The political gets personal

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 7, 2011

In the 1970s, the slogan, “The personal ispolitical,” was a key theme in the Women’s Movement. Whether or notone agrees with the politics that coined the phrase, the words areawfully apt for the events of this week. Turn the phrase around onits head, and you get, “The political is personal,” which is evenmore accurate.

     After weeks of wrangling,Congress and the president finally came together on legislationSunday night to deal with the country’s financial crisis. Take thatdown to the personal level, and you have my older sister telling meMonday she was wondering whether she’d get her Social Securitycheck on time or not.

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     At least she has othersources of revenue. Many retirees do not.

     Then Thursday, fresh onthe heels of the country’s near default, we saw the stock markettake its worst plunge since the recession started back in 2008.

     Certainly the events onthe national level didn’t help us feel any better about Tuesday’ssnafus in the Lincoln County primary elections.

     Election day got off to aragged start when voting machines were inoperable due to missingvoter access cards. The cards, which are required to operate thevoting machines, were inadvertently left out of the supply bagssent to the polling places.

     By the time the cardscould be delivered, many voters had to be given paper ballots tofill out. This added to problems later when the votes had to becounted. An election that normally would have been finalizedTuesday night was left up in the air until 11 a.m. Wednesday, whenthe paper ballots and absentee ballots were finally counted.

     Since that’s arounddeadline time for The DAILY LEADER, we were forced to provideincomplete results in the Wednesday newspaper and push the updatedinformation to our web site.

     With both nationalpolitics and local politics seeming all too personal this week,tempers have been as hot as the 100-degree summer heat, and it’sbeen easy to point fingers of blame, particularly on the locallevel. The main thing now is to not let the same problems happenagain.

     On another note, The DAILYLEADER made the political a bit more personal in a more positiveway this week, as we offered Facebook and Twitter updates to ourreaders through the night on election day.

     Our venture into theelectronic updates was well received, so we’ll be doing that againwhen the second primary rolls around in a couple of weeks. Whilethey complimented our Facebook and Twitter offerings, our readersdid ask for us to do something similar on our web site. So we’relooking into that.

     I do want to point outthat The DAILY LEADER is a business, as well as a communityservice, and we do need to sell our printed product, so we have tolook carefully at how much we give away for free. If you subscribeto our paper or buy us from the news rack, I’d like to say thankyou.

     Now, I’ll ask a favor. Howabout recommending us to your friends and neighbors?

     A side note: I’d like tooffer an apology for my mess-up on Anne Matthews’ name in my lastcolumn. A stickler for names from way back, I can only plead brainfog caused by moving discombobulation.

     I know I won’t be able touse that excuse any longer though, since the moving van arrivedlast week, and everything is now here in my new, old house, which Ihave learned is known as the Swalm House, one of several homes ofthat name around town.

    By the way, last week did end on a more positive note, as localchurches came together for “A Day of Prayer for Our Nation”Saturday. Now that’s something we all certainly need.

    General Manager Rachel Eide can be reached at The DAILY LEADERAT (601) 833-6961 ext. 153; by e-mail at; orvia mail at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602-0551.