MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

April 21, 2014

Voters need choices

A representative form of government is the cornerstone of freedom. The ability to determine our leaders is what separates our great nation from those countries where citizens’ rights are oppressed.

It’s a little disturbing when incumbents run unopposed.

That’s not a knock against the incumbents. Sometimes incumbents are the best people for the job.

Several incumbents will not face challenges in this year’s primaries, nor in the general election.

That’s not the way the system was designed to work.

The process by which we elect our public leaders was designed to give the average citizen the same voice as any one else in the country.

One person. One vote.

The system has stood the test of time because it is the best system ever devised.

Candidates running unopposed denies voters the opportunity to hear opposing viewpoints — another critical cornerstone of our great country.

Our system gives voters a chance to hear every side of an issue. The system allows — yea, demands — that citizens make critical decisions based on the opposing viewpoints.

And our system cherishes the value of making those ballot-box decisions.

Public service is not for the faint of heart or weak-willed. It is an immediate invasion of privacy for candidates. It is an immediate guarantee of criticism from the opposing side.

But our system needs people willing to take on the challenges — and reap the satisfaction — of public service.

We are not saying that any incumbent  fortunate enough not to receive a challenger is a bad choice.

We’re saying that’s no choice.

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