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Voters share the blame

Terry Quinn, Eagle

This editorial points out who’s up and who’s down in public esteem. Congress was way down there. One of the conclusions was: “… our political class needs work.” That’s right, but it doesn’t start with the politicians.

The electorate is where the problem originates. Not everyone; but the majority elects those politicians who disappoint ” who engage in corrupt practices like earmarks and other special interest legislation ” who fail to address real problems.

Politicians provide what they think will get them elected. If honesty were a primary concern of the majority of voters, that’s what they’d get. But successful politicians know that mere honesty would relegate them to the “also-ran” category.

Too many politicians win elections by promising all things to all interest groups, even though they know they can’t deliver on a lot of those promises; and a lot of what they can deliver isn’t in the long-term public interest. They shy away from tough issues like energy independence or the insolvency of Social Security because voters are swayed by the demagoguery of special interests.

What’s wrong with those who vote the wrong way, and those who don’t even vote at all? How many people know enough to cast an intelligent vote? Many follow entertainment or sports news more carefully than political issues. Too frequently, people put more thought into what car they are going to buy than in which candidate deserves their support.

A lot base their choice on what goodie they have been promised, or how charming the candidate is. They do not withhold support from those who rely on vicious personal attacks and abject falsehoods. Not just the candidates’ organizations, but also their surrogates, like 527 groups. MoveOn.org is a good example.

Then there are those who don’t vote at all. The usual excuse is that all the choices are no good. It would be useful to have a selection on ballots for each contest ” None Of The Above. Then there would be no excuse for not showing up at the polls.

Until the electorate cleans up its act, the politicians who get elected will continue to disappoint.


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