Dear candidates for political office: please tell us, your public, something we don’t already know. This would be so helpful when we vote in the primary. Rather than signing on to Team Red or Team Blue and showing our team loyalty, it would actually be nice to vote for something, as opposed to someone or some side.
Take the Idaho Governor’s race for example. I don’t know much about Tommy Ahlquist or what he proposes to do, but I do know via TV advertisements that he is a lying, closet democrat. I also know that both Brad Little and Paulette Jordan look great on a horse cantering around the ranch. Raul Labrador however, is about the laziest person on earth and did absolutely nothing, NOTHING in Washington when he was our representative there. And though I’m sure A. J. Balukoff is a great guy and super sportsman, he needs to lose the oversized hunting cap. Sorry A. J., but you look like Elmer Fudd hunting Daffy Duck in that cap.
Probably some of the readers reading this would say that these gubernatorial candidates have extensive policy proposals which they have attempted to discuss and debate through a multitude of mediums the past few months. I’m not saying that we, your voters, are dumb. But I will say that listening to a dry litany of canned proposals edited and rewritten by your assistants is about as much fun as reading the fine print on my cell phone contract.
So maybe it’s your messaging. I realize it must be very comforting, when facing an upstart broadcaster looking for a “gotcha” moment to revert to talking points. Don’t do it. Please. We already know you’re the non-establishment candidate for lower taxes and smaller government. Yes, we your voters agree that education is important. We know all that.
See, this is the messaging debacle: it either doesn’t explain enough or it explains too much. Don’t just tell your voters that education is important. Talk a little about how you want to change education in Idaho because it’s unfair that 56 school districts, mostly rural and poor, can only send their kids to school four days a week, while big city schools like Boise educate their kids a full week, every week.
You can smile all you want and tell the camera the importance of preserving public lands (yet another talking point), but we’d actually listen to you if you told us how much public land, land people might want to mountain bike on for example, has been sold the past five years to private entities. And for those voters more visually stimulated, a film clip showing fisherman or hikers running into no-trespassing signs would be nice.
We’re just starting the mid-term election cycle so there’s plenty of time to improve your message. Help your voters out. Don’t bore them to tears. Consider it, well . . . a public service.