Learn about your leaders before you vote

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, March 18, 2004

By Staff
Chuck Bodiford Publisher
I've been thinking a lot lately about leadership. If you are not aware that the voting season is in, you soon will be. Elections are fast approaching and those offices that are eligible, have candidates that hope to solicit your vote. With a majority vote these candidates will be sworn into office and will hopefully make sound judgments that will affect our town, county, and state in a positive way.
Take just a moment today and think of someone you consider a good leader, whether past or present. Names such as George Washington, our founding father, Alexander the Great, conqueror of the then known world, Christopher Columbus who discovered the Americas, Paul "Bear" Bryant who is probably considered as the University of Alabama's greatest coach, and Calvin McGhee who helped to bring the Creeks to national attention are a few that come to mind.
Even though these people had very different views on life and their areas of influence were different, they each shared a common bond of leadership. No matter if it was Alexander leading a powerful army to conquer a rival land or "Bear" Bryant leading a team to victory throwing a pigskin around, these leaders were determined that whatever they did, they would do the best they could.
I wonder if the leaders of today will be looked upon in the same light as great leaders of the past? History has remembered these leaders mentioned above for the fights they have both won and lost. As people who are placing our trust in those who lead and their vision for our future, we must make every effort to choose the best leader available.
Unfortunately, as many have known that as elections get under way the mud seems to start flying. This is usually an attempt to discredit one candidate or another. It's nothing new. As Sen. Shelby mentioned during his town meeting Tuesday in Atmore, negative campaigning has been around as long as elections themselves.
Please take time to know your candidate, what they stand for, and where they will attempt to lead your town, county, and state. Read the paper, talk to your friends, find out what issues your community is facing. Not only the issue important to you, but to your neighbors.
Make sure that not only is your voice heard when you vote, but that it is a voice of knowledge and understanding.
Chuck Bodiford is an Atmore native and publisher of the Advance. He may be reached by calling 368-2123 or by email at chuck.bodiford@atmoreadvance.com

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