Get educated before throwing the bums out

OlympiaMay 25, 2014 

Don Penders recent biennial rant is certainly a clarion call to oust our current batch of elected officials. We are tempted to follow his lead, and throw the bums out.

It’s difficult really, to find much to support after examining what our state legislators accomplished this past session: still in detention — education; kicked to the curb — meaningful transportation solutions; wrapped in political tape — election reform. Their do-nothing approach to governance follows their big brothers in the other Washington like lemmings.

In spite of these let-downs, I must come up short in support of Penders advice. We learned in civic classes that effective stewards of the public welfare exercised a time honored balance between voting with their conscience, or respecting their constituent’s wishes.

Penders has added the third variable of party affiliation as the tale that is wagging the dog. It is a strong argument, one difficult to put aside.

I suggest though, there is more to voting responsibly. Many of our elected officials did, and I suspect will continue to do so, vote with their conscience and for their constituents. It is our responsibility as voters to take the time to examine who did. Throwing the baby out with the sordid bath water is not the answer.

We live in the age of information. Use it, and if it is right to throw the bums out based upon what we learn, then do so.

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