a campaign, doing the best you can at every turn. Those who lose are stunned at how hard they worked and what they gave up to go down in defeat. Their supporters are saddened for themselves as well as the candidate they supported. The winners are exuberant at the end of a hard battle.
Now the reality sinks in of the hard work ahead — a new position and a big learning curve ahead, the excitement of a new experience and new associates.
It makes me sad to hear people say they are just not into politics and politicians. Politics guides our country, and our way of life is at stake. So-called “politicians” are our friends and neighbors, using their best experiences and judgments to represent what they each believe.
Please don’t give up on our country; don’t give up on elections and what makes us tick in the United States of America. Support our candidates, then support our elected officials after the election. Every time you see them give them a big thanks for stepping up.
Free Press columnist Lois Dunn is a real estate broker, life-long Republican and chairman of the Mesa County Republican Party. She has a background in ranching, and she’s concerned now for the future of our children and our country.
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