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Commentary :: Politics
You Said If We Took A Step Towards You...
17 Jul 2012
Inspiring people must not be an easy thing to do. It seems you can't just get them to buy into a lot of promises, especially if they take a first step, without them expecting you to make good on what you said. Maybe when a person makes certain promises, with the caveat those people the promises were made to take the initial step, the people that made the promises are even more likely to be held to high standards regarding fulfilling them. In fact, adults rarely take first steps where they are truly putting a lot in another's hands, unless they have trust in that person.
People don't give money to used car salespersons, for example, for the full price of a car prior to driving the car they are considering buying. This is for good reason. They certainly don't give money to a used car salesperson for the full price of a car without laying eyes on it. We would have to really trust that salesperson, and even a relative or close friend might not get the money.

In the same way, we wouldn't hire someone as an employee without both an interview and references. We might do one or the other only, but there would really have to be good references, or one heck of an interview. We are choosing to pay them to work for us, so it only makes sense we want to know something about them prior to hiring them.

Keeping your word and proving yourself trustworthy is important, as it can be so disappointing when people prove unreliable or untrustworthy. When that person is an employee, it can effect you, your job and much more.

With politicians we expect there to be quite a bit of talk. Many of their promises they won't keep, but every politician has a core list of promises. That core list stays on people's minds and often becomes what we associate them with. It is the politicians that can fulfill those main promises and act on them when they have a chance, that are able to get the respect of the people. No matter what else they may have said here and there in the heat of an election, or as some other kind of get out the vote mechanism, those core promises and the ability of politicians to keep them are what make a person credible to us.

If a person says they'll do something, and people put effort into helping them in any way, or put themselves on the line in an effort to aid that politician, it's expected they will work to return the favor, and prove they were worth it. When they turn out to have just been using those that aided them to get what they want, and were willing to throw away everything they said in terms of promises, it just proves what kind of politician they are.

Right now we have had a shortage of politicians that can make good on their word. It's like something happened on the way to the modern era and politicians stopped believing the people they represented, those that got them their seats by voting for them, really matter anymore. It's as though we the voters are just there for politicians to fool into believing they will come through after election day.

There was a time when politicians were respected as people, though there was always the notion they were likely to blur the lines between truth and fiction, and they still had a level of respectability. The best were thought of as those that gave parts if not all of their lives serving their nation as public servants. There was a nobility to it.

Now it's just a way to grab some power, influence and, if you played your cards right, a cushy six to seven figure job as a consultant or lobbyist to some wealthy corporate interests or their affiliated lobbyists upon retirement. That's regardless of party affiliation. Nothing about that says serving the public, it speaks to serving oneself. It says that instead of serving to help people, you have a self centered interest in being seen as a powerful figure willing to say anything to get what you want.

President George W. Bush promised no nation building because we as a country felt we needed to focus more on the many problems that were sewing the seeds for an unstable and less prosperous future for ourselves in our national landscape, among other things. Though I myself did not vote for him, I too liked the idea of no nation building. That among other promises got him into office. Once he got there he ignored warnings planes would crash into high profile and strategic buildings in the US, and after that happened he got us into two simultaneous wars ending up burning trillions of our tax dollars, with a large part if not a majority of it going towards nation building.

We are still in Afghanistan and spending billions a year still in Iraq on private security contractors more than we have in any other foreign country and more "diplomatic" personnel in Iraq than in any other nation. We are also sending the government financial assistance. The nation building continues. In Afghanistan, though we are supposed to be pulling out, we have committed to open ended support, and nobody knows how much that support will cost taxpayers. Again, more nation building on our dime.

President Obama said he would veer away from the Bush Administration policies of sending buckets of taxpayer dollars to help nation build. I was one of the people that believed him. But, when he had the chance to follow the Bush timeline for a pullout, he changed his mind and attempted to keep US troops in Iraq beyond his stated timeline. That was a big change from the promises he made as a candidate in 2008.

When he had a chance to keep his core promises on the economy, the wars and civil liberties during the window that was open between 2009 through the beginning of 2010, he went back on his promises to those that supported him. He spent all the opportunity on a lesser sometimes talked about promise. It was so unpopular and contentious, it got wrapped up in the court system taking up more time and tax dollars to break free from the weight of people trying to cut away at it, and the trip might not be over as far as legal battles concerning that law.

He lied and gave us a few crumbs here and there, but most of his time was spent doing things that pleased large corporations that would be able to donate to his campaign fund and that of other Democrats. When children were being raped at parties funded by US tax dollars and thrown by US military contractors, the administration's comments were "no comment." ( ( He said in 2007 while campaigning for president, "If American workers are being denied their right to organize when I'm in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes and I will walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States." ( Why didn't he go when he was needed? All he needed was comfortable shoes to fulfill that promise. It has been as if the hope and dreams for change were a layer of thin water based paint sprayed over the Democratic Party destined to wash off with the first rain, and we were supposed to have known it was all a lie.

Mitt Romney has flip flopped so often since his first presidential tangle with John McCain, he has all but spelled out the words "I-M-L-Y-I-N-G-!" With that in the background, were he to get elected this year, he would be about the same as president Obama was in terms of keeping his word. It appears by staying with the two party system and allowing wealthy corporations to take over our political system, we aren't really doing ourselves any favors. Of course, that's something we can change over time, as the two parties seem to be serving themselves and their wealthy masters more than the rest of us. Apparently, we just don't fit into the equation anymore.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to
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