©The Herald-Gazette/barnesville.com: This information may not be reprinted, broadcast or distributed electronically in any form or fashion without express consent. For reprint permission, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.By Kay S. PedrottiWhen I had just turned 18, my father took me to register to vote in Dougherty County. He said, ‘This is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life.’ He was right but I’m not sure that attitude pervades the U.S. todayWhen I had just turned 18, my father took me to register to vote in Dougherty County. He said, ‘This is one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life.’ He was right but I’m not sure that attitude pervades the U.S. today.All the news is the Presidential election madness — and that’s what it is, because in the first place it starts too soon and in the second it’s confusing bordering on irrational.There’s no program by which to tell the players in the Republican cadre of hopefuls. It’s assumed President Barak Obama is the only player for the Democrats but here comes the ‘draft Hillary’ movement. Between the rabid ravings of the news media — on both sides — and the dirty-tricks contingents, one wonders who will fall to the smear-axe next. Those who read my columns regularly know that I seldom go political but this is what I’ve been thinking of lately. Very few of us know anything about Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith but some dismiss him out of hand because of it. It’s reminiscent of the ‘takeover by the Pope’ that never materialized (what a surprise) after John F. Kennedy was elected the nation’s first Roman Catholic President. I do know Mormons were severely persecuted in the early days of this country but I don’t believe they’re given to revenge.Herman Cain seemed to lack the experience to handle the dirt unearthed on him. After leading the group for a while, it suddenly emerged he appeared to disrespect women (at best) or to be a womanizer (at worst). His spin skills just couldn’t handle it.Of course, there’s nobody who is ever willing to step up and say, ‘I made mistakes. I regret my actions and apologize. None of the past will affect the future.’ That would just make too much sense; so let’s just try to cover up everything every time.Covering up is well-nigh impossible, given the attack mode of journalism today. Too bad so many people haven’t yet learned the truth is generally far less damaging than the rumors. Once the truth is told, a creepy cover-up could become a means to engender sympathy for something that may be a completely human error.How many times have we seen people locked out of judgeships, federal appointments or election primaries because they ‘hired an illegal’? Last time I looked, that was common practice among many U.S. businesses and the primary reason why undocumented folks stream across our borders looking for jobs to feed their families. I still think the right to vote, any way we want to, is indeed a privilege that has been made an absolute right by our founding documents. If you aren’t registered, do that — they don’t take potential jury lists from voter rolls anymore. If you’re registered, vote every time the doors open and make it count.It’s the best way in which we, the people, impact what happens. Don’t give up your chance.Kay Pedrotti is a reporter for The Herald Gazette and Pike County Journal Reporter.Or pick up a copy at one of these fine retailers: B&L Convenience Store, College Dr., BP, College Dr. at U.S. 341, Benny’s, Forsyth St., C&B Convenience Store, Hwy 41 South at Fredonia Church Rd., Crossroads, Veterans Parkway at Hwy 18 West, Barnesville, Flash Foods, Veterans Parkway at Hwy. 36 West, Barnesville, Garden Patch, Veterans Parkway, Barnesville, Giant Mart, College Dr., Metro Petro (formerly Hot Spot), US Hwy 41 at Atlanta St., Barnesville, Huddle House, Veterans Parkway, Barnesville, Ingles Supermarket, Veterans Parkway, Barnesville, Pastime Grill, Main St., Red Apple, Atlanta St., The Herald-Gazette, Greenwood St., Walgreens, Veterans Parkway at Hwy. 18 West, Barnesville, Reliable Mart, Veterans Parkway at Grove St., Barnesville, Red & White Foods, Downtown Milner, H&R Convenience Store, Old Hwy. 41, Orchard Hill, Buddy’s, Hwy. 19 North, Zebulon.