Truth and the Pendulum of Change

By: Patti Bankson

Last week we sat with some friends to talk about our up-coming primary. They wanted to sort out their thoughts with people they feel pay attention to such things. I had “dumped” a humongous stack of mailings from various candidates onto the table, and, as much as I believe we need to have information about them, it can be daunting and over-whelming. Add the dirt and mud-slinging, and it can also be pretty confusing.

Putting aside what politicians want us to know about them, here are some things I want them to know about me, and others like me: Note to Candidates: Mud-slinging ads do nothing for me. In fact, they’re so annoying that I don’t want to vote for either of you. I don’t want to hear you tell me what your opponent has or hasn’t done in the past, or will or won’t do in the future. If you’re so anxious for voters to know “the truth” about a candidate, why not start a shocking trend? Tell us the truth about YOURSELF! If you have “dirty, little secrets” or parts of your life… personal or professional… that might be used against you by a mud-slinging opponent, why not man-up, beat ‘em to the punch, and tell us yourself? Is it risky? You betcha! But is it the right thing to do? Always. See, the thing about secrets is that no one can keep one, so the truth eventually slips out.

Still, can you get away with glossing over the facts… with putting together a vote-attracting mailer containing carefully chosen bits and pieces of the truth about you? Can you slide your way into office on a slick campaign speech? Yes and Yes. At least once. But after you’re in office, here’s a heads up from me to you: I’m watching to see whether you do, or don’t do, what you’re promising in your campaign. Not only am I watching, but I’m going to let you know that I know, and I’m going to tell everyone possible about your betrayal of the truth, and the people who believed you. We the people have been receiving a very painful education in the “talk is cheap” department, and we’re not willing to let it continue… not if our vote can stop it. Our society may have changed a lot; lost too much of its class and character… become apathetic, but it’s changing again, and history tells us that change has always followed the swing of the proverbial pendulum. When it’s gone as far as possible in one direction, it’ll start swinging back the other way. So, if you’re one of the few who’ve traded integrity and truth for an easy win, you might want to keep watching your back. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that swinging pendulum to hit you in the…. well… on your way out your (elected) office door.

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2010 Patti Bankson

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