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Truth, a moving target in campaigns | Editorial

By DENNIS BOX
Enumclaw Courier Herald Editor
July 11, 2013 · 4:38 PM
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Here we go with another round of election races. This one probably will not draw the heavyweight fight crowd like the presidential battle of 2012, but there are always a few intriguing races and initiatives to watch.

After covering political races for longer than I care to admit, I still try to follow one rule. I never call a race before the votes are counted. I often have a sense how a race will break, but I have been sucker punched enough to give up the practice of reading birdie inners to predict the future.

I do believe when the voters of our country pay attention to a race, usually the best choice is made, although I may not agree with it at the time. Often when I look back it makes more sense, or it is at least understandable why the voters made a choice that seems goofy. Sometimes it is goofy and I think that is usually a lack of paying attention or worse, paying attention to self-appointed arm wavers with the world’s best interest at heart. My advice is to check the facts and figures of anyone, candidate or campaigner. Many of the most shrill like to hold a candidate to the truth, but their hair catches on fire when someone challenges their tilted universe of truth. Truth can be a moving target in campaigns.

Elections are about paying attention and critical thinking by voters. It is a responsibility and certainly eating s’mores and sauerkraut is probably more fun.

The political arena can be an unfamiliar environment for many. Candidates run with notions of community service dancing in their heads and suddenly they are nailed between the eyes with a hostile campaign. It can be a shock to the system.

Most candidates I have covered run for pretty good reasons. They really do want to help build a community. Sometimes, I admit, when I hear a candidate’s vision of building the community I want to hit myself in the head with a big rock. That comes from too many campaigns and too many arm wavers with fiery hair.

Ronald Reagan was correct about one thing: “Trust but verify” – although I probably fall into the category of “don’t believe anything until it is verified” and even then be careful.


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