Be counted

More registered voters stayed home than went to the polls this last election. That voter apathy is caused by broken pledges by candidates and the feeling that one vote doesn’t matter.

People don’t take the time to study the candidates or the issues, and they cast their votes based on name recognition alone. Too often, candidates spend a lot of money on a campaign based on telling people what they want to hear in order to win the election.

What does this have to do with you? Everything. Each of us needs to stand up and be counted. We have the ability to make a difference. We need to demand more from our politicians than a good marketing strategy that tells us what we want to hear.

Several years ago, I wrote a column about potentially starting our own Political Action Committee. After giving this strong consideration, we decided not to. The purpose would have been to help our readers make informed decisions and promote a pro-business agenda. A PAC would have provided more financial flexibility and more political clout than individual campaign donations.

A PAC can be a great tool if you are on the right side of an issue backed by an influential politician. However, if you are not on the same side, it is very difficult to be heard, even with the help of the PAC.

How does your vote count when there are PACs that appear to have a lot more influence than your single vote? The answer is that every vote counts.

It doesn’t take the formation of a PAC to accomplish our goals. We all need to take responsibility for ourselves to be good citizens. The collective votes of the business community have the same effect as a PAC.

There will come a time when money and a good marketing plan will not do the job. We need to find a way to get more people involved in politics, particularly in leadership positions.

The business community has a much greater responsibility than our own personal agendas. We must stand up and encourage the people in our circles to help make a difference and look out for the majority, or business will suffer.

Take action to improve the political landscape in this country. Get involved and use your vote wisely, because one vote — your vote — can make a difference.