Archived Story

We all have a choice Tuesday

Published 9:51am Saturday, October 6, 2012

Right now there are a lot of questions about Tuesday’s runoff election in Alexander City.

But there are even more certainties.

There’s no doubt that half the people running for office will win, the other half will lose.

There’s no doubt that all the people running for office have taken a chance by investing much time and money in their campaigns, putting their name and their ideas before the public with the hope of winning.

And there’s no doubt that all the people running for office are good citizens of our city who deserve our respect and our admiration for their efforts to help our community, regardless if they win or lose.

The Democratic process is a difficult process. It is often characterized as a battle – a fight – between opposing sides. That’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.

It’s human nature to pick sides, to claim that your side is the best and to downplay the opposition.

If you don’t believe it, just look at the last world war – Germans and Japanese were both demonized in the U.S.A. It doesn’t take a real battle to create the same feelings. If you don’t believe me, just listen to the two opposing sides before next month’s the Iron Bowl.

So it’s human nature to think your side is better and the other side is worse.

The problem is that the truth is much more complex.

Today Japan is an important U.S. trade partner. Germany is too, and it’s leading the way to European economic stability and helping to shore up the American economy.

It’s no different in a local election, there are rarely any black and white issues, most are shades of gray.

We choose sides, talk smack about the opposition and say our candidate is best.

Is that the truth?

I have great respect for those who run for office.

My job here at The Outlook puts me in a position where it is my responsibility to take sides, to share insights gained from having much more interaction with candidates than the average voter.

Take the upcoming mayor’s run-off election. I think Alexander City is in good shape no matter who wins.

Charles Shaw is a good man. Mark Lamborne is a good man. I have no doubt that both have our city’s best interests at heart. I know that both would work hard if elected and would represent our city well.

But after working with both through this campaign, I believe Mark Lamborne is the better choice for mayor. After weighing what both have said about campaign issues, the experience both men have had working with the city and local organizations, their business experience and the choices each has made in this campaign, it looks to me that Mark has a better chance for a successful term as mayor.

The truth is that Charles may be better at some parts of the job, Mark at others. It’s not a clear-cut choice.

But it is a choice we all have to make before we go to the polls on Tuesday.

And there’s another choice we all should make, although it’s not our nature.

We should vow to support whoever wins, and whoever loses. Both these men – and everyone else who is running for office – deserve our respect and our gratitude for volunteering to change their lives, put their names in the hat and offer to work to improve our city.

It takes maturity and a big mind to do, but it’s the American way.

And it’s the best way.

Boone is publisher of The Outlook.

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