I read with great interest a word I came across the other day: disinterest. The New Oxford says that is “the state of not being influenced by personal involvement in something. SEE ALSO: detachment, indifference.”

Watching the Kentucky Derby when you don’t have a bet down on a horse is a perfect example of disinterest. It’s nice to watch the beautiful thoroughbreds run and everyone appreciates the nerve and skills of a good jockey. But whichever horse crosses the line first has no particular interest to the person without a wager ticket in their hand.

John Arnett

John Arnett

With the primary election coming up in a few days, I’d like to tell you that you cannot be in a “state of not being influenced by personal involvement in something” on voting day. If you reside anywhere in Franklin County, if you own property, if you have a child in school, if you produce any kind of waste, if you eat in restaurants, if you drive a vehicle, if you take an occasional sip of water or a breath of air, you are personally influenced by this election. Every person elected will run in the fall for public office. Those elected persons will have a direct effect on your life to some degree or other.

It is impossible to retreat behind a wall of disdain for any or all of the candidates and not cast a ballot and feel like you made a statement. Feeling superior to politicians is a very, very common feeling all over the world. (I wouldn’t be surprised to walk into a pub and see a sign that says “NO DOGS. NO POLITICIANS.” I would take more issue with the landlord for disallowing a well-behaved, friendly dog than to banning a politician.) But your non-vote merely allows someone else to choose a candidate who will make decisions that affect the way you live. If you must, please vote for the person on the ballot you find the least repugnant.

It’s also OK to go vote against a candidate. You can think that you don’t mind anyone else getting the job as long as it’s not THAT PERSON. If you know something about someone running for a position and you believe that person is unworthy of the public trust or unqualified to do what needs doing, throw your vote to another candidate in the same race. Don’t take the chance that you will have to shake your head when you hear THAT PERSON got elected.

Go vote on Tuesday. Read a little about each person running and see where they stand on things that matter most to you. Try not to be a one-issue voter if you can avoid it. Wouldn’t you rather have a chosen leader who votes for the best of the community in 99 situations out of 100 rather than just that single issue that concerns you? All politics, viewed from any angle, is about compromise. If you happen to be a person possessing a rock-ribbed constitution and will never yield or compromise with anyone on anything, your future lies in becoming a full-time hermit or becoming very angry with the rest of us as we move on with life.

Besides, this is Frankfort and Franklin County we’re talking about, and we know a few things. We know how to have fun on or by the water, we know quite a bit about bourbon, we know a lot about having a good time in general and we know politics.

Take an interest. Inform yourself. Go participate. Back a candidate.

Act like an American.


John Arnett, of Frankfort, is a State Journal columnist, financial regulator in public service and a longtime coach for Frankfort Parks and Rec in the summer. He can be reached at bigdukeinky@icloud.com.

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