The Baddour Horse Race It is Election Time

By: Jack Roy – April , 2012

This is a great time of year — it is election time…. This is the year when we discuss, argue, persuade and then vote on who will be the President, the Senator, the Congressman, the State Senator, the State Rep. and all the other positions that are to serve the public. This is the time for us to get informed, for it is the time for Democracy, the bedrock that keeps this Republic functioning, a time when the winner takes all.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be treated to well-dressed individuals, addressing all the issues that pertain to all areas of interest. Words will cover all our problems, every single question will be answered as if it were the most important issue on the planet. We will be pleased that those running for office or re-election are actually listening to the concerns of the citizens.

Every baby will be kissed and every hand shaken. American flags will ride on the candidates’ lapel. Then, based on these great words, this concern for our problems, this attention to every need, these well-dressed individuals may receive our backing and our vote.

But is that all there is? Has this continuous cycle gotten us what we truly want?

We elect these folks and then… we may not hear from them until the next election cycle. We start talking about the typical politician, the non-response to the needs of the public and too many times, become disenfranchised with the entire process.

To me, there has to be a better way. We treat the election cycle based on today, instead of basing it on history. We want to believe that the professional politicians have actually changed for the better. It is as if we go to the horse race and bet all our money on the horse with the prettiest colors.

I wonder how often that horse actually wins the race?

Talk does not matter. Dress does not matter. But what matters is how many races that horse has run in the past. What is the horse’s record? What is the horse’s training regimen? Who is the horse’s trainer and what is the bloodline? In other words, what is the horse’s history?

So how does this apply to the election?

Very simply. What have the candidates done to deserve your vote? Have they participated in civic matters or in organizations that promote civic responsibility?

Are they involved in the community, not just with their colleagues, but working with people to promote a cause they believe in?

Do they stand up and support measures that improve the community, even if it might turn off a few people?

So many politicians become involved when it is time to run for office. But how many have served within the community prior to running for office? Do the candidates practice what they preach? Are we voting for a politician or are we voting for a citizen activist, like us, who is willing to serve? Which is better, the professional politician or the citizen activist?

I must say, there is much to say for the person who has been in the trenches without the cameras rolling, without the reporters reporting, without the chance to kiss a few babies.

Citizen legislators are the answer. Finding people not interested in a career but instead, interested in making the community better. We need candidates who believe in the power of the people, not in the power of the position. And when we find these candidates, we should ask them “What can we do to help? “

After all, the horse who wears pink doesn’t always win.