Vote with your head

| 28 May 2014 | 01:13

    Scandals wrack our government at all levels.

    Much of the electorate is frustrated and disillusioned by politics evinced by blatant lies. They voted for handsome people who talked smoothly telling them what they wanted to hear.

    Upon being elected, they made and continue to make bad decisions. In many cases, their self-servant thinking caps were put on over their public servant heads.

    During my high school and college years, I worked in a lumber yard building modular homes under the tutelage of a sawyer/carpenter with decades of experience. I learned many things from Harold, but one thing stands out and the parallel to elections seems appropriate.

    In pallets of lumber, the boards range from the straight and clear to twisted and sap-stained. As we were going through a pallet one day, I kept tossing the latter boards aside choosing the straight, better looking ones.

    Harold told me to bring them all.

    As we were building the pre-fab panels and were at a junction for possible structural vulnerability, Harold would look for a twisted and stained board saying, “She ain’t much for looks, but she’s hell for strong.”

    He would then take the twists out with some well-placed nails.

    Today, as I drive by some of the homes and businesses we constructed, Harold’s work is still standing likely because he was unimpressed by the looks of his raw materials relying on other strengths instead.

    As voters, we should look at all of a candidate’s qualifications and do our own due-diligence to vet other facts.

    The “nails” we should consider using are sufficient roots in the community to know the issues, military and/or volunteer service, education/training, voting record, government and/or other management experience.

    We should be wary of candidates who are hand-picked in smoke-filled rooms or, for that matter, wine cellars.

    Also question those who go around behind the scenes with their own “facts” about a challenger instead of going head-to-head in a public forum. The relative anonymity of social media is often rife with dis- and mis-information. Last minute mailings are a frequent method of campaign libel promulgated by unethical politicos.

    President Lyndon B. Johnson is said to have stated, “It ain’t personal. It’s just politics.”

    Suffice it to say, government is too important to our well-being as a society. Politics for politics’ sake makes government less effective and more costly than necessary.

    Given the media of today being less than enthusiastic about investigating government, at local levels of government the scrutiny of ethics commissions should be implemented.

    They would make some people think twice about making purely political and oft times costly decisions.

    As the primaries arrive, vote with your head, not under it.

    Eskil S. “Skip” Danielson