2015-10-09 / Letters

Apathy need not be contagious

To the editor:

Apathy, n. Without Feeling, 1: lack of feeling or emotion. 2: Lack of interest or concern: indifference.

I have watched the elections in South Portland for the past few years. Voter turnout could be defined as low, except in presidential election years. My father always told me “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to gripe.”

Elections and the results thereof are in direct correlation to the mood of the electorate. If people are interested enough or encouraged enough they can and will swing a vote any way they see fit. We have seen that happen more than once here in South Portland. Enthusiastic workers for one side or the other can energize the voters with information that isn’t always completely factual and at times apply to people’s feelings rather than logic.

We, as voters, should always listen to both sides before entering the voting booth. This should apply to any issues be it the environment, school board and budget and most importantly, city council members. Go to city council and school board meetings to listen and then exercise your right to speak your mind.

I remember in school at an early age we were all encouraged to ask questions. Most of us were too shy and afraid to speak up because we might be laughed at for asking a stupid question. I can tell you now there is no such thing as a stupid question. Your courage will most likely spark someone else to ask a question. That is called freedom of speech. Exercise your right.

Remember when, as children, we were encouraged to “stop, look and listen?” Stop – being hoodwinked by slick talking pollsters; look – up the information on the subject being voted on; and finally, listen – to your heart and conscience. An informed voter is the strongest weapon in a representative republic.

Michael R. Pock South Portland

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