Thomas Howard: Take time to vote the issues this November


It’s becoming increasingly difficult to channel my frustration at our state government into words for this column each week. The frustration and anger are still there, but it’s hard focusing on it enough to make a coherent argument. It’s more than hard; it’s exhausting.

Throughout my teenage years and well into my 20s, I used political and social frustration as a motivator, a crutch to drive me. I studied hard, wrote thousands of words in hundreds of articles and advanced in my field, yet with each passing year I noticed the anger driving me was also slowing me down. Like a drug that requires stronger doses to achieve the same high, I needed more and more frustration, more outrage to produce the same results.

That’s not healthy. It’s not healthy for me, and it’s not healthy for you, the readers, to be subjected to an ever-increasing torrent of vitriol.

Am I upset that our elected representatives constantly choose to enact hyper-partisan copy-and-paste legislation that costs citizens millions in lawsuits? Yes.

Am I angry that in 2019 our political class still hasn’t deigned fit to extend basic human rights to the LGBTQ community? Yes.

Do I see red every time I hear a politician tout their pro-life record, ignoring the fact that no substantial efforts have been made to curb the infant mortality rate, which is among the highest in the nation, expand contraceptive use, prenatal care and provide medically-accurate, scientific-based sex education – measures that not only reduce the demand for abortion but also prevent the spread of STDs? Absolutely!

Sometimes it seems like the folks in Jackson are willing to try anything except logical solutions, and for the life of me I can’t understand why. Why would you not expand Medicare to cover 300,000 constituents regardless of what it’s called?

Maybe I do have a few screws loose, but it’s clear following this year’s political shenanigans hasn’t helped. So instead, for my sanity, and for yours, I am going to take a break from writing about our state legislature, and instead focus on some of the good things our state has to offer.

Come November 5, I plan to exercise my right to vote and cast my ballot for the candidates I think have the greatest likelihood of helping Mississippi. Whether you share my views or not, I hope you will join me in voting for the future of our state.

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