OPINION: I well remember being tuned into some talkback radio when I was on the road in late 2008.
The pending US presidential elections were big news at the time. Democratic candidate Barack Obama had made his VP pick, as had the Republican candidate, John McCain.McCain had surprised many in choosing Sarah Palin, the Republican Governor from Alaska, to be his running mate.
Some rather clever, or perhaps I should say, rather cheeky, reporters had gone downtown in one of their major cities, to talk with people on the street about the coming vote.An audio clip from this was played for listeners to hear.
As I recall, questions about policy, and who they thought would make the best president were put to the good folks.Who would make the best president?
Most went for Obama.Now, for the policy questions the reporters sneakily mixed them up.Obama’s policies, they said, were McCain’s, and some of McCain’s policies they quoted, were actually not his but Obama’s.A very clever mix up for sure!
The answers given clearly illustrated that in general, when it came to policies the folks were totally clueless.If it was said to be Obama’s then that was great.As long as it had his name attached it was good policy!Forget the facts; forget that it was actually not his at all!And some of McCain’s policies, which were actually Obama’s, were mocked by the good folks on the street.
Then came what I thought was the classic question:What do you think of Obama’s choice of Sarah Palin to be his running mate?Yep, you guessed it; most thought he had made a really great choice!
Amazing, yes, but in many ways not at all surprising, I guess.
Well, we have an election ourselves coming up in just a few short weeks’ time.Here’s hoping we can manage to vote a little more intelligently than the examples given above.
Today’s politics are more about personality, charm, image and what’s perceived as personal charisma.Actual policy used to matter way back, once upon-a-time.Character used to matter too, but that was right back in yesteryear, many, many sunsets ago.
In my experience, many people tend to vote for who offers them the most.Forget about what may be best for the country – it’s who has the most ‘lollies’ for me.The ‘Nanny State’ paradigm in spades!
With the tourism industry and businesses attached to it now shot to pieces, the rural sector, that was once termed a ‘sunset industry’, is now the very lifeblood of our nation’s economy.
When you consider the huge percentage of our national income that currently comes from the farming sector, it magnifies what an essential service the rural sector truly is.A vote for what is best for our country financially then, would be to vote for whoever will truly appreciate and look after our major financial contributors the best.
Our rural people, our farmers.
I encourage you to look a little more seriously at policies than you may have in the past.
And try and spare a thought for our country right now too – if you can.Permanently living on handouts from borrowed money is certainly not sustainable and hardly a wise way for us to move forward!
For those of you readers who have an effective and real faith, as I do, then let’s be prayerful, especially over the next few weeks.I encourage you not just to vote, but to vote prayerfully.
Till next time, take care of yourself and your family. God Bless.