Insist on plan from candidates by Steven R. Rathje

I’ve known several candidates and elected representatives who have no problem in sharing their solutions and ideas with constituents and colleague alike. Through passion, facts and skill, they articulate them to prove their merit and pass them into law for the benefit of all Americans.

There are a lot of issues facing American families today that require the direct attention from elected officials, as well as candidates. Leading the pack obviously are jobs and the economy and our budget deficit and debt. Then there’s energy, education and national security.

So it’s disappointing when people take the time and make the effort to run for office, and then fall short because of no substantive plan regarding the topics that most Americans are discussing. Talking points, sound bites and political rhetoric are one thing; it’s another to offer solutions in a coherent, well thought-out manner.
On more than one occasion, I’ve asked candidates for their rendition of what must be done to get people back to work and the economy moving again. I didn’t ask for sound bites but rather an honest plan that reflects well thought-out solutions to our problems. I’m looking for those who can form and articulate a plan, sell it to leadership, and actually get something done.

Shouldn’t would-be constituents be offered the opportunity to weigh-in on a candidate’s ideas about important issues before the election, rather than being forced to determine whether they’ve made the right decision several months down the road when it’s too late? After all, elections aren’t likability contests … or are they?
Most of us want to know what the candidate’s plans are for cutting taxes, spending and eliminating waste, so we’d like for them to tell us, in writing, where, how much, and what fiscal effect it’ll have on our country and our pocket book. We also want to know what their plan is for stimulating consumer confidence so as to empower employers to hire more people and get good-paying manufacturing jobs back home.

Banks insist on a business plan before lending money to a business, so why shouldn’t we insist on a plan from those we’re going to pay $175,000 every year and entrust with our country and our lives?
I’m not speaking to you as a Republican or former candidate who promoted a jobs plan of his own, but rather a constituent who’s insisting that other candidates do so as well. I just want some answers, because there’s a whole new generation of Americans depending on them.

Steven R. Rathje is founder/CEO of International Procurement Services Inc. in Cedar Rapids. Comments:

About Ajai Dittmar

There is nothing 'radical' about wanting to save your historical neighborhood! There is nothing 'negative' for wanting an 'outside investigation' done a public service that has had a lot of embarrassing news, especially when they don't do their jobs! There is nothing 'odd' about wanting politicians to uphold the Constitution they swear to uphold when they are sworn into office! Follow @sibzianna View all posts by Ajai Dittmar

4 responses to “Insist on plan from candidates by Steven R. Rathje

  • Ajai Dittmar

    Word on the ground is people want Mr. Rathje in office and they are working on a write in campaign

  • Craig Augustine

    Mr Rathje , you make great points and it all sounds good. That’s where it ends though….. While I believe many run for office with all the right intentions… maybe.

    The problem begins once elected. Thats when the machines take over. (Party line politics and the Media.)

    The newly elected find out real quick… the rules, and if one has any hope of being re-elected one better follow the rules…or NO MONEY for you Mr/Mrs/Misses elected one come the next election cycle. Throw in the overwhelming intellectually dis-honest Mainstream Media with its unbridled freedom to print or disseminate only what THEY decide.

    One could, in my opinion lay equal blame on the MSM for the current way the system has become split.

    Of course this is speaking more to the State an Federal levels of politics.

    Just my 2 cents …… Hope I don’t get accused and banned for “Monopolizing the conversation” ROTFLMAO…

    • Ajai Dittmar

      Craig I would NEVER ban you from speaking your mind!

    • Steve Rathje

      Hello Craig,

      Please forgive me for taking so long to respond to your comment. As a business owner, time can sometimes be somewhat of a rare commodity. So again, thank you for your patience! That being said, let’s proceed forward with a response that I hope you’ll appreciate.

      I’ll begin by saying; I couldn’t agree more! The problem does begin once candidates get elected, because they don’t have the courage to follow through. That, is what Primaries are supposed to be about, separating the wheat from the chaff, a time whereby candidates should be properly vetted so we know who’s going to stand strong and who is going to buckle under pressure, we know who has workable solutions in tow as they head off to do the work of the people, and we know exactly what their plan is for getting them done. Not a plan of talking points, but one of substance, that can be articulated to colleagues, debated, and then written into reality.

      The problem lies not only with the candidates that are unprepared, ill prepared, inexperienced, and for the most part, lack the qualifications we’d all hope they’d have before even contemplating running for office, but those that cheer lead for them without ever knowing what they actually bring to the table. If a candidate does possess the proper characteristics, they are more likely to obtain a leadership role once elected, rather than that of a follower, thus placing them in a more senior position, quicker, and giving them a better chance of getting something done. Thus alleviating the scenario you’ve illustrated.

      As for Party line politics, rules and the media? Those we elect don’t report to them, they report to us, and if they choose to sell out for the sake of a political party, media slander, fame, or being re-elected, then it’s time for them to go. If you know anything about me at all, read anything else I’ve written, know what I do for a living, then you know exactly what I stand for and what Constitutionally based common sense solutions I have not only developed, but also personally subscribe to. Do you work with the Party? Sure you do, no different then working with those you work with in the private sector, how else will you ever get anything done, but you don’t compromise your values and principles in the process. You convince others of the merits of your plan and your solutions, because once you compromise what you truly believe in, there’s no going back and the very foundation upon which you stand begins to crumble beneath you!

      Your comment is exactly what I’ve thought about politicians my entire life, people that choose to look out for themselves and their power rather than that which they’ve taken an oath to protect and preserve. There’s still time to properly vet the candidates, Craig, and more than enough time to do the right thing in the voting booth, so what say…we do it?

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