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Politicians need to state own beliefs

October 16, 2010
By MIKE HUGHES, Times Leader Staff Writer

I'M NOT sure about the rest of you, but Election Day can't get here fast enough.

My excitement, however, has nothing to do with the actual act of voting or the possibilities of many potential outcomes that voting can bring.

I'm just tired of politics in general.

Don't get me wrong. I fully intend to cast my vote come Nov. 2, just as I've done in every general election since I've turned 18.

I also will research each candidate who's up for my vote and will make my decision based solely on what they stand for. I do this because I try to avoid as many television and radio campaign commercials as I can.

If I want to listen to people insulting one another, I can just stroll down to the local pub, pull up a chair and listen.

That's what I hate more about election season more than anything else. Take two people who otherwise could sit down and have a civil, perhaps even jovial conversation, put a D or R next to their names, sit back and watch the fireworks. It's ridiculous.

Politics brings out the worst in some people, a lot of people actually, and I've had enough.

There are plenty of moderates and independents, but for those staunch supporters of both the Democrat and Republican parties, the folks on the other end of the aisle aren't only wrong, they are the enemy.

And that's pretty much what you get with campaign commercials, mudslinging, name-calling, insulting, choose whichever term you like. It's certainly not informative.

A perfect example is the race for the Senate seat in West Virginia vacated by the late Robert C. Byrd. One candidate is the current governor and is well-known. The best you can say about the other candidate is that "he's not a rubber stamp."

OK, we got the message. Maybe he's a better candidate, maybe he's not. But for the thousands of people who don't research any further than what they hear in commercials, that's not exactly getting out your message or belief structure.

Tell me more.

Don't tell me about your opponent, tell me about you. And if you think digging up dirt on your opponent will sway me any way, you're sadly mistaken. All it does is prove to me that you don't think your own merits and beliefs are strong enough to get elected and you need a crutch. Sadly, there are a lot of politicians taking full advantage of that crutch.

And while you are at it, and I'm speaking in general here now, tell me more about you. What do you believe in? What would like to accomplish if elected?

I say like because let's be honest, it's more of a wish list than a campaign promise.

Politicians will promise many, many things, but how often do they come through? How often are they able to?

I'm sure every politician, from a village councilman all the way up to the president has a list of things they'd like to do. That doesn't mean those things will happen.

Take for example, a presidential election. Each of the candidates will rattle off numerous things they will "do" if elected. They will create jobs, they will balance the budget, they will tackle health care reform and cut pork-barrel spending.

But, the president has to get enough of a majority of the 100 members of the Senate and 441 Representatives (six are non-voting) to agree with him.

If that can't happen, all the campaign promises and good intentions don't amount to much.

Just for once, I'd like to see a politician come and out speak plainly and truthfully about who they are and what they'd like to do, without resorting to mudslinging and cheap political ploys to get elected.

Oh, I don't know, for instance:

"Hi. My name is (insert name here) and I'm running for (insert office here). This is what I believe in. If you elect me, this what I'd like to do and try move the country in this direction. Will I be able to accomplish all of this? No. But I will do my best to try and make sure that I do. My beliefs are strong, but flexible enough that I'm able to consider a good idea when I see it, even if it comes from outside my party. I'm here for you, and if an (opposite party leader) has a good idea about how to move this country forward, let's run with it."

Sounds nice doesn't it. Will it ever happen? I won't be holding my breath.

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timesleaderonline.com.

 
 

 

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