It's not an opener, but Nov. 6 important for sportsmen

Steve PollickSportmen and sportswomen in Ohio and elsewhere have an important upcoming date to remember, and it is not an opener to a hunting or fishing season.

It is election day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

As a body, we outdoors types have clout. As a body that typically characterizes itself as patriotic and true-to-the-bone Americans, we also have a solemn duty to vote.

It is not my place or intent to persuade you to one or another candidate or issue, whether it be in your home county or in Washington, D.C. – or Columbus in between. But I would be remiss to ignore the importance of exercising your right and privilege to select our government representatives and decide public issues.

What, for instance, do the candidates pose about conserving wild places – the very places where we hunt and fish? What would they do about conserving land, especially the lands we own collectively as the public? Energy? Keeping the air and water clean and livable for people, plants, and animals, and fish? These are just some of our issues as outdoors folks. The various candidates have posted stances on these issues; it is up to you, part of your duty, to know.

If you haven’t been attending to the issues or candidates at hand, local or national, there still is time to read or listen. But I would urge you to look past the manipulations and distortions of the big-money sound-bytes that have choked and gagged the airwaves for endless months. They are garbage, no matter who packages them. Above all think for yourselves; don’t let some special interest think for you. We outdoors types like to think of ourselves as rugged individualists; let’s act on that self-image.

A couple of other points:

Do not for a heartbeat think that your vote does not matter – this as an excuse to be lazy and avoid going to the polls Nov. 6. An individual brick does not seem like much in and of itself, but countless skyscrapers tower over our cities, one brick at a time.

And for pete’s sake, don’t say you are too busy to vote. We elect a president, for example, once every four years. We know right now that the 2016 election will be the first Tuesday in November four years hence, just as we have known all along since November, 2008,  that we will elect a president, or re-elect a president, on Nov. 6 this year. If you cannot set aside a few minutes for something as sacred as exercising a privilege that thousands of our predecessors have struggled and died to establish and preserve, then shame. Big shame.

Too, if you do not vote, or do not vote with an informed mind, you have no excuse to whine about the resulting political outcomes. Joseph de Maistre, a French lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher, way back in 1811 uttered a truism that we ignore at our peril: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” Remember that and vote wisely and informed on Nov. 6.

Categories: Ohio – Steve Pollick

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