By John Pierce

My lack of a strong interest in the current national political scene saves time and a good bit of frustration. However, it does produce a slither of guilt — since buying in long ago to the importance of being an informed voter.

But I think enough information has been garnered for this round — and getting straightforward information from a candidate is harder than wrestling a chicken leg from a Baptist evangelist.

No, instead of answers, the candidates and their spokespersons would rather give us lectures built on evasive talking points that have been carefully crafted by (and bought from) campaign advisors.

These responses disguised as answers often begin with: “The American people….”

Such as: “The American people expect their candidates to release their tax returns…” or “The American people are not interested in a candidate’s tax returns but rather…”

Over the years I have voted for all kinds of elected positions —including county commissioners and sheriffs, state and national legislators, probate judges and presidents — but never for a national spokesperson.

So stop telling us what “the American people” want. We are the American people and it’s pretty obvious we don’t all want the same stuff.

One of the good reasons I choose to be a Baptist — despite some of the obvious downsides such as getting tied to so many other Baptists — is that our polity doesn’t allow for one Baptist to speak for another. Some try, but we call them on it.

In the same way, we would be better served as Americans if politicians stopped presuming to speak on behalf of a diverse nation and simply answered the questions they are being asked.

Now, if they like, it is perfectly appropriate to begin these responses with: “As one American, I….”

Likewise, I’ll do the same when speaking as an individual American — or as an individual Baptist who certainly says things that would make others wish I called myself something else.

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