Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Promise them anything, but give them...

"In our euphoric state we always seem to forget to ask the most important three lettered question of all - 'How?'"

In 1987 there was an ad blitz for a French perfume named Arpege. What do I know about that perfume? Nothing - never bought any. But the slogan really caught on. "Promise her anything, but give her Arpege." Some say that was stolen from an old Dean Marin song called, "Promise her anything but give her love." Today, in our wacky world of politics the new verse could be, "Promise them anything, but keep giving them the same."

As tempting as it was just to tee off the "Party of Santa Claus" (aka Democrats), both parties seem to do it. And quite often we the voters act more like "sheeple" than the informed public. People running for office will get up in front of us and promise everything short of the kitchen sink. Some even promise the Moon. And it all sounds so good. In our euphoric state we always seem to forget to ask the most important three lettered question of all - "How?"

Nothing kills a good buzz like a buzz kill. And to many politicians, the word "how" is the worst buzz kill of all. And yet as they say, the devil is always in the details. Never, ever be afraid to ask the question. When a politician tells us that we are all going to get free college, beware. That sounds really, really good until you ask how that will work. As we would say in the Navy, that is when the communication starts to get garbled. The response might be, "I will have Congress authorize it and put it in a bill." Oops! Time for another "how" question. And if you keep peeling back the onion with "how" questions, soon you will find you have nothing left but a story from Aesop's Fairy Tales

Eight years ago many looked like mind numbed robots when this slick talking boot Senator from Illinois promised the nation "Hope and Change". Nary a soul from the masses needed to ask him how. It was all just too good.  And now, after over 7+ of our "Hope and Change" years, we see exactly what we got - nothing. "Promise them anything, but give them nothing". Yes even with that track record, the two Democrats running for President this election cycle are promising quite a bit. And the same people will vote for them all over again.

The Republicans are not clean on this. The number one seed in the running right now is telling the faithful if we elect him, he will "Make America great again!" If someone asks "how", the answer is "We will win at everything. We will win so much, we will almost get sick of winning." Sounds good - anything more to say sir? Nope - he has said enough. And how is that stick playing in Peoria? Great! More and more pundits are now thinking he is poised to "run the table".

Most of us can't do much about the race for President other than cast a straw vote next Tuesday. We can however, do quite a bit about our local races. Like, look at past voting records. Then we can ask the other dreaded three lettered question - "why" on votes we question. And for future promises, we can go back to the default question of "how".

So bone up on the facts folks. The games are about to begin in Minnesota in earnest. Next Tuesday starts our election cycle which will go until November 8th. As the mythical Mayor of Garage Logic would often say, "Time for some garage grilling with the candidates who come knocking on our doors." I could not agree more Joe, I could not agree more. 

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