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: firstname.lastname@example.org