- Politics and Social Issues»
- United States Politics
Do You Trust and Respect your Senator or Representative?
Trust and respect for an elected official is an important quality to have if they want to be re-elected come election time. Many decisions are made by senators and representatives at the state and federal level and we may not always agree with their decisions but having the trust and respect from the voters must be earned. Both of these characteristics may seem foreign to the political world at least from the perspective of voters who elect individuals to represent us. These are tough economic times and all citizens whether they are voters or not need to be able to trust and respect the job their elected officials are doing.
The characteristic of trust must be earned and is something not lightly given from one individual or another. Individuals in elected office must earn our trust to do the right thing when it comes time to make decisions that will affect our lives, our family and our friends. Part of earning our trust involves politicians being truthful about their positions on issues and the facts as to why they feel the way they do. Politicians who change their position on the issues which helped elect them lose the trust quickly of those who elected them. Granted there can be facts which we may not be aware of that caused a change in position but it must be explained as best as possible so voters understand the reason for the change.
Trust in elected officials these days is at an all-time low giving the decisions and actions/inactions of Congress and the President. Once a politician loses the trust and confidence of the voters it is a long road to get it back. Any individual who either runs for elected office or is holding an elected office must or should seek the trust of the voters. Individuals who elect people to represent them want to know that they are looking out for their interest and the interest of their state and/or the country. As voters we desperately need to be able to trust our elected officials but the current path of the country and the economic times we now find ourselves in make that a hard sell.
We elect individuals to look for our interest and the interest of the country but the political environment in Congress and some states appear to exhibit the policies of their political party. Being a part of a political party represents the philosophy of the individual but it does not mean that an individual agrees with every position on the issues. Individuals representing us must make their decisions based on the facts on the issues before them not the party position and vote accordingly. Having this kind of approach would go a long way to earning the trust of voters. Sadly this kind of action seems to be lacking and has been lacking in Congress for years. It does not matter which party is in power for the attitude seems to have been present in Congress in the past as it is today.
Changing this political culture and that is what it is a culture which has been developed over the years and only the voters through their votes can change this culture. This does not mean there are not good individuals in both political parties only that they do not exist in sufficient numbers to impact the change needed. Part of earning the trust of voters is making decisions when the decisions do not necessarily agree with party position but it is the right decision to be made. In addition losing trust in elected officials can occur when political parties come out against the actions of those who make hard decisions to separate from party policy. This has recently occurred in the Senate when a group of Senators stood up for a position in which they believed and yet individuals from their own party publically stated it was the wrong action to take. When individuals stand up for the right position their political party should support them not ridicule them in the eyes of the public.
Political parties can also lose the trust of the public based on the decisions/actions they take or have not taken. Hard issues face our country and in some cases some individual states and good and logical decisions must be made to resolve them. Political parties who basically state it is their way or the highway without even considering proposals of the other party are losing the respect of the voters who elected them. There are always going to be disagreements on how to solve the issues facing a state or our county but Congress and those serving in it can earn back some of the trust and respect if they work together. It does not matter which political party comes up with the right decision on an issue only whether the right decision is being proposed.
In terms of earning the respect of voters individuals must be honest about their positions on the issues and communicate these positions to their constituents. Voters can have respect for a political position but not respect the individual holding the position. The current political culture of government is losing or has lost the respect of voters across the country. Critical issues are facing our country not the least of which is our deficit. Pushing off decisions/solutions in the future is not facing our issues and the hard decisions which must be made. Elected officials at all levels of government must earn the trust and respect of the voters in their respective areas by making the hard decisions to resolve critical issues. The decisions may not be popular but they must be made. I have said this many times in other articles that elected officials must remember they are working for us not their political party. If voters feel they are voting with party positions which may not be the right decision based on voter/public opinion they can lose their position in the next election. Elections are a time when voters decide if they can trust or respect the individual up for re-election based on their actions/decisions or elect a new individual to represent them. This seems to be forgotten in-between elections. Voters must always send a clear message regarding the actions of those representing them in each and every election.