EDITORIAL: Local officials seek to do good job; they deserve our respect

Sunday, April 24, 2016

We are in the throes of the campaigning season. We had two annual polirtical party dinners in the past week or so.

The Clay County Democrats and Republicans were both told the wonderful things their parties have done in state politics in the past couple decades, though each party would probably disagree with the other.

This weekend Ted Cruz, a Republican contender for the GOP presidential nomination, was in Terre Haute and he made two other stops in Indiana.

Bernie Sanders' TV ads have been noticeable.

As we stare down the barrel of the first Indiana presidential primary that has drawn nationwide attention in who-remembers-how-many years, it's important we don't share the jaded view of the national media and that we give our local candidates the respect they deserve.

This newspaper has covered local elections for 128 years. During that time we have had fine candidates running for local office.

They have seldom drawn attention from the national news like the Presidential candidates. Instead, they have performed their duties day in and day out, quietly, not expecting much attention and when things went well, few people remembered who they were.

Elected officials are often treated like the parents of the little boy who didn't talk.

They took him to doctors who examined him and found nothing wrong.

Finally, one morning at breakfast he screamed, "I don't like oatmeal!"

His parents were thrilled. After years of worry, their little boy was starting to talk in complete sentences!

"But, why haven't you spoken before now?" his mother asked him.

"Up until now, everything has been fine," the little boy said.

Political office holders are often treated like that. They are ignored until there's a problem.

I know by May 3 we will be tired of all the campaign ads and all the bickering among Donald, Ted, Hillary, Bernie, and that other guy from Ohio, if he's still in the race.

But let us not disrespect our local candidates, some of whom will become the elected officials who keep the courthouse and the city halls running smoothly.