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Opinion

Young: The politics of COVID-19

I overheard a conversation between two middle-aged gentlemen last night while I was waiting in my designated spot for social distancing in the line at the grocery store.

One, dressed in a business suit, the other, clad in more casual attire topped off with a seed corn cap, were discussing the politics of COVID-19.

Oh, please, if you are offended by that statement, you are not paying attention. I am not pointing at a specific party.

Neither gentleman took a firm stand in favor of a party or presidential candidate, but from their brief discussion, it was not difficult to determine their political leanings. There are currently no set requirements in that store, but one of the gentlemen was wearing a mask to cover his mouth and nose.

As first one, then the other of the men moved through the line and out the door, two attractive, well-manicured 20-something women behind me took up their own conversation about how the county, state and federal leadership has maneuvered these rough waters surrounding COVID-19.

I must admit, I was impressed by the depth of their insight. For once, I was glad there were too few checkout lanes open, as I enjoyed eavesdropping on my fellow shoppers.

As the clerk reached around the plexiglass to hand me my receipt, my smile faded, as one of the women admitted that she had never voted and was not even registered to do so. The other giggled. Neither had she. I wanted to turn and ask them why.

I remember filling out the paperwork for voter registration during class my senior year in high school. I would not turn 18 until August after graduation, but it was something we — my fellow classmates and I — were quite excited to do.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility. There are so many issues that can impact everything about how we live and how our children and grandchildren will live being debated in these months before the election. We must be sure the persons for whom we cast our votes are on the right side of those issues important to us.

We hear a lot about Donald Trump versus Joe Biden, but there is much more on the line than which man will serve as our president for the next four years. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate will be contested.

Please, do your own research. Try to cut through as much of the clutter as you can and find facts. Do it as though your life — and the lives of all future generations of Americans — depends on it.

I believe it does.

Cyndi Young-Puyear is farm director and operations manager for Brownfield Network.

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