While distasteful to many this process is still the best political system in the world for a free people to choose their political leaders.
But why is it the best system some will ask? Because, I believe, we have a document — the Constitution of the United States — that provides the legal format on how “We the People” choose our leaders.
For me, as it was for the founding fathers, it is a divine document, a document inspired of God.
And I do not make this declaration lightly. I believe it with my entire being. My first presidential election was in 1952 and I have yet to miss voting in a presidential election.
The Cherokee Tribune publishes a variety of op/ed columns along with many letters to the editor.
In recent weeks the opinions and letters have been directed mostly at two issues: 1. the presidential race and 2. the school charter amendment.
The writers have touted both sides of these issues and have been, at least for me, a testament of the strength of these United States in showing both the power of a free press (1st Amendment) and of the power of “We the People” when we get involved in our government.
But one op/ed and one letter really caught my attention. The op/ed column, by Roger Hines, helped me finalize my vote on the charter issue.
As a former teacher, school administrator and state legislator his column presented well thought out arguments.
The poignant letter was written by Alicia Smerk, apparently a young mother, who decried the bitterness and hatred on both sides of the school charter issue that she was seeing and experiencing from friends and neighbors.
To Roger Hines I say thank you for the wisdom you conveyed in your column based on your many years as both an educator, school administrator and as a member of the Georgia state legislature where you were involved in making those state and local laws we live by are formulated. Hines’ column also caused me to see the need for charter schools in areas not as fortunate as we here in Cherokee or Cobb County.
Cherokee County is blessed with excellent schools but I know families where such schools are not available and swear by charter schools because their children, who left poor public schools where they were failing, flourished in the charter school environment.
Hines also reminded me that many of the lower income families, mostly in the inner city school districts and in South Georgia are crying for charter schools, believe they are the only way their children will ever be able to have a chance of getting out of their poverty ridden communities.
Another thing Hines opened my eyes to is how the Internet has impacted the educational system and how this impact is now changing education opportunities for the better.
And to Ms. Smerk I also say thank you — thank you for the courage you exhibited in writing this poignant letter about what you have and are seeing and feeling from the strong political divides that develop over a contentious issue.
I would also welcome you to the real world of self-government by “We the People.”
This charter amendment may be the first divisive issue you have been involved in but if you live to my age it certainly will not be the last issue that will upset you — or cause you concern.
History, Alicia, is nothing more than a review of the divisive conflicts that mankind has been going through during their probationary period mankind calls mortality.
Now it’s up to “We the people” to educate ourselves on the issues and then make our voice heard regarding the best candidate to lead America for the next four years and to vote yes or no on the charter school amendment.
And as I enter the voting booth I will utter a silent prayer of gratitude to God for His guidance given to America’s founding fathers in 1787 that allows me to cast my vote to preserve America’s divine Constitution.
Donald Conkey is a retired agricultural economist in Woodstock.