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Representing out Representatives...

July 30, 2014 - Steve Schulwitz
Tuesday's primary election sets the stage for the final showdown of winning candidates in November's general election, and one thing is apparent from talking or corresponding with many of the candidates. They all want to achieve the same thing, none of them really knows how to accomplish their goals and all blame the opposing party for the problems in Washington, Lansing and Alpena County.

The issues being discussed are the same as in past elections. Most running for office are in support of road and bridge improvements, bolstering education funding and programs and making sure seniors and veterans and everyone else are cared for properly. I agree all of those and many other issues need to be addressed, but the candidates always fail to answer one not-so-simple question: Where is the money going to come from to support the changes the candidates seek or where would cuts be made in order to fund increases where the are proposed? More importantly, can these things be done and not run government budgets (Michigan and Alpena, because there is no hope of a balanced budget in DC) deep into the red? That will be the trick.

It it easy to make promises while campaigning but it all together different to follow through on them when reality hits and our government officials realize there is really little they can do to make a dent in the funding shortages everyone faces. Instead they do what they can to make sure everyone gets a piece of the pie and hope for the best. That is sad, but that is the economic reality of it.

I'm glad I'm not the one who has to decide who get a bigger slice of the pie and I admire and respect anyone who is in office or is running for office. I know how difficult it must be for them. For most politicians it seems their intentions are legitimate, although I'm sure being handcuffed by budget restraints and dealing with public and private outcry for more funding or tax breaks, must make it frustrating.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't think any of the elected officials or candidates get enough credit for their decision to serve, or respect for trying to accomplish the impossible. They are easily bashed for voting a certain way often, despite the fact they do talk, poll and explain their vote to their constituents. If you find that untrue, then you are not paying close enough attention to what they have to say or better yet communicating with them. You would be surprised to hear how forthright most of the politicians are. They can't make everyone happy and someone will always have to go without. It is time for the public to admit and accept that fact and do what you can to stand by and support what they do in office. If you don't like the actions or inaction of a representative, then vote for change. If you look at recent election turnout percentages more people appear to complain on Facebook about politics than vote. I complain, but I vote, ask questions and accept reasonable, honest responses.

You want change? Then help make it happen by at least voting. If you don't vote and still find the urge to complain about your elected officials, keep your lips zipped. They have enough on their plate already.


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