Is it time for a political 'sight alignment'?
By: Steve Trubilla
If nothing else, elections are target rich for those in the media. For every point there is a counterpoint. One person's champion is another's adversary; an endless salad bar of keyboard delight to write about.
So metaphorically, just eat away, take it all in.
At a salad bar, have you ever given thought to what has been placed in the bottomless trays? If I have, it has only been a passing thought as I piled on my plate. I trust those preparing the food, blindly trust them. So the question is why?
For the most part, I do not know them. What they do, they do for a profit. Not that making a profit is wrong. They should, and everyone has to make a living. When profit is the motivation, one learns quickly most people will do about anything for it. Unfortunately, the world we live in is not always the world we would like it to be.
Life's experience, sadly, has me expecting to be disappointed with people when it comes to how they may profit from me. I know it sounds a bit pessimistic and cynical. I beg your indulgence, once bitten, twice shy.
Let me share an old Marine Corps adage with you. "If you have a sucking chest wound, you are not paranoid, you have been ambushed."
Like most, if not all of you, I have been taken more times than my pride will allow me to share.
Given what I do in this column, people routinely reach out to me. My reputation is such that I will engage issues most others sidestep. In spite of myself, knowing what I know of human nature I still trust most people. Yes I do set myself up to be ambushed.
Mother often told me, "Son, look for the good in people, and you will find it, there is more good than bad." While I never told her, Mom was not always right in this. Sure do miss my Mom.
This week, as I was observing the Polls, at the salad bar so to speak, filling my plate, I had an experience that caused me to question my "sight alignment".
For those not familiar with sight alignment, it is a marksmanship lesson. The basics are you look from the rear sight aperture to the front sight post, for sight picture. Then with the proper windage and elevation settings a weapon can be trusted to place the round on target.
Trust is a powerful word. Once proven, it is not questioned. So it is with people. With people, the test can be more challenging. Unlike a weapon, people will deliberately deceive you to gain your trust for personal advantage or profit.
A question posed to me by someone I have great respect for in our community -- a woman I have seen that carries herself with dignity and class in all things -- asked: 'Why do you believe what you were told? This was not someone I am politically aligned with. In fact, while we may agree on many things, there are others we are very far apart on.
Given our differences, she questioned me on some positions I have taken.
My reply was I believed what people had told me on the issues we spoke of. After considering my experience with many people, even by my own standard the reply was a bit weak.
Most stories holding controversy I bring to you start with someone I trust bringing them to my attention. I will fact check and spend the due diligence to corroborate in the interest of being fair. However, in large part, I rely on integrity of the person calling my attention to the issue.
This woman's question has profoundly caused me to now question some things I believe based on my trust of them to be true. That is not to say all of them are not true, however, clearly some of them may not be. An example relating to political campaigns is candidates that pay their poll workers.
Heretofore, I found this to be wrong, feeling it was not appropriate to pay people to work the polls.
Why did I believe this? In part I think because I have heard other candidates, people I place trust in, saying it was wrong, and not ethical.
Having spoken with, and listened to a candidate now running, who I am not supporting, tell me she felt it was the right thing to do, I find she is absolutely right. She has asked people to work for her, and feels she should pay for doing so. How is that unethical or wrong? She then sees to it they have food during meal time.
In the military this is called taking care of the troops. How it is possible I ever thought this was wrong or not ethical?
Before you vote for someone, check your sight alignment. Why do you believe that?
Is someone "N-The-Know" speaking for you, and are they profiting from it? Trust yourself first.
With your vote, speak for yourself.