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Well, here goes nothing…

I have given a lot of thought lately to the relationship between the people elected to represent us and those of us who they are supposed to represent. Those of us who are being represented get so excited when we get a selfie or get to talk with one of our elected officials. We write glowing Facebook posts about them, tell all of our friends how excellent they are and hope that maybe, just maybe they will attend our next event or fundraiser if we’re nice to them.

This is unhealthy.

And I say this as someone who likes to think I have good relationships with a number of elected officials. But in the political arena, I’m not “married” to a politician, I’m “married” to principles. And those principles don’t change based on how some politician votes. If they do, they were never principles to begin with, rather mere preferences that could change based on someone else’s “principles.”

That said, at some point, there will always be conflict or disagreement at one time or another because we are not robots. We are humans with our own minds capable of forming our own opinions driven by our own principles. Heck, husbands and wives don’t always agree, why would legislators and constituents?

Disagreement is not a bad thing. It can be healthy as long as it doesn’t involve certain things — ideally public shaming and ridiculing. But criticism, just simply criticizing and presenting one’s own views on a bill or issue and highlighting how that contradicts what elected officials believe, is not unhealthy — it’s necessary.

Let’s be honest, Republicans who never criticize other Republicans are not Republicans, they’re hypocrites. They’ll hold Democrats to the strictest of standards, only to turn around and pay no attention to “moderate” or “establishment” Republicans when they refuse to advance the GOP platform.

People who work their way up within the Republican Party basically succumb to this mindset eventually. Rare is the county central committee chair willing to publicly criticize a Republican, no matter how not-Republican something they may do is. But those are the exact people who should be leading the Republican Party, not ostracized from it.

See, we the People are who they, the elected, represent. We are their bosses. They work for us. They should want to please us. They should want us to want them to speak at our events and headline our fundraisers. We should not be the ones sucking up so that they will consider showing up to help us. It should be their honor, not ours.

Yet here we are, just hoping we can gain some sort of favor with our elected officials as though they are some sort of savior who can do no wrong. We’re just hoping they know our name, they’ll take our call, they’ll respond to our message on social media.

And all of this yearning for them to like us has led to us failing them.

We are failing at holding them accountable. We are failing at critiquing them. We are failing at maintaining our rightful place as the “employer” in the employer/employee relationship.

Now, humans are humans and mistakes will be made. We’ll have areas of disagreement on policy that can be forgiven and bridged. But there should also be some sort of standards — life, family values, security, religious liberty, educational freedom, Second Amendment — that are inexcusable and unacceptable.

I get it. Humans are pretty much all the same when it comes to this — we all want to be liked. But it is more important to be respected. And when we hold true to what we know to be right and against what we know to be wrong, people who do not agree should at least respect it.

We the People should not be fawning over politicians as if they are the answer to our prayers.

No, we need to remind ourselves that they work for us. We are their boss. They should not be the ones telling us to be “happy” with “settling” for “something” that we may not want. They can disagree, but they should not tell us what we want or what should be acceptable to us.

Imagine walking into your boss’s office tomorrow and telling him or her that they should be happy with 75 percent of what they want from you rather than expecting you to deliver 100 percent.

How would that conversation go exactly?

To be sure, there are some of us who are far too harsh and too quick to criticize. Some will resort to ugly name-calling that really is unnecessary. Our disagreements must be done respectfully because, just like that employer/employee relationship — who among us wants to work for a disrespectful boss?

But our elected officials were never intended to be heroes, idols or celebrities. They’re supposed to be servants. And they’re supposed to serve at our pleasure, not theirs or their donors.

Everyone would be better if they would reflect a little more on this idea. Rally and defend principles and beliefs, not politicians and personalities.

Politicians and personalities will come and go, but principles and beliefs should — SHOULD — remain unchanged.

They work for us. They serve at our pleasure. They should want to please us, we should not care so much about pleasing them.

It isn’t healthy.

Author: Jacob Hall