Monday, March 19, 2018

Just Do It

 My local readers might feel they are hearing an echo from the Jeffries household this week but the importance of voting is a bit of a passion for both of us.  Back in California, we generally felt very hopeless about the outcome of a race or proposition. Because of the extreme and well-monied liberal stance of California, its high population, and the mal-distribution of representatives at a state level, we pretty much knew which way any particular voting wind would blow.  In a single generation, we saw many social issues become positively draconian in their impact on rural California and on traditional values.

I've lived long enough to see respect for individual rights and hope for positive change for all to actually find a balance ----- for a moment, at least.  Then the loud, insistent yell of special interests eroded that moment and in a matter of just a few voting cycles, pretty much anything goes now in that late great state.

Here, Caruthersville can be seen as a microcosm of California.  We have loses to our economy, high unemployment, high poverty rates, blacks, whites, and Hispanics, churches galore, and public social services.  I have noticed that people do build bridges between the various groups and churches to effectively serve the community where local government cannot but we need more than that. We need job skills and training. We need industry and retail merchants. We need to imagine a more beautiful Caruthersville, take advantage of our ideally suited location for arts, music, and a boardwalk of shops that draw in out of town visitors.

I know I've been here less than a year and many of you might tsk-tsk me, conceding to past disappointments.  But the things I listed above are what gives hope to a community, and even better, unify a community.  Personally, I think the economic downward spiral is as bad, if not worse, than the tornado of '06. Yes, that tornado caused instant and devastating damage to families (some of who I know now) and business and the greater community, but, the long, sustained, quiet, insidious downward pull of the local economy is a community killer.  Willing and creative minds need to go out in the world and push for what we need, what our entire community needs.

So, ask yourself,  how do you view the past recent years? How have you been affected personally; what about your neighbors? How often have you felt the sting of neglect because maybe you didn't live in the "right" neighborhood? Based on what I've seen and heard since moving here, I think even some of our own city leaders can testify to that question and what that sting may feel like.

When I lived in California I was accused of having an island mentality.  It took a lot to get me out of Turlock.  I had everything I needed there and more.  Coming here, I learned right away I had to throw off that kind of thinking but, you know, it's just not that easy and I'm darn near paralyzed when it comes to driving beyond Hayti.  Me. Driving. Alone. I think when Wal-Mart closed many of you, especially the elderly and impoverished, felt stranded, too.  Well, you WERE and more than a year has passed since its closing and nothing has happened - absolutely zero.  In fact, Absolute Zero's definition should be extended to include a before and after of C'ville, with the closing of Wal-Mart.

So, come April 3rd, VOTE.  Vote for yourself, vote for your neighbors. Vote for your community.  Take the long view. We can build something and all we need is effective leadership from the top down.  We need unity, communication, and most of all, we need WILL.  If you think there is even the remotest possibility of not voting on April 3rd, vote absentee. Go to the courthouse.  The last day you can vote absentee is Monday, April 2nd. Don't think your preferred candidate will win without your vote.  That is how candidates lose elections. The voting population here is small. Your vote can't get lost in a sea of numbers here. 

So, to borrow a Nike ad line:
"Just Do It!"

9 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! You are completely right, "take the long view." There is so much that can be fun & inviting in C'ville. It really is a sweet town and I can see why Dad wanted to moved back here. Personally, if I lived there, I would open up a business there. Creating an environment friendly for all to enjoy. I sure hope this current elevation brings a positive change for economic growth.

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    1. Hugs and kisses my sweet girl. You are the best.

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  2. Voting is even MORE important in a small town!!

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  3. A thoughtful post, Annie. Voting is critical right now in more ways than ever. As for me, life has been fine. Except for the roads. The roads are the worst and our infrastructure pretty bad. The rest, it'll do, at least on a local level. (We finally got a decent mayor with good ideas who isn't an idiot.) I'm much more worried about corruption, obstruction and tampering on a national and international basis than I am on anything local. I see systems dismantled that are for the public good and it worries me. So yes, I'm voting, signing petitions, doing my bit. You can't complain if you don't vote. (Though people do...)

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    1. So true! Voting is vital. The community here is suffering badly. We desperately need a mayor that will care, have a creative thought process, and a can do attitude. I'm appalled by what is currently in office. Corrupt. A liar. Takes credit for things he did not do. Has been sued personally twice for on the job offences, and the list goes on. People complain about him but a lot of those same people didn't vote last time and their complacency backfired on them. Hence the article. I had the pulse of the current mayor after the first council meeting we attended. Chilling. Thanks for commenting, Jeanne.

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  4. Thanks, Annie, for your visit...I am a FIRM believer in voting !!! I mean, hey...it's our duty.

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  5. You summed it up very well for not just local levels but also across the nation.

    "I've lived long enough to see respect for individual rights and hope for positive change for all to actually find a balance ----- for a moment, at least. Then the loud, insistent yell of special interests eroded that moment and in a matter of just a few voting cycles, pretty much anything goes now in that late great state."

    Although I'm a 70s baby, the Civil Rights movement was still fresh, still positive, and there were still struggles. We grew as a nation. We worked towards positive change and attempted to find cohesion when we could. Then special interest groups sprung up for just about every cause imaginable.

    Now? I'm fed up with most special interest groups. I'm egalitarian. I went that route when "special interest" started to become synonymous with "lunatic".

    In my opinion, too many special interest groups (at least the ones lead and populated by ignorant people) spend an inordinate amount of time promoting special rights at the expense of everyone else, meaning they don't really care if they're taking away rights, freedom, liberty, or tax-funded resources away from someone outside their group.

    That aside, it doesn't matter how we identify as voters. It would be best to use our minds rather than just vote the party line. Investigate a candidate's voting history, if one exists. Consider their actions up to that point. We should asks ourselves if they're telling us want we want to hear, or if they're telling us what they honestly feel. Most of all, we should examine their motives. Are they nothing but a party line puppet? If so, they aren't looking to represent the people. They'll disregard the people's cries in order to placate whatever party they adhere to. If they've done heinous things in office - like your Mayor has done - but their supporters agree with their platform, those supporters need to ask themselves if they want that platform represented by someone with such poor character.

    We do need more good people to run for office. It takes guts to be bipartisan on some issues, and noble character to disagree with an opponent while also acknowledging the valid points to his or her side of the argument.

    /ramble. Just my two cents. Technically, I stopped by to offer some Happy Easter greetings. :P It's okay if people disagree with me.

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  6. I love it when a comment is almost as long as my post. 😁

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