10/10/07 — ‘Paging: Ideas’: There will be no shortage of backseat drivers

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‘Paging: Ideas’: There will be no shortage of backseat drivers

The worst part of any political campaign is not the cheesy shots with babies and the raucous crowds of canned supporters who just happened to gather at a particular politician’s campaign stop.

It is isn’t even the hundreds of hours spent listening to bashing — polite or otherwise — or the endless commercials.

What makes elections and campaigns less than fun times of year for some voters is having to listen to all those who criticize those doing the work, but who have no real contribution to make themselves.

You know the type. They absolutely know how to fix Goldsboro — and if they were on the city council — they would get the job done lickety split. You might even see some of that talk during some of the races in towns around the county this fall.

Yet, while they have plenty to critique, they do not have much to contribute.

The reason? It is much easier to point out what is wrong than to be a part of finding real suggestions for making it right.

So as this next round of campaigning officially begins, those of us who will have to decide who will take office this fall will have to look for more than rhetoric and slick campaign promises.

We should ask for ideas — real plans — for what needs to be changed and what should be done differently.

Yes, for example, we want lower crime, but how would we get there? More police? How would we pay for that?

This year, voters are going to have to be like suspicious and finicky shoppers who snoop, snoop and snoop until they get the best quality for the best price.

We are going to have to hold our incumbent officeholders and challengers to a higher standard and to demand more than just what is easy on the ears.

And that scrutiny shouldn’t end with the fall vote, either. It is time we demanded quality and performance even when there isn’t an election looming.

Published in Editorials on October 10, 2007 10:41 AM