What I hope for in a candidate

Super Tuesday over and here in Hampton, we have council elections coming up.  However, I have become very discouraged by the political environment of recent years, for two reasons: the partisan political fighting and also the promises candidates make that they can not keep.

When I go to a “meet the candidate” event, I have come to expect two types of speeches. In one type, the entire speech is about what a bad leader the other candidate is/would be.  The second type is filled with promises which are made and never kept but will resurface the next election. I guess people now days either don’t expect realistic goals from candidates or they forget from one election to the next. My dad’s favorite isall the politicians that promise $2 gas in his state, like that will ever happen.

So last weekend, I found myself at a meet and greet for a candidate. I admit I did not know the man or anything about the incumbent running against him.  As he talked,  I noticed he never once used his opponent’s name or said anything disparaging. Instead, he talked about a couple of things he wanted to change. They were realistic and were good ideas,  not a grand scheme with no explanation of how he would get there. This gentleman had thought out what could be improved and developed a plan to accomplish the promise.

As I sat there thinking how this was unusual, I was saddened by the fact that I had become so used to the other speeches. Why don’t more candidates present plans where they can make positive changes? For example, not just “I am going to make the government more transparent and open” but how they would accomplish the goal.

I left the meeting feeling optimistic for the first time in a long time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all politicians put these kind of straight forward plans out to the public so then they could decided on who would be the best candidate? Instead of hoping for scaring the voters into voting for you because the other person is so bad.

I  hope that people will look at the local races in their area and learn about the candidates and vote.  As Vivian often points out here, all politics are local and we should care about all the races, not just the national ones.