Take Action! When Politicians Fail — Convictions and Compromise

Written by Wes Walker on July 26, 2013

Do the people running (ruining?) your favorite political party behave like people who actually represent you? Notice I didn’t name the party, or even what country that party hails from.  The question is intentionally open-ended.  Party politics have devolved into big business power-brokering.  Among those clamouring to be elected, is someone still interested in governing?

“Joe Citizen” has to periodically revisit whether that first choice of party, or even the local candidate, deserves his support.  And if not, how deep does the problem go that needs to be remedied?  Sometimes the candidate is another “Weiner”, and hopefully enough citizens recognize it before he is inflicted on the public.

But other times, it isn’t so clear.  We may look at disgust at the leaders who — only a few years earlier — were heirs apparent to the leadership of your preferred party’s Next Big Push.  But since then, have embarrassed themselves with some faux pas, or policies that strike against the core of what you thought they stood for.  And so … we are disappointed.

These politicians do know how to play the public, don’t they?  Because if we don’t support our guy with his balsa-wood principles, they point across the aisle with their somber warning — if you don’t support me, the other team wins.  And so they placate us with platitudes, or fill us with the fear of “the enemy” taking the seat we’re not even sure we want “our guy” to fill.  We’re forced, repeatedly, to vote for the “least-worst” candidate.  And they expect us to grin and like it, because — don’t you know! — that’s Democracy for ya.

Are we, and they, forgetting the thing that actually inspires the public?  When you think of Reagan, Churchill or Sir John A, they were loved by many, hated by others, but each had a clear understanding of what they wanted to accomplish.  You could love or hate the vision but without question, you understood it.

The great thing about leaders with convictions is that — if applied consistently — people can predict what action they might take before it is made public.  How?  By extrapolating (from their known values) what would govern their decision.  (This applies to friend and foe alike, both individuals and nations.)

And who are their counterparts?  They are the wafflers, and the sell-outs.  They vote “present” in decisions that are above their pay grade, they make bold and empty declarations like “Peace in our Time”, and have an uncanny knack of treating our friends like foes, and our foes like friends.

They are the ones who make excuses for scandals and scoundrels, for shredded, purged and deleted documents, botched programs and they callously trample the constitutional rights of ordinary civilians.  Worse yet, these are the category of “leaders” that will seek power for its own sake — some for personal gain, others to entrench an ideology.  These are they of whom we must be most wary.

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