|The new Speaker of the House-elect, John Boehner R-OH|
Mid term elections–the results are in. The Republicans once again will control the House of Representatives and the Democrats’ majority in the Senate is much more tenuous. My own home state, generally a blue state because of the voting power of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, now has a Republican governor and Senator. Most of the political analysts note that the independents voted with the Republicans and a lot of Democrats moved away from strict party support because of their disaffection with Mr. Obama.
USA TODAY. There are some takeaways from the 2010 elections that I would hope our country’s leadership would take to heart.
1. Stop promising what you can’t deliver and deliver what you do. The adjective empty now seems solidly connected to a definition of campaign rhetoric. You keep raising expectations in order to get elected and then encourage cynicism among the people when little is changed. People have a pretty clear idea of what they think the nation needs, but those ideas are often driven by personal preferences that doesn’t bother to see the big picture or political ideologies that have no concern for reality. Instead of pandering to either, how about speaking the truth – even when we don’t want to hear it. I, for one, have more confidence in a leader whose positions are driven by his core values and who is courageous enough to declare those core values. I know, I know; you don’t think you’ll get elected if you would operate from a position of definable integrity; but maybe our nation needs for you to take the risk.
2. Character matters. Yes, there are some “out there” politicians who manage to get elected because of the momentary idiosyncrasies of their district and the media loves to focus on the extremists. But those persons are more about sound bytes than substance. An incumbent loses elections when the people perceive that he or she is not genuine and when he embraces the assumptions of the powerful within the Beltway instead of the values that the ordinary American seeks to live by. How about not taking a raise when your district suffers from horrendous unemployment? How about refraining from living from one set of values outside the eyes of the voter and another when you’re trying to male them believe you’re “one of them”?
3. Help us solve some problems as a nation even if that means you’ll lose so much political capital that you won’t be making a career as a politician. It doesn’t do your nation much to get re-elected if your nation becomes more and more ungovernable because its problems multiply without solution. It’s not about you. It’s about the good of the nation.