“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” (1743-1826) ~ Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and 3rd U.S. President
So, are you tired of them yet? You know, the political ads. I know that my husband is. One would think that politicians would know better than to aggravate a football fan in the middle of an important game. Especially when you think that most of these never really tell the whole truth anyway. It seems silly to waste millions of dollars telling a story the people will never believe; why not just lay out your belief systems, your ideas, and your plans and let the people decide on who would serve them best? It seems logical; it seems full of common sense…which is precisely why campaigns from both sides don’t do it. They know that the majority of citizens do not pay that much attention to government and therefore vote for the candidate that makes them feel the best, and opposed to the one that will serve them the best. And this is precisely why we are stuck with these annoying ads that pit candidates against one another; until the voters change their ways, even those candidates who are the best servants will need to play the game by the current rules in order to win.
So what do we voters do about it? After all, it’s not going to change until we demand that it stop. And the only way we can get it too stop is if we start to pay attention, and do it early. Get to know your candidates. Research their voting record. Look for inconsistencies in what they say and what they do. Are they the sort that speaks their mind and sticks with it or do they change based on the company they keep at the time or the latest poll results? Do you like their ideas on how to run a department, or how to solve a problem, or further a policy? Are they willing to honor the wishes of their constituents, even if they do not agree? Are they bold when it comes to standing on principle even if means they will not be the voters choice? And do they have the strength of character and integrity to sacrifice what is good for themselves for the sake of others, even if it is not fair?
I know this is a lot to ask of imperfect candidates, but I only bring this up because I too am tired of the bull. I am tired of those who have no problem campaigning for others using twisted half-truths to support their preferred candidate. I am tired of seeing good people have their character assaulted by both those who should know better and by those who know nothing. I am tired that ideas on how to do things better, on how to serve the people better, on how to be better, are taken as personal insults when in point of fact they are just reflective of the changing needs and efficiencies of the day. I am tired of those who believe that the agenda for themselves and their party is far more important than the future of my county, my state, and my nation. And frankly, I am tired that the poor behaviors of Des Moines and DC have already started to infect a portion of my county. It’s time for common sense folks to draw the line.
People wonder why there are not more good choices out there for political races. They wonder why more people of honor and integrity are not choosing to run the gauntlet that is politics. Let me tell you why folks: good people are not always willing to allow themselves, or their families, to be publically sacrificed as political martyrs and have their reputations ruined by innuendo and half-truths. The real fact of the matter is that we don’t just need more good people running for office- we need far more good people supporting and doing battle for those good people running for office. And it’s time that all honorable people – in both parties – call out those who poison the well of politics and government in order to “win”. Things will never change unless we stop tolerating the status quo of bullying politics and get involved. The people of my county are lucky – we have folks running for local offices in both parties that love it here and love the people here. We just have different ideas on how to best get things done and how to spend taxpayer money. We have different ideas on efficiency, on growth, and on the proper role of government and liberty, both locally and nationally. How about we just present those and leave it up to the voters to choose which ideas they like best?
After all, good ideas should be able stand on their own, in truth and without fear; only bad ones require the support of brutes and liars.
“Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) a German writer and statesman