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The Blame Game

October 29, 2015
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

One of the things I?learned many years ago as I started my career in community journalism was the fact that in a community setting, people will be reluctant to blame an individual if something goes wrong. Now, keep in mind that I?make that statement based on the time-honored fact that in newspapers, unless you have indisputable facts to support your statement, you don't make the statement. To do otherwise is what we refer to a libel, or the publication of untrue facts. Slander enters into the discussion when untrue statements are made about an individual.

In our business, they are words not taken lightly.

Unfortunately, in the real world, statements without total proof are awfully common these days, expecially in the political arenas in our country. Now, I?make that statement with this caveat, a person's opinion is just that - an opinion, but when the average person hears some of the balloon inflating material coming out of politicians' mouths these days, you should get a sore neck from shaking your head in disbelief.

Even though I've tried not to focus on the Presidential horse race of late, there are plenty of tidbits that just jump out for attention. One of the most recent was as a hopeful suspended his campaign, citing his disgust not only with the opposition party, but with his own party as well. He cited the big-dollar campaign efforts and negative publicity, etc, etc, as reasons for dropping out. But then in the next breath, he stated he could win the Presidency if he decides to run as an independent candidate.

Optimism is a trait to be admired.

Of course, we have another candidate who asked a rhetorical question several years ago about who the voters wanted to answer a phone call in the middle of the night. Recent revelations cast a different light on that statement, and have to give one pause.

And then there are candidates that have nothing but blame for their opponents, condemnation and negativity. But yet, they have no definitive solution or corrective plan to "right the wrongs" or make things better. Instead, there are promises of brighter days and happiness - if you elect them.

There's just so much negativity and I for one, (yes this is MY?opinion) am tired of being browbeaten by all of it. Our country was founded on the idea of people being fed up with government from afar (England) and wanting a local voice in choosing their own future.

With all the doom and gloom that candidates are spewing forth, it is an absolute miracle that our country even exists. For some reason, I just find it curious that people who claim our governments are so terrible, and yet they will say anything, spend copious amounts of money and trample on the reputations of good people just so they can get elected to that very government.

Makes me scratch my head and wonder what is so attractive in running for office. All I can say is that every candidate who is running for a office needs to fully understand the position that they are running for, understand what the people they would represent will want, and most importantly, have to be willing to put their own wants and needs aside to serve those who elect them to office - instead of blaming everyone else if they mess up.



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