When we think of politics we often picture a man or a woman well groomed and well dressed, a politician, standing in front of an audience enthusiastically using lofty words to stoke our dreams and wishes for a better future. And many Americans today are easily sold on a candidate based on these words and the appearance of the candidate. Sadly, more often than not we find ourselves quite disappointed quickly.
Well, folks, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Politicians are usually well meaning at least from the outset of their political life, but more often than not the lofty ideals fade away and they fall prey to special interests and the campaign funds and other perks they can provide which pull them in to a subservient relationship which they can never break. Oh, they can break it, but if they do their "career" is over, a career which was never intended by the Founders of this great nation. So how can we change this and how can we base our decisions on something more solid than mere campaign promises which are so easily broken?
The answer is surprisingly easy but it also takes personal involvement and attention. Never base your support for a political candidate on campaign promises, base it on how well they perform in meeting those promises. Read up on the issues, follow the candidate's voting record and determine first hand if he or she has been doing what was promised. Actions are the measure of what they really stand for; words are easy to say and then forget.
The best comparison I can make to this are the words quoted above from the Bible as delivered by James, the brother of Jesus. He says faith is best exemplified by works, for if you truly believe you will actively work for God's Kingdom in all that you do. So a similar standard should be used to measure your elected representatives, be they local, state or national. Make note of the promises that your candidate made while campaigning and measure it against the way he voted in office. Then you must hold them to it and determine their political fate accordingly. It also falls in line with Reagan's trust but verify concept.
Never accept a politician's words as absolute, for they are in a line of work which tends to take over their heart and soul if they don't guard against it. Sadly, most of them don't. It's up to us to hold them to their word and it's our duty as citizens to do just that. If they don't live up to their commitments, vote them out of office and replace them with someone who will. It's as simple as that.
Are we up to it? It's time we find out because America can't survive much longer the way we are going. If we want to control our own destiny and make sure that leaders represent us, we must take charge of it. Now is the time while we still may do so.