A Letter From the Editor - Aidan for Assembly
To our readers:
We can't have democracy without debate. But when partisanship overwhelms, it becomes difficult for democracy to function. The consequence of today's polarized politics is an unsettling level of social discord, unlike anything our country has seen in years. Competing visions have led to personal hatred and incivility.
When we head to the polls and base our choices on a desire for team victory, it is ultimately the state of the union that loses. George Washington even warned of this in his Farewell Address.
"The alternate domination of one faction over another sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism," Washington said. The significance of his words cannot be overstated.
Voting is both a right and a responsibility. Much focus is given to encouraging us to exercise the right, while little caution is given to whether we are adequately and independently prepared to make responsible choices. Educating ourselves about candidates and issues is a laborious task that should not be reduced to party allegiance.
On April 24 we will head to the polls for a special election to decide who will represent us, the residents of the 102nd District, in the New York State Assembly. Three hopefulls have emerged: Republican Chris Tague, Democrat Aidan O'Connor and Best Choice Party candidate Wesley Laraway.
As a Republican, I am embarrassed, saddened and angry by the way my own party has handled this campaign. You never look good trying to make someone else look bad and misleading attempts to damage another candidate will not win you my vote.
This elections gives us an opportunity to vote for the kind of public leadership that inspires us rather than divides us. It is an opportunity to vote for the kind of public leadership that inspires us rather than divides us. It is an opportunity for representation that gives us the best chance to address the needs of the 102nd District and an opportunity to elect an assemblyman who will actually be able to accomplish the goals they set forth.
The issues facing our district could be hashed out all day long. The reality is this: the New York State Assembly is overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats. That is not going to change anytime soon. According to state records, in 2016 the average Assembly Democrat passed nine bills compared to Republicans' 1.5.
When it come to getting things done, at this time, sending a Republican to the New York State Assembly is like putting a horse in the Daytona 500. That may seem unfair, but it is reality.
Any representative can oppose corruption and call for lower taxes. Any representative can listen to the concerns of constituents with understanding and a sympathetic ear. But if those concerns cannot effectively produce change in Albany, what is the point?
We are not simply filling a seat. We need leadership with a voice that will actually be heard in Albany. Aidan O'Connor can give us that leadership.
He understands the unique needs of our rural Upstate district wit the energy, enthusiasm, ethics and ability to best serve as our next representative.
I encourage you to educate yourself on the candidates, make an informed decision and exercise your responsibility to vote. I encourage you to stop thinking about politics in an "us" verses "them"mindset. And I encourage you to vote for Aidan O'Connor.
On April 24, this Republican will be voting for the Democrat.
The Greenville Pioneer