“Actions speak louder than words.” Right? How many of you had that preached unto you at an early age? I know I did. And while I frequently am still more talk than walk, I’m very conscious of trying to either back up my words with actions, or just keeping my trap shut.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and it really jumped to the front of my thinking earlier this week.
The cause was reading the letter penned by state Reps. Max Tyler, Sue Schafer, Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Brittany Petersen titled “Economy is our No. 1 Focus” on the pages of this newspaper.
The four make the case that on top of their agenda are items to support high tech industries, to support small businesses and to try to catch up with state education funding which has fallen behind in recent years.
These are laudable goals, and worthy of action in the Legislature. Were this actually their agenda, I would be very encouraged.
But then, on a different page of the same paper, I read that the first bill out of committee in the Legislature is the domestic partnership bill, which extends to gay couples the same status and legal protections as married couples.
And then I notice right next to it, another story about the fast-track legislation that is the reduced tuition for the children of illegal immigrants. And then, on the evening news, I see that the Legislature is set to next take up a broad array of gun control bills.
Now, I’m a big boy; I realize that those constituencies are what got these four elected, and a big part of what got the Democrats their majorities at the Statehouse.
So, that’s how the game gets played: You win elections, you take care of the people who got you there.
And, no, it doesn’t surprise me — none of them ran their campaigns on the economy.
They all ran on protecting a woman’s right to choose an abortion; or, rather, scaring the voters that their opponents wanted to end abortions and take away your birth control.
Republicans do it, too. How many times did Republican Legislatures try to hammer through school vouchers after running on the economy?
It’s just reality, and I have no delusions about the noble focus of politicians.
But none of these top-tier priorities have anything but a tangential relationship to the economy, and, again, actions speak louder than words.
It’s not unusual for politicians to lie; it is unusual for them to put it in writing and brazenly throw it out into the public discourse.
As if we wouldn’t notice that their real first priorities were gay rights, illegal immigrants and gun control. And it’s OK if that is their priority — just don’t pretend otherwise.
I used to get insulted that people like this, apparently, took me for an idiot. But then they got elected — they won the argument. Makes me wonder if maybe they’re right.
Michael Alcorn is a music teacher and fitness instructor who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. He graduated from Alameda High School and the University of Colorado-Boulder.