Sanitized: Political discourse has taken a turn for the 'say-nothing.'
Is there anyone who does not wonder every once in a while if there is any politician -- local, state, federal or, lately, international -- who can possibly be taken at his or her word?
Sometimes it seems like those who are in power -- or who want to be in power -- are more concerned with how what they say polls than actually saying what needs to be said or what they really believe.
So, rather than standing up, speaking from the heart and letting the chips, or votes, fall where they may, they edit, sidestep or retreat when the heat is on -- or applied by a political opponent.
There are more spin doctors and speech writers these days than ever before, not to mention teleprompters.
And maybe that is what is really wrong with today's society. There really aren't any "heroes" anymore.
Chalk it up to the fear of repercussions. Chalk it up to voters who really can't "handle the truth."
Or, perhaps the problem is much simpler.
Maybe there really aren't those same truth-tellers anymore -- leaders with the courage to lead even when there is great political risk in doing so. Maybe we have politically corrected ourselves out of men of conviction. Maybe all we have left are politicians.
Throughout history, there have been men who have been faced with moral dilemmas or pivotal moments when they were faced with the task of saying what no one wanted to hear.
They had to face their community or their nation and to tell the people the truth, the real facts -- no sugar coating, no spinning or fancy bob and weave. Just the truth.
Today we get promises, focus-group tested responses and masterfully written speeches.
And we are left wondering just whom we should believe -- as well as exactly whom we have elected. How sad.
Big problems require big solutions. No one man has the answers. But addressing them requires talking about tough topics. Lines that draw applause might be pretty, but they are not what you need when the chips are down.
Determining which we are hearing is going to be critical as we decide to whom we will entrust our future this November.
As you analyze the speeches, evaluate the answers and scrutinize promises, remember to listen for the ring of truth.
It is always the best judge of a leader.
Published in Editorials on January 5, 2013 10:27 PM