As election time nears, I feel the need to warn voters against backing what I call “activist candidates.”

An activist to me is someone who has a great passion for a particular issue. This passion is to be applauded, and can be helpful in identifying a problem, but that passion rarely results in a common-sense solution. This inability to solve problems comes from the fact that this passion blinds them to any other point of view. There is no empathy, and often no effort whatsoever to try and at least understand the opposition’s often valid points.

Take our local Confederate statue debate, for instance. An activist started the debate. Other activists joined in. When the media wanted an opinion, as they do with many other issues, they asked an activist. Of course, activists on the other side are also passionate about the way they feel, and though they each may present valid points, they are both short on solutions that please a majority.

People don’t like others getting in their face. An environmental activist sitting in a tree is brave, but maybe not the person to shape environmental policy. Jehovah’s Witnesses have a wonderful message to share, but excuse me if you knock on my door when the ballgame is on.

God bless them for their passion and dedication, but let’s elect some cool-headed, open-minded, common-sense candidates this fall.

David Rhodes

Albemarle County

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