While out and about today, I couldn’t help but notice that it is nearly election time around here again … the signs and posters that the local political parties like to hang up around election time are all over the place. This prompted a thought in my mind: that at any other point in time during their tenure, I don’t seem to hear much from the politicians. But around election time, they all seem to have something to say – in some cases, a lot to say, regardless whether or not anyone wants to hear it – to their people, to their potential voters. I thought this was interesting, but didn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about it and went on with my day. Then, later, the thought resurfaced and expanded: the politicians also like to talk a lot to their potential donors. I thought that was interesting also, and then concluded the thought that at one time, the politicians have a lot to say to their potential voters and donors, and the rest of the time they must just be really busy talking a lot with one another. But as soon as this thought entered my mind, my inner skeptic raised its voice and reminded me of what I’m routinely reading in the news: that the politicians aren’t talking with one another much at all. They talk about one another, they talk around one another; but they don’t really seem to do much talking with one another. It is also interesting to note that it seems a common perception that, when politicians are speaking to their voters, not much of what they say can be relied upon. When they are busy speaking about and around one another, I’m not so certain everything they say can be trusted, either.
So, just a thought for potential politicians out there – here is one of your potential people trying to talk to you: make it a general practice to speak with us and engage us, make it a general practice that the words you speak to us can be trusted, and you might find that more voters and donors are lining up to not only get your message out, but keep it fresh and relevant. Lead us, do not manage us, and you might find more people willing to follow your lead. You won’t need to spend nearly as much in campaigning, as more people will already be ‘on board’ with what you are all about – that money can then be returned to social programs, so that even the people who might not be able to vote for you might still benefit from your tenure as a public servant. Less signs and posters can only mean good things for the environment, as well. It’s just a thought, a result of my own thoughts, and I hope it might help.