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From The Publisher: November 2013

11/08/2013 10:36AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

Have you ever asked someone a question and received a response that not only did not answer the question, but addressed an entirely different issue? This, unfortunately, seems to be the new code of conduct adopted by many of our political leaders. Can these people really think that all of us are so dim-witted that we can be dismissed in this manner? 

One of the classic answers that is certain to go down in the history books is the way Nancy Pelosi, then Speaker of the House, answered a reporter’s question about what was included in the Affordable Health Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Instead of answering the direct question with a direct answer, Pelosi quipped, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.” This technique of not answering a question is becoming commonplace throughout Washington, and what’s worse, it is spreading across the country. Why shouldn’t our elected officials be held accountable for their actions and expected to answer questions directly and honestly?

During the recent Congressional hearings on what caused the Obamacare website to fail during the launch of the enrollment period, it was very apparent that no one was going to provide any completely truthful answers. Every one of the top executives with the companies contracted to create the website blamed someone else. The consensus solution to fixing the problem was to spend more money on the website. When you consider that over $600 million was spent to create the site in the first place, it would seem that these companies should be responsible for fixing the problems at no additional charge. Alas, no one is holding these companies accountable for the problem. The government is simply willing to spend more money to fix it. And now, the price tag for that website is estimated to hit over $1 billion. 

This unwillingness to be totally forthcoming is also creeping into our personal lives. Have you asked a co-worker a work-related question and received a vague or unrelated answer? What about closer to home, such as dealing with your children? Often these young people have perfected this technique of not answering a direct question, but changing the focus entirely. We need to stop the evasive answers by confronting the respondent and asking for a direct answer to our question. If we allow the person to go unchallenged, this behavior will continue. At the least, it is annoying. At the worse, it is downright deceitful. 

Failure to hold someone accountable for his actions, or lack thereof, is another example of the erosion of the value system upon which our country was built. It’s time we speak up and insist upon accountability from our elected officials, government employees, co-workers and family.

Art Suberbielle

Verse of the Month

“ ‘In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.’ Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”     2 Cor. 6:2

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