Accountability, a must for politicians

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

During election times many people have a tendency to vote for friends or candidates that they know personally or who may have had high visibility in their community. The truth of the matter is this approach has not always led to having the most qualified and dedicated representatives. When we vote for someone based solely on popularity we often do hold that person accountable for meeting the mandates or platforms that they so ardently campaigned for in their quest to get elected. The candidate may have originally had their constituents best interest in heart but when hit with the day to day reality of backroom politics, faltered and gravitated toward self-gain.

All too often you have prominent politicians using their political pull for self-gain and future appointments. Don’t be blind and think that being a representative doesn’t have its perks, especially if you play the game during those esoteric meetings and make certain alliances.

Yes they say politics is ‘give and take,’ but at the end of the day I would hope that most politicians could look at themselves in the mirror and stand what they see. It is understandable that diplomacy and compromise are two important tools necessary for a representative to be effective and successful. But there has should be some issues that are nonnegotiable and uncompromising when it comes to doing what is in the best interests of the constituents represented. People’s lives should not be likened to puppets controlled by ruthless individuals manipulating you with dangling strings in the form of hidden agendas. The public should not be deceived by lengthy and ambiguous laws full of loopholes making the law hard to be interpreted and easily manipulated by pundits for self-gain. Any decent bill worth passing should be put in layman’s terms and easily understood by the public and those voting on the bill.

Many people have come to the conclusion that when you have the same group of representatives comfortable with the modus operandi with little if any accountability, this scenario continues to exist. The public is guilty of being too lax and allowing this charade to go on by continuing to elect some of the same players time and time again regardless of their previous shady performance in representing their constituents or the city of Nashville. The mindset of many constituents is changing along with vigilant gate watchers who no longer accept business as usual.

It just makes sense to me that if incumbents wish to be reelected, they must prove or present their voting record on major bills and share with the public what they have done personally for the district they represent or the people of Nashville as a whole. There may be a myriad of commendable things that the incumbent did that the public is unaware of, especially as it relates to serving their constituents. Allowing fresh new innovative players in the arena is commendable in trying to keep the group honest and from getting too comfortable and complacent. However, frequently the incumbent feels the necessity to ‘sell out’ just to continue in office. Past involvement or lack of involvement in key laws and bills may be the conduit that catapults the incumbent over the top. There are numerous watch groups keeping tabs on incumbents’ position on key issues pertaining to improving education, jobs, housing, and equity for all the people in the city, not just for some.

To the Incumbent: As a city representative or politician, how do you think your report card fares? Are you winning or failing?

Politicians should be cognizant that there are more people and groups who have awoken, and are holding them accountable? Taking a stance for what is right (sometimes making you a pariah among your peers) may be the vehicle that warrants the respect of your constituents or the public as a whole, culminating in support for you in future endeavors. Accountability cannot be ignored anymore.