Why do I say this? Is it because everyone knows politicians will say anything to get elected (or reelected) or is it because everyone knows that politicians lie? No, it is because it is a very poor predictor of what a politician will do or try to do if they are elected or reelected.
Anyone old enough to remember what it was like in the days before instant mass media reporting will recall how a politician on one day would appear at a campaign event in a farming area and say he supported farmers and the next day appear in an urban area and say that “Farm Subsidies” must be eliminated. Now with 24 hour news coverage and instant reporting it is much harder for a politician to get away with such a blatant contradiction.
So, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff when you hear a politician talking?
Many years ago, in my early adulthood, I found two axioms that assisted me in evaluating people and these can also help in evaluating politicians and what they say. Here are those two axioms:
1. If you want to really know a person, stop listening to what they say and instead look at what they do.
2. If you want to know what someone will do in the future, look at what they have done in the past.
Can these axioms be applied to politicians as well as all of the people you know or meet in life?
Absolutely! If you apply these two axioms in evaluating anyone you will seldom be disappointed or surprised by what occurs. A word of caution however! People tend to overstate or overreach on what they can deliver (overstating or overreaching may be a trait they have shown in the past which would also assist you in evaluating that person).
They may actually believe in what they say but not be able to deliver. This is particularly true of politicians and their promises. They may have good intentions when they run for office but, if elected, reality sets in and they accomplish little, if any, of what they promised.
So how do you as a voter know what to believe when a candidate is making all of those grandiose statements about what they will do and accomplish if they are elected?
First you should understand the limitations of the office they are seeking which are clearly spelled out in the Constitution. Then look back at their past and see if what they are now saying is consistent with what they have said and done in the past?
Presidential candidates are notorious for promising “the moon” when running for office. As a voter you should remember the Constitution gives the president very little authority to accomplish ANYTHING (I.e. his/her power is very limited).
Second, the President is expected to be a leader and using those leadership abilities, work with Congress to select goals and persuade enough members in Congress to support those goals. If the majority in Congress does not agree with the President he/she cannot accomplish ANYTHING!
One of the most important things to remember then when looking at a presidential candidate is; “Has he/she displayed leadership ability in the past and do they have a record of accomplishment?”
Four years ago many were saying that Obama had no experience as a leader and hence no “track record” which would assist in knowing how he would lead and what he could be expected to accomplish if he were elected. He has now been in office for almost four years and has a “track record” which you can use to say what direction he will lead in the future and what he can be expected to accomplish if reelected
Romney also has a “track record”. His record encompasses being a successful businessman, a governor of Massachusetts, and his role in pulling the 2002 Winter Olympics out of a financial mess. It is very easy to know his leadership style and also see what he has been able to accomplish in the past and hence what he can be expected to accomplish in the future if he is elected.
My suggestion then is to stop listening to what these two politicians (and their minions) say and evaluate them using the two axioms I cited above. Look at what they have said and done in the past and you will be able to pretty much predict what they will accomplish in the future.
Your future and the future of your children and grandchildren, as well as the future of this once great nation, is at stake.
It is your choice so choose wisely
Stop Listening to Politicians!
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