Silence is its own voice in politics
Published 6:20 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023
By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route
Yesterday was a milestone for me, three political events in one day. After attending the separate events one thing is apparent. Apathy. Primaries have been known in the past to have poor participation and from what it looks like to me, this primary will be a run of the mill poorly attended affair. I hope to be wrong.
The candidates are out there. They are door-knocking, stump speaking, attending everything from church to little league baseball games. Effort on their part is not the problem, empty seats are. I attended the Tula Baptist Church Community Center where candidates came to give their pitch for votes. 35 people from what I counted showed up, including the candidates.
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After months of campaigning Mike Roberts said they ought to give each other’s stump speech just to mix things up a bit. Mike indicated that from what he last saw only 200 absentee ballots have been received so far. This is an unscientific predictor of low turnout in the August Primaries.
At Tula I got to visit with several old classmates and friends. Lorraine Klepzig Kitchens came up to me and asked me if I knew who she was. I did not. After resetting my memory, I saw the same friendly smile and bright eyes from high school. Several others tested my recall while I was there and the exercise was welcoming and much appreciated.
The next was the Republican Executive Committee meeting where a few Republican candidates gave their pitch. Again, the problem of how to increase turn out at the polls was a topic of discussion.
Moving on to the Gordon Center was an event hosted by the League of Women Voters. The format was town hall and the District 3 Supervisor Candidates (in attendance were Tim Gordon, Josh Thweatt, David Rikard, and Larandust Coleman) answered questions from the floor.
A sample of the questions asked were – transparency, board-meeting times, communication with constituents, agendas, Oxford art over agriculture use of the multipurpose complex, low-income housing, managing county growth and other topics. The candidates all seemed to be knowledgeable and for the most part have their own outlook and ideas on how to solve problems.
The Gordon Center was moderately well attended but there were far too many empty chairs still. Constituents should look for opportunities to meet with the candidates, ask questions, and engage in the political process.
You do not have to run for office to be political; you just have to live with the decisions of those you elect. Silence is its own voice in politics.