Despairing at the state of our politics

Everyone who is tired of politicians bashing their opponents, denouncing them to the point of making them a villain, raise your right hand.

Not both hands; I said right hand. You, there in the back, put your feet back on the floor. One hand is enough.

I, for one, refuse to spend the time to listen while one person tears the other apart, all the while knowing that once that person is elected, a new face has to be put on, along with the assurances that all is forgiven and we will all work together.

“I never really meant what I said about that person anyways.”

It reminds me of one of Aesop’s fables, where a fellow is lost in a forest and can’t seem to find his way; neither can he seem to warm up.

A fawn approaches him and asks why is he blowing into his hands, to which he replies, “to warm them.”

The fawn goes on to invite the fellow into his home, where he has made a soup. As they sit down to a steaming, hot bowl of the soup, the fellow blows on the meal, forcing the fawn to declare that the soup is already hot.

The fellow comes out with the statement, “It’s too hot. I’m trying to cool it down.”

The fawn, now confused, in an angry voice orders the fellow to leave immediately, making the fellow question why.

The fawn stated, “Anyone who blows both hot and cold with the same breath is not to be trusted.”

I think you know where I’m going with this. For me, it brings back conversations we would have at the kitchen, where more than once, the folks would declare that this kind of electioneering is why they never vote anymore.

“With all that bashing each other, you could hardly figure out what they stood for.”

With all the unfulfilled promises, many people are like that fawn, in that we wish sometimes to reject the very people we have to vote into office. These same traits run across the entire spectrum of hopefuls, so finding the platform differences is next to impossible.

One fellow from the street who is no longer with us, once commented that he had voted for a leader who had made a health-care promise that would have benefitted him immensely. Many years later, he was still waiting.

He was one person that I know who would never have voted again had he lived to the next election.

What do you think would happen if we had all the people running for office simply present us with the platform on which they would base their tenure?

No opponent bashing or any demeaning remarks; just stating their own history and beliefs of what they felt was pertinent to the well-being of the city, province or country.

When I presented this sentiment to some other folks, I was left with the unspoken feeling, “great idea, but it just won’t fly.”

So, I thought to myself: “Self, can it be that even though everyone knows it and feels it, nothing will be done to upset the status quo?”

Sadly, I already knew the answer to that question.

The one and only thing we, as voters, can do is to wade through the muck, sort out what the best platform might be and just go with that, even though we are totally disgusted with all that we have heard and whom we heard it from.

In this country, we pride ourselves on the fact that we are respectful and humble toward each other. Nowhere is the opposite of that statement perpetuated more than in the battle arena that we call politics.

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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