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Who Are You Working For?

by Sudhama Ranganathan Saturday, Apr. 03, 2010 at 3:00 AM

Beginning with the campaigns for the 2008 elections political activism has hit peaks the likes of which haven’t been this consistent for decades. From all over the spectrum people are energized for causes close to their hearts. In doing so most end up selecting people they believe in to support for candidates in elections. Some of those candidates are sincere in their causes. We know not to expect perfect people nor every promise made kept, but we should count on some of promises, especially major ones, checked off.

Who Are You Working ...
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When becoming involved in political activism and transitioning into campaigning for one side or another there is much to consider. How close is the party of the candidate you are looking at representative of your own beliefs? Do they really represent those views or are they merely talking points gleaned from the latest grassroots trend stolen to hold onto power for yet another season? Where one discovers evidence of the latter, can they really be people with your best interests at heart? Isn’t the lesser of two evils routine becoming a little worn out?

When the party your candidate belongs to picks up on one or another issue using it to hammer the other party, are they really doing it out of concern for the cause in question? If it is does there come a point at which the bloviating is no longer useful and productive? Would your party waste the nation’s time, tax dollars and your political contributions on fruitless causes? Just how long would they drag something out passed the point at which it has gone a little… rank?

If the party of the candidate you support claims certain values as core principles how closely do their actions represent those beliefs? If the party claims to adhere to family values, for example, is that consistently reflected in members of the party’s actions? Do they portray people who could lay out their behavior as straight edged and clean or are they better off campaigning on other issues?

Regarding one recent administration compassionate conservativism and promises to create faith based initiatives were part of campaign promises. Names of faith leaders particularly sympathetic to the administration were referred to and they in turn helped get the vote out. The image of a faith linked party seemed etched in stone. But when Andrew Kuo, former Special Assistant to the previous president and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, began telling his story the picture took on a different patina.

He spoke of people who, when out of the public spotlight, would roll their eyes and make fun of the same religious figureheads who helped bring them to power. He spoke of how faith based initiatives were never really fought for more talked about. He talked about how, from the inside, it was his view the faith community was used for the purpose of gaining votes with no real intention of keeping promises. (

Other examples include certain politicians making a particular event regarding the character of another politician a rallying cry. In the case of one political figure, millions of tax dollars were spent investigating the marital infidelity of one elected official and years wasted on the scandal dragging the issue out well past the expiration date. Yet at the very same time all the tax dollars were being spent, one of the most outspoken and well known critics, himself a highly placed politician, was cheating on his wife in almost the same manner. The campaign to out one politician for infidelity was being criticized publicly by someone who was doing the very same thing. This was never about what was good for the country.

Recently people who have been championing a return to what they say are middle-American principles haven’t been following the straight and narrow. Spending sprees and lap dances from exotic dancers have been the order of the day. When compared to the party they claim to be more virtuous than they are no better, and depending on which recent scandals one looks at, are actually worse. It’s not that politicians should be expected to be perfect that’s unrealistic. But the public shouldn’t be treated like a bunch of suckers just waiting to be duped. They should not claim to represent things which clearly aren’t priorities for the party in question. We are tired of that. We deserve better.

When backing a candidate and by proxy their party one should weigh what’s most important. With the many options emerging as third party and independent candidates there are more choices than at certain times. Sometimes the best option to represent ones beliefs are right at the source as opposed to those merely attempting to hawk cheap knock offs of the flavor of the moment.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to

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