I had hoped–before writing this editorial–that we might know who our next U.S. president would be. Not so. I hope we know, however, as you read this today.

Upon reflection, we should all ponder a number of things connected to the presidential election snafu:

We should also consider some other things not necessarily connected to this particular presidential election:

There's a lesson here for all of us.

Every presidential election in history has been accompanied by elections for all sorts of state and local offices. While the office of U.S. president may be the most powerful one on earth, it may not have nearly the impact on our day-to-day lives, as do the people elected to most state and local offices. For that reason alone, we should study those candidates' voting records and/or platforms, and vote for the one we most want.

Yet we don't. Shame on us! I'm willing to say that those who don't vote deserve whatever they get-but their apathy also impact and dilutes the effect of those who actually took the interest and trouble to cast a ballot. U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower clearly foresaw a threat to our future when he said, "Our American heritage is threatened as much by our own indifference as it is by the most unscrupulous office or by the most powerful foreign threat. The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter."

Those of us who are in business–especially smaller businesses–owe it to ourselves to stay politically involved–between elections and during elections. The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce has been very active in interviewing candidates for local office, scouring their records and then recommending to its members those candidates who are most likely to support business. Yet they don't stop there. They stay involved year-round, whether there's an election or not.

An active involvement in the Chamber or other political activities is important, but not more so than understanding the issues, casting your personal vote and holding the elected official accountable for his or her performance and record.

This great country of ours cannot and will not continue to be a "government of the people, by the people and for the people" if we don't participate-i.e. vote. It is now proven that my vote–and yours–does matter. IBI