This is an opinion article.

I’m not a Republican, and I’m not a Democrat. I’m a neutral and objective observer — just like any good Lois Lane wannabe should be. For those of you that aren’t into nerd culture like I am, she’s the journalist who dated Superman in comics, TV shows and movies.

Definitely not all, but most politicians are a crazy-mix of a snake handling preacher and car salesman. They’re trying to sell people on what they believe and trying to get everyone to buy into what they’re doing. So, I don’t know if I trust many of them. But really, I don’t trust most people, so that’s not saying much.

Recently, I heard Secretary of State of Alabama John Merrill speak at a Republican Club meeting. And before you question it, I was there at the request of my editor for work. I wasn’t there in support or opposition.

Actually, I met Merrill earlier this year at Asbury High School when he spoke during the Youth Suicide Prevention program for National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. He seems like a relatively nice guy, but I’m not saying he’s a good candidate. And, I’m not saying he’s not. Really, it was just awesome that he took time to go all the way out to Asbury and address the growing suicide rate in that area.

Unfortunately, I got the car salesman vibe when Merrill spoke to the Republican Club. Also, there was a hint of the “jocks that think they’re cooler than you in high school” vibe too. That didn’t inspire me to run out and vote for him.

While at the Republican Club meeting — and during a few other meetings I attend for work — I’ve noticed a trend, which I don’t appreciate. Many people around here don’t take Democrats as seriously as they should. I have heard things like, “there’s only three Democrats in Marshall County.” And other classless jokes like that I’m not going to repeat.

In case it’s not obvious, making fun of other groups doesn’t make you look better. Actually, it makes you look tactless and uninspiring. I know many Republicans who ran entire campaigns without saying one bad thing about anyone — shout out to one of my role models, our county’s honorable Probate Judge Andrea LeCroy.

Also, there are several Democrats in Marshall County who I happen to look up to and respect. They are inclusive, and they work hard at what they do — shout out to Marshall County PALS President Micky Hunt.

But, since these Republicans think every election is going to be a walk in the park, Democrats need to stand up and be proud. I want the Democrats to be heard just as much as the Republicans — just to make things fair.

I’m aware that this is a “red state,” but don’t go down without a fight. In the upcoming election, there are races without opposition. I don’t like this, because for our democratic system to work properly, everyone needs to be represented. If not, things are always going to stay the same. And, things are not as great in America as some would like us to think. Yes, this is the greatest place in the world to live, and I love this country. I am just saying there’s room for improvement. To be as great as we can be — as a county, state and country — we need to stand up for what we believe in. Red or blue, donkey or elephant — get involved and let your voices be heard. I hear those Republicans, so I’m looking forward to hearing what the Democrats are bringing to the table.

Nickie Simpson is a staff writer for The Reporter. She can be reached at nickie.simpson@sandmountainreporter.com.

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