Get in the game

Published 5:26 am Sunday, February 10, 2008

By Staff
For people who talk a good game when it comes to how government should work, the time period from Monday through Feb. 29 gives them opportunities to do more than talk a good game. It gives them opportunities to do something about improving government, whether it be in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital, or the Original Washington, the seat of Beaufort County.
The filing period for candidates in elections throughout North Carolina begins at noon Monday and concludes at noon Feb. 29.
Don’t like the way county commissioners are running county government? Sitting at home, watching them on television and complaining about what they do or don’t do won’t change things. Running for office and getting elected will allow someone to at least try to make a difference. Running for office and not getting elected? Well, at least those who run and fail to win seats have their voices heard, their ideas discussed and their input considered.
Unhappy with how the school board operates the school system? Getting upset after reading in a newspaper about what the board did or did not do does not accomplish much except perhaps statements such as “I could do a better job.” Put some meaning behind such statements. Run for a seat on the school board and do a better job.
And the more people running for office, the better for voters. More candidates should equate to more choices, unless candidates have the same beliefs and philosophies. Having 10 views to choose from when it comes to how to run a county, a school board, a courtroom or a state is much better than having two views. The more options available, the better chance of finding those options that work well either alone or combined with other options.
A person may say he or she doesn’t have the time it requires to serve as a county commissioner, legislator or member of the school board. If things are as bad as some people say they are, is it possible that people cannot afford not to run for office and try to do a better job than those accused of failing voters and taxpayers?
If someone believes a problem exists, shouldn’t that person try to solve that problem, either alone or with the help of others? Identifying a problem and doing nothing to solve may result in that problem getting worse.
Fixing things sometimes means getting dirty — literally, figuratively or both. Fixing a break in a water main under a road means someone is going to get dirty. Not fixing that break in that water main could result in the escaping water undermining the structural stability of the road, followed by its collapse which could destroy lives and property.
The upcoming filing period gives people a chance to step off the sidelines and get into the game. Yes, it’s much safer on the sidelines, but the only thing that happens there is talk. The action takes place on the field. That action on the field brings rewards to those who are in the game.
If it’s time for a change in government — from the local level to the White House — then don’t complain. Go to a board of elections office and file for office. Get in the game. Help draw up those winning plays. Help move the team toward the goal line.
Being in the game is more meaningful and rewarding than being a Monday-morning quarterback.