A recent article in the Alban Weekly caught my attention by its title. “New Questions for a New Day?” Although it was an article on new questions churches need to ask rather than the ones they are asking, it caused me to think about questions that desperately need to be asked in our political jungle today. We are allowing the media and political pundits to ask the wrong questions of our politicians! Let me give you a few examples:
The question: “How will you vote on issues concerning abortion?” should be replaced by the question: “How will you vote on issues concerning quality of life for all human beings in our society?” Will your votes seek to protect only fetuses or will your vote be for protecting the one in five children in Kansas who are hungry and without access to enough adequate foods and considered food insecure. Will you protect these children from disease by your votes that extend badly needed medical care, or are you only interested in unborn fetuses?
The question: “How will you vote on issues concerning gay marriage“? might be replaced with the question: “what will you advocate through your votes that will protect the rights of all citizens of the U.S. regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation so that all citizens can enjoy the full range of freedom guaranteed by our Constitution.?”
The question: “Are you a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican?” might be replaced by the question: “In what way will you vote for the common good of all citizens, regardless of party preference?” I recently saw a poster on FB that showed a bird flying and said “politicians should be like birds–both the left wing and the right wing support the middle!”
The question: “How can we better hold educators accountable?” should be replaced by the question, “ How are you going to be held accountable for the education of our children in Kansas? ” How are you going to better support teachers in their difficult job? Are you going to respect the job that teachers do, often for poor pay and little appreciation? What are you going to suggest and vote for that will make sure that children we send to teachers are ready to learn by supporting early childhood education? What are you going to do that insures that half of the children coming to the Wichita Public Schools are not coming to school hungry and therefore unable to learn? or homeless and therefore insecure and having difficulties learning? As I read recently—“When Congress passes “No Child Left Unfed, No child without Health Care, and No Child left homeless, then we can talk seriously about No Child Left Behind? After that happens we can talk about accountability!
It’s time we get the message to the media and the political pundits that we wish to have politicians speak on these questions rather than the old tired ones that are now asked.. As Ghandi once said: “Be the change!” We can “be the change” by defining the real problems in our society and then demanding answers and solutions to those problems by asking the right questions. We then need to use the power of the ballot to demand accountability from those who govern us. The change can begin with your intelligent and knowledgable casting of a ballot that holds our elected officials accountable. “BE THE CHANGE”.