By Johan Addyman | Published By The Sun Record Wayne County Mail
Get up on Tuesday morning, have a cup of coffee and a muffin, and head for the polls.
It’s an easy thing to do.
And this year, in these times, it’s a vitally important thing to do.
The local elections are important, yes, and we’ll be watching them for you Tuesday night, with results in our Thursday paper (which is actually available on newsstand Wednesday after 12 noon and digitally at 3 p.m.).
But personally, I am concerned about the election for Congress.
John Katko, a Republican, is the present seat-holder in the 24th District, challenged by Dana Balter, a Democrat. Katko voted for the Republic tax cuts that have enriched people who didn’t need it while making the rest of us poorer.
In a broadly orchestrated bludgeoning of the American conscience, the Republicans have run up a huge national debt which needs to be paid for by — wait for it — reducing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…and anything that’s left of the Affordable Care Act.
Take a moment and think about the slaves in Egypt building tombs for pharaohs. That’s you and me, my friends, 3,000 years later. The whip? Please Sir, may I have another lash?
Before I was nuts enough to buy this paper, I had retired. I have Social Security and Medicare — paid for through 45 years of working. I depend on both. So does my wife. I have a niece who exists on Social Security and Medicaid. My father-in-law, after the nursing home drained every cent he had saved for a lifetime, needed Medicaid for his care.
Don’t listen to a single Republican lie about this. The GOP handed a Christmas gift to the wealthy with these tax cuts, but the credit card has our names on it.
I was a nursing home ombudsman for eight years. I also delivered meals to elderly people in their homes, part of the county’s Meals on Wheels program. As a Eucharistic minister, I brought communion to elderly people who couldn’t get to church.
I am very familiar with the thin string that keeps many of the people I knew alive and reasonably healthy. Take away or substantially reduce their health care and Social Security, and we hand them a slow death sentence, a diminution of well-being, more misery in what used to be called the “golden years.”
John Katko doesn’t really represent Wayne County, and you know it — he has far more votes to worry about in Syracuse. We are an itch he has to scratch, lightly, every now and then. When other Congressman across the country were brave enough to hold town forums in the face of the early reactions to Trump’s dismantling of government, John Katko was hiding.
I believe we have fine Republican and Democratic candidates running for office in the county. I know and respect them. They are deserving of our support to confront local and state issues.
But please don’t waste your vote on John Katko.
Dana Balter is the clear alternative as someone who has courted the vote here and will move to undo some of Katko’s damage.
So get up, have that coffee or go to one of the pancake breakfasts in the area, and stride well-fed and motivated to your local polling place. Support the local candidates of your choice.