“He actually sounded like a not-so-bad guy,” said a friend after hearing the concession speech of one of our least favorite politicians, years ago. There is that moment of “If he would have sounded like that on the campaign trail” that comes–and goes after the votes have been counted. But how come most candidates can’t be that person during the campaign?
One of the reasons they can’t is because of us. A lot of people say they are tired of campaigns and politicians. I am tired of a lot, but most of all people complaining about politicians. One of the things I am tired of is the complaining.
When you get down to it, politicians are pretty much like us, not always in the “regular guy” sense, but with principles, morals and integrity much like ours. When we see politicians behaving badly, they are acting like us, only in public. They are acting like we want them to, encourage them to and reward them.
We don’t want humility. We want them just as they are–only better than us, but one of us.
Campaign attack ads bother a lot of us. We ask, why do they do this if we don’t like it? But I don’t recall seeing many attack ads that are worse than common barbs and insults that many of us live with on a daily basis.
Or maybe someone could take to the campaign trail with that strong, humble integrity. But that’s not the conventional wisdom. It is not what we ask for. But for all the pins and needles on which we sit, it is hard to go an entire campaign season before we get a sincere “Thank You.” Maybe we need to do a better job of asking for that, a better job of giving that and a better job being the people we want our politicians to be.
Then, maybe, we’ll win.
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