September 05, 2008

Let me tell you a story

about a family I know in western Ohio. Vicram recently lost his job at the manufacturing plant. His wife, Lyleen, has had to pick up extra shifts at work to make ends meet. Meanwhile the two must care for their 7 children. Children with diseases. Their 5 year old daughter, Maxine, was recently diagnosed with an incurable illness. And yet they still find time to attend PTA meetings. If I am elected, I will restore Vicram's job, get Lyleen a raise, obtain corporate sponsorship to supply for their family needs, and heal Maxine's horrible disease.

Why do politicians feel the need to tell these types of stories in their speeches? Every single one of them does it. And every single time I hear such stories, I feel I'm being pandered to. I'm not saying these stories are necessarily fabricated. And I don't mean to suggest that the plight of average Americans is inconsequential. But there's something oddly exploitational or perhaps insincere about relaying such stories on a national stage. These types of stories don't prove to me that a candidate is "in touch" with ordinary people. The real proof that a person genuinely cares about others is in his (or her) deeds, not in his ability to rehash stories from Chicken Soup for the Politician's Soul.

1 comment:

Sean said...

that's true. i saw a cute little blog the other day congratulating John McCain on not exploiting his POW/MIA experience during his acceptance speech. Politicians are having a harder time saying things that aren't true, but the punishment for lying still falling behind the curve.