While covering the Gassaway Homecoming Saturday morning, at which there were many people who are running for offices up for election on August 5, I overheard one of the candidates talking as they were walking around soliciting votes.
Most of what the candidate was saying was the expected "I'll do this and I'll do that if elected."
That's really the only thing I want to hear from a candidate, because it's the only thing that's important.
Sometimes while sitting at Joe's Place waiting for my food, I'll read the back of the menu, which has a brief history of the county. Not being from here, it helps to pick up on the history.
I've learned that Cannon County has been around about 200 years.
I'm sure during that time, there have been many good officeholders, and some bad.
Perhaps as can be expected, the bad ones are more easily recalled by most longtime residents I talk to. The good ones, as usual, are taken for granted.
You Can't Please Everyone
I can empathize with the dilemma of officeholders and candidates — it is never possible to please everyone you serve, or seek to serve.
And, there is truth to the words of Ricky Nelson's song — you've got to please yourself.
Easier said then done though — for politicians especially.
Try as they might, whatever their good intentions, there will always be someone who disagrees with the way they run their office, view things or handle situations.
Watching this year's local political races is interesting.
Some of the candidates for office are trying hard, some not hard at all, and some maybe too hard.
Some have a political record that people can judge for good or bad. Others have no track record at all and are mostly unknown commodities.
Some seem to be running for the fruits of the job, more than a desire to serve the public.
Some who decided not to run may regret the decision. Some who decided to run may regret that decision as well.
Some maybe shouldn't be running at all. Some may be trying to hang around too long. Some may not be ready for the job.
At this point, I mostly know who I will vote for, and why. I don't care about who anyone else votes for, their reasons, or what they think about the candidates I will select.
I will listen to those candidates who tell me about themselves and what they will do. I will concentrate on the positive, and discount the negative that I don't know for myself to be true.
As both a citizen and journalist I will note that in the end, and in reality, this election — as are all — is about money and power. The two go hand-in-hand.
The decision is who I trust the most with both.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I get a strong sense that both candidates and critics of candidates take the entire election process much too seriously. After all, if mankind is still around then, few people 200 years from now will remember or think about who ran for office in 2010, who won, who lost — or even who wrote this column.