These elections are shaping up to be no different than those of the past. Here is some advice to candidates who really want to make a difference:
1. Self-Praise Stinks
When will we hear no more of political candidates praising themselves? It stinks and makes us suspect them of being just another dirty politician. We the public are not fooled by the politician who wants to brag about what he or she will change when they get into office. We know that it is impossible to make political promises about a future over which you have little or no control. Bragging about your business experience, family, or community service also stinks. We don’t care if you were a business success. How does that translate to politics? They are not the same. Your family is not our family. We really don’t give a hoot. And your community service says nothing about who you really are because we don’t know your motives for serving. Bragging about being a lifelong West Virginian from birth also means that you are putting those of us down who were born elsewhere and it is certainly not a qualification for office. Better to let someone else praise you if there is something really worth praising. Self-praise makes you unqualified for office!
2. Political Slander Stinks
When will we hear the last of political advertising that slanders an opponent? It is just dirty politics and makes a candidate just another a dirty mud-slinging politician. When candidates say that the current President, member of Congress, County Commissioner or other politician has destroyed America, we all know they are exaggerating. Nobody has been so powerful as to destroy the country. Nobody in office has ruined our children’s future. When a politician wants to control guns it’s exaggeration to say that they are anti-gun. When a politician has made mistakes it is arrogant to blow them out of proportion and pretend that a new candidate will not. We all make mistakes. When a politician disagrees with your point of view don’t demonize them or you demonize us. Many of us may hold the same point of view. Show us where we are wrong but don’t slander us or your opponent. Political slander makes you unqualified for office!
3. Argue the Facts with Emotion
It is not true that we are unemotional beings. Even the most intelligent among us operates on emotion at least as much as on facts. So, please do your research. Consult with experts. Don’t come out and say that you have a 3 point plan to fix the economy if you are not an economist. Say that economists have advised you that 3 points will fix the economy and you want to fight to put them into place. Don’t say that you will put them into place. That’s another false political promise. We know you can’t without help. Tell us the truth that you will fight to put them into place. Be honest about the obstacles that will stand in your way and rally us to your support with emotion. Someone who can rally us to the facts with emotion may be worth electing to office.
My rules for voting are simple. I would not vote for someone who praises themselves and I would not vote for someone who slanders an opponent. They have disqualified themselves. In some elections that means I would not vote for anyone. I would vote for someone who can rally us to a cause, with proper emotion and qualified facts from the experts.
I pray for the day when righteousness returns to the political arena. I yearn for the day when that promise from Isaiah 1:26 will be fulfilled in Washington and all our state capitals, “I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” (Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.)