We vote for candidates, for any, of a variety of reasons. Some of these, may be personal, while others might be logical and/ or emotional. However, most of us, would hope, that, once elected, these politicians were ready, willing and able, to transform, themselves, into statesmen, and prioritize, what might be best, for society, and their constituents! However, when we take an objective look, we often observe, this is not the case, in the vast majority of instances and circumstances. With this in mind, this article will attempt to briefly explore, examine, and discuss, 5 behavioral options, or paths, elected officials may take, etc.
1. Common good, versus self – interest: Ideally, wouldn’t it be nice, if these individuals prioritized serving the common good, rather than their personal agenda, and/ or self – interest? In 2017, perhaps more than at any time, in recent memory, we observed far less of this, and far more instances, where party politics, were considered, to a greater degree, than the common good. Consider, the attempt, to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it, with an ill – conceived, worse plan, rather than looking to improve it, and make it more cost – efficient, and better! Similarly, the recently passed (along party lines), so – called, tax reform legislation, was portrayed by President Donald Trump, and his cronies, as benefiting the middle – class, while objective economists, clearly stated, the major beneficiaries, were the wealthiest, and the corporations!
2. Unifying versus polarizing: Wouldn’t America be best served, if the public officials, focused on unifying us, and seeking common ground, rather than pitting one component of our society, against another? Again, many Republican office – holders, have followed the lead of Mr. Trump, whose rhetoric has often been little more, than, vitriol!
3. Protect all freedoms, not merely selective ones: After the tragic terrorism of September 11, 2001, the late, great, George Carlin, developed a comedy (satire) routine, referred to, as The Terrorists Win. The crux of this discussion, was, if we don’t maintain, all of our American freedoms, then we have permitted these terrorists to defeat us, because they will have, disrupted our way of life! Again, this year, when our President has focused on opposing the media, and his opponents, we have witnessed, a clear – cut threat, to our freedoms. We can’t pick – and – choose, which freedoms to respect, based on what we believe politically!
4. Planning/ solutions, rather than rhetoric/ promises: We should have recognized, when he was a candidate, that Trump, preferred to blame and complain, and employ vitriol, and rhetoric, and making promises, that, when he was elected, his planning, and/ or solutions, might be questionable, at best! In fact, that’s precisely what we observed in his first year, in office!
5. Truth/ integrity, versus lying and misstatements: Do you remember the expression, The truth will set you free? However, the vast majority of those elected to office, avoid being truthful and forthcoming. Again, fact – checkers have stated, President Trump, has consistently lied, or made misstatements, and, unfortunately, it appears, focused on maintaining his core supporters, often to the detriment of the rest of society!
Those we elect, make, either a conscious, or sub – conscious decision, about how they will behave, and communicate! Wouldn’t it be nice, if integrity was an essential component?