Stand up and be counted

The political party conventions are over, and less than 30 days remain until we choose our next president. I watched some of each convention and was disappointed not by the speakers or the delegates, but by ABC, CBS, and NBC.

The “big three”decided to cover only about three hours per party convention. Their viewers missed some great stories and important moments. Plus, speakers who helped define what the two parties stand for and why there are differences.

Now, there are still plenty of places on cable to see hours of the political coverage, and sometimes it’s over-scripted theater. But when you look at some of the mindless and forgettable programming that the “big three” ran instead of the conventions, I’m embarrassed.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a political junkie, and I know that most of America is not interested in the party conventions, but one of the many lessons that the 2000 election and Sept. 11 taught me was that elections have consequences and they matter.

The “big three” are probably just giving America what they really want, Last Comic Standing or Fear Factor instead of serious discussion of the future of the country. But the networks are run by people who have raised children, and parents know that sometimes you just have to take your medicine, even if it’s bitter.

Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address, know where to vote and don’t claim that someone is less patriotic if they disagree with your viewpoint. We’re all Americans before we’re Democrats or Republicans.

There’s an old saying that has always bothered me, which I hope you will think about; “Why is it, that Americans will cross the ocean to fight for freedom but won’t cross the street to vote?”

Don’t miss your opportunity on Nov. 2 to send a message to the “big three” that we still care about the direction of our future and that future, is guided by the ballot box.

Chris Remhof is an Ogle County Board member representing District 3 (Leaf River, Byron, Rockvale, and Marion townships).

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