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As Long as We Remember...

July 16, 2009

Mother Knows Best

Chris Cavey

The word of the month is accountability. This fourteen-letter word and its conjugations have been holding feet to the fire for many people, including myself, of late.


Webster’s defines accountability as: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions. This is one of the first lessons I remember as a child when Mom sternly asked, “Did you do this, young man?” From that point until today I have understood accountability.


Our Founding Fathers understood accountability when they sacrificed life and limb for liberty. Those of my parents’ age, who are referred to as the “greatest generation,” understood accountability, too. Doors could be left unlocked and keys in the car’s ignition because those who violated the trust of their neighbors were held accountable.


Everyone in every insurance agency, if employed for any length of time, has heard all excuses for why accidents are “not my fault.” These excuses are always cooked-up, unbelievable reasons including phantom drivers as the root cause of most single vehicle accidents. The all-time favorite of every agent is: “It was an act of God.”


Ultimately, The Almighty will hold each of us accountable someday, but it is very doubtful he has ever forced anyone to sideswipe a utility pole in either the light of day or on a cold rainy night.


Sadly, our society has chosen to escape personal accountability and instead to lay their self-generated problems on someone, or something, else such as government, their employers, other individuals or circumstance. This is the reason we live in such a nanny-state, with government intervention in our lives growing daily.


The results of the 2008 election showed us that the voting public held the Republican Party accountable for promises broken, abuses in power and mistakes that were made by many individuals. The electoral reaction was pretty much a mirror image of what happened to the Democrat Party in 1994.


Voters can only tolerate so much misinformation, broken promises and general Tom-foolery before a correction is demanded. The question is: Will the public vote wisely or solely from the emotion of the moment? Check out the History Channel…we are an emotional and high strung bunch.


Leading up to the 2010 elections many political pundits are predicting another course adjustment; government and its intrusion is growing too rapidly. (Remember government by itself produces nothing and it costs you tax dollars.) The long tentacles of the Obama Administration reaching deep into the private sector have thrown up red flags everywhere.


The Reagan Democrats, many of whom are now unaffiliated voters, who resurfaced to vote for change, are feeling the hot breath of taxation knocking at the door of their retirement investments. Maybe change was good, but such a radical change…maybe not.


Perhaps voters are starting to experience the buyer’s remorse that comes from the knee-jerk reaction of impulse buying. Perhaps the change they expected was not the change they received; and everyone gets upset when they are short-changed! (A lesson I learned from my grandfather selling eggs.)


The Republican National Committee (RNC) has suffered the bitter punishment of election losses and is now working to find its level. Maryland Republicans have faith in the RNC because they know from prior experience that Chairman Michael Steele understands how to construct and execute a plan and will accept the responsibility and be held accountable as he meets those goals.


When economic times are tough, all problems seem to be exacerbated. This happens with families and their budgets as well as with political parties. The light in the RNC political tunnel is the fact that donations are on the rise; significantly. Investment is the first sign of the next change waiting on the horizon.


With money being the fuel, the Republican political engine will hold accountable elected officials; 2010 will be another year of change. We will soon see who has done their homework, who can account for their public trust, and who the people wish to keep in office.


Or maybe I’ll just have Mom call and ask them: “Did you do this?” Perhaps they will learn as I did.


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