Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dear Candidate 2016

It might seem like it's too far off, but it really won't be long before the lawns begin to sprout all those lovely candidate signs signaling the election season is upon us, once again.

I'm not a big fan of how long this process goes on. Plus I'm always hoping that we'll have some reasonable campaign reform before the next election season, which never happens. Change that nips not only the huge money in the bud, but also reels in the amount of time we have to spend listening to the candidates telling us who they are, what they stand for, and how they'll vote; usually a load of crap they think the masses want to hear, one lie after another after another. In a perfect world, campaigners would also curtail their boasting about how much they love their god and how they'll uphold that book once they get into office. As if it has any relevance to how well they will do the job. Check any paper after the election and you'll find just how immoral some of those leaders have been once they got into office.

The candidate(s) who would top my list would possess integrity, first and foremost. Don't lie, plain and simple. In this day and age when things can be fact checked relatively easy, just don't do it. And if, for whatever reason, it's found out that something was done improperly, admit it. Be intentional in transparency, stop putting up smoke screens to deflect away when being human is all that happened. I'd have much more respect for that than a cover-up. Oh, and using this as a photo-op is also not a good idea. Sincerity and honesty is key. Be the person who is represented on the campaign trail, not just give us a showy version of an ideal you think we want to elect.

Productivity is also very important. Did the candidate show up for the job and produce? I want to know that who I've got representing me is not afraid to get their hands dirty and work. Roll up the sleeves and get things done kind of effort. If they have political experience, were they present at the time of voting, were they in attendance on committees they served and, more importantly, did they do the research on whatever the issue was before they voted? And if they are new to politics, what did they bring to the table in their own communities or what were they active in and passionate about? How did they contribute that was meaningful and substantive? I'd vote for anyone who can demonstrate what working hard means and shows how it was done.

Along with being a person who knows how to contribute, the prospective candidate who has the ability to work well with others shows a genuineness for collaboration. It is another key trait which promises to ensure success in getting elected. It's certainly required in all positions, but politics demands the ability to see both sides of issues, and determine solutions that will achieve a balance between differing opinions. The end goal being that the welfare of the community is maintained, not the stroking of the biggest ego in the room.

The last qualities that would put a candidate in as a top contender for me are the ones who possess intelligence and common sense, and can speak without stammering about how to implement good ideas in a rational, sensible fashion. Having a good grasp on the overall big picture and how to solve problems is an enormous plus! Making the right choices for the people they represent as well as taking into consideration what is ethical will only enhance those choices.

What I want to see in a candidate who stands before me begging for my vote is someone who is a genuine and humane human being. We've all see the flashy, disingenuous, smug lifetime politician who says all the right things to one group and changes his or her tune to coincide with the next twenty agendas of organizations visited during the campaign. It's disgusting, it's manipulative and it's not what we need at the helm of legislating laws. Those that are supposed to be there for the betterment of the communities that elected them need a trustworthy candidate.

I'm always hoping that the selection offered up of local, state and federal campaigners has a quality and caliber about them that truly shows leadership and empathy for the communities they represent. And there are some, but not enough. The volume of good leaders has to increase substantially. I hope it does before the next election season.

In my old age, I've gotten rather cynical though as I've watched election after election boil down to the lesser of two evils in just about every one I've been privileged to participate in.

So, Dear Candidate 2016 - if you don't fit the proposed mold - don't even get in the ring this time.

Please and Thank You.

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