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Monday, Nov. 5, 2018

Thank you, candidates

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Working hard to effect change

By the time you read this, the results from the Nov. 6 election will be known, and those campaigns whose candidates who are now in the run-off election on Dec. 8 will have re-doubled their efforts and are back at work to earn your vote.

So for just a moment, let’s take this opportunity to thank all of the candidates – from all the political parties (including those who are “no party,” as well). They all deserve our respect, not necessarily because we all agree politically, but because they understand the principle, as many of us do, that life is a fight for territory, and that once we stop fighting for what we want, what we don’t want will automatically take over. And that’s what these candidates did for months on end, leading up to election day — and they fought for what they wanted, instead of just wringing their hands; they sought to be the change they so very much wanted to see.

Of course, the Book of James tells us that “a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.” And while many worry about the erosion of our religious liberty, the decline of our education system, the deterioration of the family, and the fiscal irresponsibility of our elected officials, they often don’t go any further than worrying. Candidates go further — much further – and this is why I believe candidates deserve our respect, even when we greatly disagree.

From neighborhood association meetings to church groups, from walking miles upon miles down city streets and country roads, knocking on doors and putting up signs, the candidates themselves do embody the old-fashioned, pioneer-like grit and determination that is the American way. The candidates are the “man in the arena,” as Theodore Roosevelt put it, and the credit belongs to him or her:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Furthermore, remember, as Thomas Jefferson’s said, “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.” While Jefferson was referring to the electorate, I believe it  applies equally to candidates, as well. And every candidate has certainly done their part to “participate,” and sacrificed much to do so.

No, losing is no fun, of course, and being criticized for losing or ridiculed for one’s opinions isn’t either. But there is no shame or dishonor in losing an election – so long as the campaign was run with honor and integrity.

There have been – and will be – lots of “I told you so” opinions, which will point out this reason or that reason, this issue or that issue, that made all the difference in one race or another this election cycle. And there will be plenty of time for looking in the rear-view mirror.

But for now, whatever our politics, and however elated or disappointed we may feel about the election results from Tuesday, we remain grateful to those candidates who, at least, gave us a choice, and those thousands of souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice for there to be one in the first place.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in The Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac. com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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