It is that time again. That time where we watch political ad after political ad with each candidate using never-ending “buzz words” and “rhetoric”. I’m not sure which part of the political process is more disappointing, the candidates that don’t tell us anything, or the people who buy into the candidates that don’t tell us anything.
Same Old, Same Old!
Candidates at every election talk about the need for change, and if we elect them, they will be different than what has been there before. But, we “all” know what needs to be done, and there are only so many ways to solve problems. So, if the candidates would “detail” how they were going to solve the problems, then we would really be onto something. Don’t just say, “I’ll audit every state agency”; tell us how you will do it, which areas you will start with, what is your time line, and what you will do with what you find. Every candidate since the beginning of time has told us “what” they were going to do, but not “how” they were going to do it. So, if you really want to be different, then tell us “how” you will accomplish your goals!
Why do We Keep Allowing This?
We buy into the candidates use of “buzz words” and “rhetoric” because it is easy and familiar. Candidates use these words to make us feel a connection to them and show that we have something in common. The ones used in my state sound something like this, conservative, pro-life, Christian, family man, son of a pastor, outsider, and one of my favorites recently, businessman. So, we end up electing people because we “like” the sound of the words they use to describe themselves.
Problems with This Old Standard!
Not that these “buzz words” attributes must be negative in and of themselves, but again, candidate after candidate has run on these platforms and yet we still find ourselves with the problems we are facing today. This should be a clear indication to us that running on this platform does not tell us how good of a leader they will be. The fact of the matter is, these “buzz words” and “rhetoric” give us absolutely no indication of how good of a job these candidates will do. In addition, the candidates use these words to separate the people who make up their political base from those who don’t. They do this, so we will make decisions about which candidate to elect based on political party and perceived connection, instead of the actual results we think they will achieve from the plan they have shown us, telling us how they will accomplish their goals. This reduces us to making choices based on the candidate with the best marketing or advertising strategy.
What does Christianity mean in terms of politics? You might be pro-life or pro-choice, you might drink or you might think drinking is wrong, you might think being LGBTQ will send you to hell or you might accept the LGBTQ community, or you might be like Jim Jones, yes Jim Jones had his roots in Christianity. Even past all this, we have seen scandal after scandal involving preachers and other religious leaders, so stating you are a Christian may not mean anything at all with regard to what kind of person you really are at your core.
What does businessman mean in terms of politics? Ken Lay was the son of a pastor as well as the CEO of Enron, the company that was hiding portions of liabilities and doctoring assets and earnings which led to the company's bankruptcy. Just saying you are a businessman does not tell us how good of a leader you are. How well do you treat your employees? Do you pay them minimum wage while you pocket a huge salary? Every good businessman out there knows you never accomplish what you want without a good business plan. This plan outlines what you want to do and how you are going to accomplish it. So, if you are running on this platform, then show us it's not just rhetoric and publish your plan so we can see the details of "how" you will accomplish what you say you will. A plan that only states "what" you will do is no plan at all.
What Has This Done for Us?
Every political season we see the same thing, candidates using “buzz word” and “rhetoric”. They tell us what they are going to do but not how they are going to do it. They talk around a question instead of answering it directly and many candidates run negative ads about their opponents (which is an attempt to divert our focus to a negative thought about their opponent instead of a productive thought of how they are going to accomplish their plan). Some candidates even come out about negative ads, only to end up running negative ads themselves. Because of this, our state and our country are becoming more and more divided, instead of more and more united.
What Does This Say About Us?
Have we really become so shallow that we now let ourselves be duped into voting strictly by political party? Do we base our decision of a good leader based on “buzz words” and “rhetoric”? Are we being led around by the nose from our own bias and we don’t even realize it? Are we so caught up in this that we no longer want the truth? How in the world do we wonder why our state, or our country is in the shape it is in, when we are the ones who don’t require more from the people we elect?
If We Want to Change This, We Will Need a New Standard!
We must require candidates to stop telling us and start showing us they are different by not using “buzz words” and “rhetoric”. Instead, of telling us “what” they will do, they need to start telling us “how” they are going to do what they want to do. If we would require this, then we could quit making decisions on who to elect, by political party and perceived connection, and start making informed decisions from which candidate has the best plan to solve our problems. In addition, we need to stop supporting candidates who talk around a question, instead of answering it directly. We also need to stop supporting candidates who run negative ads about their opponents. We need to remember, regardless of which political party we are talking about, there can be a big gap between what some candidates tell us they will accomplish and what they get accomplished. The reality is, if a candidate cannot give a plan of “how” they will accomplish what they want to, they are not worth putting in office to begin with.
Why Should We do This?
We want to blame others for why our state, or our country is in the shape it is in, but we are the ones who keep putting the people in office that are not solving our problems. To get what is best for our states and our country, we must stop being so divided. To do this, we must stop being so easily distracted by “buzz words” and “rhetoric” and start using our intelligence to make informed decisions to elect the candidate that “shows” us the best and most viable solutions to our important issues. Then we will stop being led to simply “follow along” with the division by political party, promoted by the candidates, and start electing officials that have the best plan to accomplish our important issues, which ultimately will be for the betterment of our state and the betterment of our country.