Sunday, December 10, 2023

Editorial: The end is near, thank goodness

| November 5, 2023 1:00 AM

The way people must campaign these days, it’s no wonder that there’s a collective sigh of relief the day after an election, from losers and winners alike.

Doors need to be knocked on. Hands need to be shook. Events need to be attended. Thoughts need to be imparted.

Over and over and over again.

Oh, yes: In most cases, money also has to be raised and spent. Sometimes, lots of it.

And for what?

Every elected position holds power, even those that pay nothing. School boards, for instance, have a tremendous impact on your children and grandchildren, not just for them and their families but for the future of the community, the region and even the state. In our view, no elected position is more important than school board trustee.

In these nonpartisan elections, nobody’s in it for the money. While city council and mayoral slots offer some remuneration, good council members and mayors make well below minimum wage when their actual hours of work are calculated.

And “winners” are sometimes hard to distinguish from “losers” because of the grief that’s heaped upon the former by dissatisfied constituents. In extreme cases, elected officials far down the ladder from members of Congress on 1/6/21 fear for their physical safety. That should never, ever be the case in America, and it’s a rebuke to all of us that it is.

Tuesday’s election will have tremendous consequences, for better and for worse. Time will show where you’ve chosen wisely and where you have not. If there’s too much of the latter, let’s hope that the elected officials who prove unfit to govern are limited in how much damage they can inflict before healthy change reverses the downward spiral.

Despite misinformation, disinformation, backroom power plays, dirty politics and sideline shenanigans all aimed at tilting the election certain directions, here’s something to consider:

Every candidate on your ballot believes she or he will render the public service that’s needed to make our community better.

In cases where that proves to be dangerously distant from reality, painful elected terms are assured but all is not lost. The best thing about a bad election is that it can always be followed by a good one.

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