Since November’s election involves largely local candidates and issues, this is a good time to review the criteria we use to evaluate both. In recent years, the rhetoric around politics has been the rhetoric of loss. That’s not surprising, given the financial blows we’ve absorbed over the past decade. We’ve all put a lot of energy into finding ways to cut spending and eliminate waste.
Still, as wise and necessary as thrift may be, history seldom lauds those who kill projects. It’s far easier to find praise for those who build. Count the number of times former Cedar Rapids Mayor Don Canney’s name appears around town.
I propose a few new questions for candidates as we get closer to November: “What will you build?” “What will you fix?” and “How do your positions on issues move us forward?” This time around, I’m far more interested in what they will add, rather then what they believe should be stopped or taken away.
There are few circumstances in life where loss is overcome by retrenchment and immobility. It’s time to move on and fix things as we go, rather than sitting still until everything is perfect. We’ve been stuck long enough. I think it’s time we started looking for things we can say “yes” to and, if they’re too hard to find, pitch in to create some. The alternative at this point is to be content with decay, living in truly forgettable times.
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