While professionally, at the newspaper, we’ve decided to go easy on the 2014 election coverage until after rodeo so we don’t lose everyone’s interest, personally I’ve been glued to anything political I can read.
As I’ve said many times before, I’m a huge nerd.
I love politics almost as much as I love journalism. My greater love for the latter is why I’m in the career I’m in. Had politics outweighed journalism, my life would look very different.
I believe both professions to be ones of service, though that is sometimes harder to see in politics. Both professions are meant to promote the general good and I believe both should work to keep the citizenry informed. Both professions, at times, disappoint in these regards.
But, political season is in full swing throughout the country. Even here in Sheridan election signs are popping up in lawns around town and governmental meetings have gotten longer (some politicians sure do like to hear themselves talk).
The political fervor took a turn this spring when Virginia voters ousted the GOP’s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in favor of a tea party reformer, Dave Brat.
Even a novice political nerd like myself knows this was a big deal.
People are fed up with government. You see it all over social media. Folks discuss all of the wrong government has done and little of the right. I suppose that is natural, after all, times are hard.
While most of the attacks are on the national level, there are local and state rumblings too.
Wyoming isn’t immune to a dissatisfied citizenry and could be the home to a tea party movement similar to that in Virginia — at least it wouldn’t surprise me.
But I’m interested to see if this dissatisfaction with government is a majority, or a vocal but small minority.
Sure, polling has shown that only 19 percent of people trust the government in Washington “just about always/most of the time,” according to Pew Research Center data from October 2013. But will that compell people to actually go vote?
Sadly, my guess is no. In the 2012 general election, just 14,411 votes were cast in Sheridan County. That same year, the Sheridan County population over the age of 18 was more than 20,000.
One of the greatest things about our government, as said many times by many in politics, is that every couple of years we get to overthrow the government.
It doesn’t happen in violent revolts in the streets, but in the voting booth. If you want change, vote for change.