By Marilyn Giddings, chairman, Idaho County Republican Central Committee
I am certain that I am not the only one who is reflecting during this election year on our American governing system and how it is changing. As the chairman of the Republican Central Committee here in Idaho County, I have been one of many folks trying to recruit good citizens to run for office. I can summarize my reflections about the election process into three distinct issues.
(1) First, I have consistently found many high-quality people reluctant to serve in government. Several capable citizens have voiced to me their strong opinion about the frequent and vicious attacks directed at public officials. Good, decent people are unwilling to subject themselves and their family to the demonic world of nasty, vicious, irrational criticism. Even so, this has given me all the more respect for those few good citizens who are still willing to serve with integrity.
(2) On the other side of Election Day, I have gotten to know many elected officials currently in office and how each of them is situated somewhere along an ethics scale. On one side of the scale we have sincere officials who are honestly serving their constituents and can be trusted to govern fairly, with logic, and sound reasoning based on stated principles (regardless of party affiliation). On the opposite end we have people who are self-proclaimed godless individuals, who proudly use their office to connive and manipulate in deceitful and unethical ways to “get things done” to their own liking. Of course, there are varying combinations of politicians in between the two ends.
(3) But the greatest of my concern, above recruiting candidates and above recognizing the disparity between public-serving honest officials and pathetic self-serving officials is that apparently so few voters carefully consider the importance of character in those they otherwise agree with and vote for based on the issues. Hot-button topics and the issue of the day may get our initial attention, but how governance is carried forth should be equally important if voters have any expectation of living under a fair and protective government absent of corruption. There are far too many “public servants” who are, in fact, godless with no sense of responsibility to even the most basic Ten Commandments recognized by western civilization. Please, understand that I am not expecting perfect people, but I am probing for those officials who have some sense of responsibility to common morality and conscience.
Surely we can agree that it takes a particularly heinous individual to publicly stand up and smear political opponents with accusations and lies made up from thin air and then try to pass off the tactic as a “perception” or “point of view.” Voters who are so eager to go along with gossip and lies without examining the truth behind the wild stories are pawns in the power game of corrupt politicians. Piling on to unfounded accusations may be far more destructive than one intends. Watch out for the devious ones. If they are willing to lie to your face and smear opponents, they will think nothing of deceiving you, too. Don’t be so willing to let corruption go by because an issue went the way you wanted…this time. Voters who hand over the government to shady politicians are agreeing to their own demise. Integrity of the process matters, every time, even if we disagree on the issues.
My plea is that in this election year we voters put more effort into finding accurate sources of information instead of the media melodrama. May we choose our words carefully to bring encouragement to good people, not words of bitterness, destruction and condemnation because of an issue in dispute. May we not buy into every outrageous accusation without verifiable evidence. The cost to our republic is too great to ignore the low character of politicians who play to the dark side of humanity. Let 2020 be a year of clear sight by wise voters who seek a fair and trustworthy government to rule over themselves.