One mo’ time… Back to the polls

Who doesn’t like to complain about politics? It doesn’t matter which political party is in power or what issue is on a ballot there is always an opinion regarding every aspect of public life. That is one of the great things about living in the United States – we are free to voice dissatisfaction.

One of the sad things about politics in America is how so few people participate in the process, or think it does not matter.

On Friday, Gov. Bobby Jindal took advantage of an executive order to slash $107 million in state spending. On the surface some might think it doesn’t matter. But look at it from the perspective of those who depend on state services or state paychecks – ultimately all of us.

Among the impacted areas for cuts will be public health clinics, the closing of state-run homes for the developmentally disabled, and further limitations being placed on Medicaid patients.

Higher education alone represents a third of the cuts. Jindal’s response, according to the Associated Press was for colleges to simply “do more with less.”

Budget cuts on federal, state and local levels are not typically done without the electorate being involved at some point, whether that be voting on a specific issue or supporting a candidate that best represents a local constituency.

Whose fault is it that taxpayer-backed funds are not available, that jobs are hard to find and that paying for healthcare is still out of control?

Before you start naming names of presidents, governors, senators, congressmen or parish leaders, keep in mind that did or did not put them there to make the policy decisions we all have to live with.

During years of a presidential election the number of registered voters that turn out at the polls average about 50 percent. During mid-term elections those levels typically drop to levels around 20 percent.

Some might argue that it is not the fault of those that participate – it is those who chose not to exercise their right to vote that pull the rest of us down.

There is no guarantee how outcomes of any ballot count might change if the full number of registered voters participated. But one thing is for sure – those that participated earned the right to complain if things do not turn out the way they want. Those that do not participate forfeit that privileged.

Want to complain about politics? Join us at the polls on Nov. 2.