04/25/12 — Soothsayers: Beware of those who simply tell you what you want to hear

View Archive

Soothsayers: Beware of those who simply tell you what you want to hear

There are plenty of them in state and local government -- and there are even more if you look deep into the federal ranks.

And they are dangerous.

There are many positives about the American system of government, especially with regard to the way leaders are chosen and asked to re-earn their jobs every few years.

Problem is, some of them are big on talk and backdoor dealings and short on upfront honesty about the realities of what they intend to do or can do while in office.

They say what they think voters want to hear -- and then go about doing exactly what they want to do or what the reality of the situation requires. And often, inertia -- also known as people who just don't bother to vote -- keeps them in office, even if they really do not belong there.

So how is a voter to know when one of these politicians is stumping on his or her front lawn?

Easy. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you wonder yourself how one member of a county commission, city council or legislative body can possibly promise a certain outcome, beware.

There are lots of promises being made in this county and state -- and there will be more as soon as the national elections start heating up. It is time to stop listening to the rhetoric and to ask for specifics. And if, while we are at it, we demand accountability, then we are ahead of the game, too.

This is not a year to let one issue eclipse all else as we decide where to cast our votes. Best instead to look at the whole picture.

It makes for a better outcome in the long run.

Published in Editorials on April 25, 2012 10:39 AM