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MATTER OF OPINION: Turn off the noise

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By Robin Bass

The Opinion page is a little light on letters this week. Not that The Spencer Magnet didn’t receive any. In fact, we have been emailed many endorsement letters for the dozen or so candidates who will appear on next Tuesday’s ballot. But you won’t see them in today’s paper.

In a tradition established by one of our past editors, The Spencer Magnet has a policy to leave all the “VOTE for ME” letters off this page on the Wednesday before Election Day and just give readers a break from all the political noise.

That’s what we all need right now – a little less yammering. No distracting chit-chat about candidate clothing or birth certificates. Just time spent contemplating the real issues, like taxes, national security and spinning this economy around.

Hopefully during these final days before Americans step into the voting booth, each of us will take the time to really think about the people we plan to vote for. Really consider what values our country will represent when Tuesday’s victors take office. Will we be proud of the people we have selected, or will they simply represent the opposite of what we hated?

My hope is that instead of putting into office someone who represents the antithese of the current administration, that voters chose candidates that will truly be good for our country, our state and our towns. People that have a passion for public service, not fueling their inflated egos. People that are promoting time-tested strategies that work. People that have leadership experience and the courage to stand up for what’s right regardless of which way the wind is blowing public opinion.

In one of this week’s stories, Spencer County Clerk Judy Puckett said she expects this year’s general election to draw nearly 6,000 Spencer County voters to the polling places. As great as that number sounds, it only represents about one half of those in the county that have a right to vote.

I don’t think I’m alone when I say, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would pass up the chance to have their voice heard. I would imagine there is a certain element of the population that just doesn’t care, or that forgets some step in the election process, making themselves ineligible.

I also believe there are many voters who feel like they just are not knowledgeable enough about issues to make an informed decision.

But I’m starting to believe that all those millions of people across the nation that choose not to vote, do so because they think the election has already been decided. That is, after all, what the polls claim in the media.

Rasmuseen Reports: Obama 51 percent. McCain 46.

Zogby International: Obama 49.9 percent. McCain 45.1.

Just keep in mind that these election surveys are concluded with polling 1,000 people to get margin of error of +/- 3 percent. I’ll admit I earned a C in statistics, but can a thousand people really represent an accurate picture of what millions will do – or is it self-fullfilling prophecy?

Noise.

That’s all it is. Turn it off. Give your brain a rest and then take time decide to what you think is sincerely right for this country before casting that ballot.