There’s more to life than political races

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2002

Elections have a mysterious way of making villains of us all. If our candidate loses an election, we feel cheated and are left wanting something to change. If we win, we become pompous and anxious to see if we made the right choice.

Here’s a good way of looking at it: Take any sport in the world and compare it to politics. With the exception of soccer, where fans often are killed during post-game riots, there is no other game in the world that churns emotion like the game of politics.

The people of Selma and Dallas County need to take a breath. We need to realize that nowhere in all of this state, and maybe in the nation, do politics mean more to a community than right here. We need to understand that in newspaper and TV reports all over the state, “Black Belt” politics were mentioned in every story. We need to realize that for better or worse, we are a central location for the political world.

Now, with all of that said, we also need to realize that this Black Belt has more concerns than just an election. We should know that our children need raising, our employers need good employees, and our empty buildings need employers. We should know that life goes on after an election. Because it does.

It will be a long time before the people of Dallas County understand that elections are simply a part of life. Meanwhile, we think the citizens in this community should turn the passion of an election into a passion for making this community better.

If we can soar past statewide election turnout like we always do in Dallas County, then why can’t those same people get out and make a difference in the community themselves?

Why can’t we clean the sidewalk, or help mentor a child, or volunteer for a charity, or teach a Sunday school class, or cut someone else’s lawn? Why can’t we do the simple things so desperately needed in this community, while at the same time showing more energy toward politics than any county in this state?

The irony of it all is that politicians are elected to make a difference in our community. We elect people to bring jobs to town.

If you think about it, we could do a lot to help ourselves — and that doesn’t mean just showing up at the polls.

Elections are important, especially here. They aren’t, however, the end of the world or the beginning of a new one.