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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Expectations of Our Leaders

The Democratic Party first Presidential debate was yesterday. I caught a few glimpses of the last hour. I still recall the comments of one of my college professors.  He said it doesn't really matter overall who wins an election.  Problems will generally not be solved based on which political party comes out on top.  I think he was partly correct.  Solutions to problems are difficult when there never is one solution that fits all people.

So what should we expect from our leaders and politicians we elect to various offices?  We elect people to carry out the business of government.  They are our elected caretakers.  They are to ensure the governmental systems operate efficiently and economically.  Especially if public services are delivered from governmental offices.  While we go about our daily business, working at jobs, taking care of our family etc., we expect office holders to do all the correct things so we also don't have to come home and worry if public funds are being spent properly.  We don't want to worry about the details of plans to pave roads and what precautions our government is taking to ensure we are safe in our homes.  So we delegate to others by voting people into office whom we believe will ensure our collective needs are being taken care of.

The "caretaker" role is therefore at the foundation of our expectations.  We want the system of public services to run smoothly.  Keep the water clean and flowing to our homes.  Keep us free from those who may want to invade our homes.  Keep order in the community.  When it snows, plow our streets.

After the "caretaker" role comes the "problem solving" role.  If there are issues that need to be resolved we want action to solve problems.  But when the "solution" brings about increased costs on us in the form of additional taxes, we pause and care even more about how a problem is solved.

We also want our leaders to behave.  We don't want to hear about their personal idiosyncrasies getting in the way of performing their duties.  Plus we don't want to be embarrassed by poor personal judgments they make that turn into public fiascos.

We definitely do not want leaders who take public funds and use it for personal needs.  Or don't use political influence for private gain.

Let's face it.  Public service is a sacrifice.  You sacrifice personal desires to do work that will benefit a range and hopefully a great number of people.  Our leaders speak for us. They advocate for us.  They express outrage for us.

One thing we definitely want from our leaders is action.  Do something.  Don't just talk about a problem.  Figure out the options to reducing the problem or even better solve the problem.  Then if you want to run for re election again, we will more than likely vote you back into office.