Get involved in politics for your own good

Toby Uecker

Toby Uecker

“I’m tired of politics.”

It’s a statement I’ve heard a lot in recent weeks, even from those around me who are most involved in the races facing South Dakota voters this fall.

The complaint may have some merit. I know I’m tired of seeing letters to the editor describing staffers for one candidate finding more and more juvenile ways to interfere with another candidate’s events or mock the opposition.

I’m tired of television commercials aired at all hours, portraying one candidate as the worst person ever and the other as the one person that can save the people from the evils of their opponent .

So, while many politicians and political analysts tell us that negative campaign antics should just be par for the course, I think that those running for public office should be held to a higher standard.

But the responsibility does not lie only with the candidates. The voters, too, need to hold up their end of the deal. Rather than complaining about the lack of unvarnished facts about candidates and unclear statements of policy positions, we need to actively search out those avenues that do provide what we’re looking for in the election process.

Go out and meet a candidate face to face. Read an article about the candidates’ positions on the issues. Attend a public forum or debate.

Finally, get registered and vote. In my book, and in that of a lot of politicians, you forfeit the right to complain about the state of electoral politics when you don’t take enough effort to fill out a ballot.

Tired of politics? Join the club. Doing something about it? That’s what’ll make the difference.

Toby Uecker is the Collegian’s state and local editor. Contact him at [email protected].