Picking Political Promises

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CENTRAL FIRST BLUEb largerIt’s blackberry season out at our family property. I can tell because the edge of the fields are lined with the colorful red and the ripe black berries. It’s political season in Central. I can tell because the edge of the streets are beginning to be lined by the colorful signs of the candidates.
There is an art to picking blackberries, and it is not unlike the art of picking through the political promises of election season. It’s simple: Don’t pick the pretty ones, don’t be fooled by the old ones, and don’t eat too many.
Don’t pick the pretty ones, you know, the shiny red blackberries. Yes I know, they are the easiest to see and there are SO many of them. The problem is, they aren’t ripe, and if you swallow them you will be sick about it later.
And so it is with the pretty political promises, there will be SO many of them, and they are very easy to make, but if you swallow them, you will be just sick about it in a couple of years.
Don’t be fooled by the old ones. Blackberries turn dark and get ripe, but after a while sitting on the vine they get mushy and rotten. They look great, but they fall to pieces when you try to hold on to them. Take a close look at them, touch them a bit to test them, but don’t try to hold on to them until you know they are the real deal.
And so it is with the usual old political promises that get paraded out every election season. Big sweeping promises like “fiscally responsible”, “conservative”, and “listening to the people” LOOK like they would be good, but how do you tell whether these promises will fall to pieces when you try to grab hold of them? Take a closer look, test those promises by comparing them to the candidate’s history in business and the community. If they still look good, grab hold of those promises and hold that candidate to them.
Don’t eat too many. It is SO tempting to swallow all of the really good blackberries before you even put them in the jug. If you spend all your time eating blackberries while picking, you probably aren’t planning for the future: the cobbler you are going to want to make if you actually bring home enough good blackberries.
And so it is with political promises. If you spend the entire election season lapping up promises and fail to question exactly how the candidate is going to deliver, you end up after the election with a bucket full of empty promises and no real ability to govern.
The takeaway here is, don’t vote for the biggest promises, vote for the candidates that have demonstrated in their personal and professional lives that they have the ability to keep their promises and the skills to turn those promises into results for this community.