Kenai Peninsula residents can show their love of country in a concrete way today: They can go to the polls and make a difference in the local elections.
Lots of important issues face borough residents -- a proposed private prison, reapportionment, the Borough Building expansion and the Soldotna Sports Center -- plus the filling of city council, borough assembly and school board seats.
Over the past weeks, there's been lots of discussion about those issues. Citizens have had time to listen to and distill all the arguments; now, it's time to go to the polls and have your opinion count for something. All the talk about the issues and candidates doesn't amount to much if it doesn't translate into taking a stand at the polls.
This is definitely not a day to sit on the fence.
What's most critical about today is not how you cast your vote, but that you vote. After all, what's the point in having a voice in government if you don't use it?
Most of us give lip service to the United States having the best system of government in the world. When it comes to participating in that system, however, it seems almost everything else ranks as more important.
It will be interesting to see if borough residents take their privilege and responsibility to vote more seriously since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. If nothing else, we hope one of the legacies of that day will be that Americans resolve to participate in government and not let other people make their decisions for them.
Vote for the candidates you think will best represent you. Vote your conscience on the issues. Just be sure that you vote. It may be the most patriotic thing you can do.
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