Saturday, September 6, 2008

Letter to the Candidates

Dear Senator Obama and Senator McCain:

Ok, the conventions are over and the election is finally in sight. I’m listening now. Unlike you, I haven’t been eating, breathing and sleeping this campaign for a year and a half. So if there’s anything you really want me to hear you will probably want to repeat it. Oh, I tuned in briefly six months ago to vote in the primary, but now I’m back. The first time I listened to either of you at length was the Saddleback forum a couple of weeks ago. I also made it a point to hear your acceptance speeches. I’ll be looking at your web sites, and I’ll start reading more news articles about you and your campaigns. One thing I won’t be doing is watching much TV. I hardly ever watch TV. So don’t bother with those expensive TV ads on my account. But then, you aren’t particularly targeting the middle-aged evangelical geek vote, are you? I didn’t think so!

Let me tell you what I care about, anyway. I’m looking for substance. I dislike partisan attacks that misrepresent your opponent. Character and integrity are important. I will scrutinize what you say and do, looking for clues that you are not who you present yourself to be. I will look for things that illuminate your worldview, by which I mean your underlying values and assumptions. I’m interested in your policy proposals, yes, but I’m more interested in your philosophy of government, because that tells me more about what you will say and do in the future.

Please don’t promise things you can’t deliver. Please don’t treat us like children. Please don’t say one thing to one group and another thing to another group. And never, ever lie to us. In four months one of you will be the most powerful man in the world. Show us you deserve it.

Bill Hensley


Rob said...

I agree, but good luck.

A candidate who behaved in this way would never get elected.

Bill Hensley said...

You're probably right, but I can dream, can't I? It reminds me of all the times when someone complains about a telephone solicitation they received, and someone else points out that it must work or they wouldn't do it. The superficial, partisan style of campaigning must be effective with most voters. It's a shame, though. What would it take to turn that around?