Grassroots Commentary

Do Words Matter? Do Promises Matter?

Leigh Bravo · Mar. 12, 2014

Do words matter? Do promises matter? Do you expect follow through and accountability when you have someone, anyone, make a promise to you? Does it matter if you voted in an election for a candidate based on the promises they made, yet neglected to fulfill? At what point should you expect or demand that promises be kept? At what point and in what situation can we make them accountable?

Let’s start by looking at the basic, legal definition and elements of a contract, promise or agreement.

1- The parties have a mutual understanding of what the contract covers? (“I promise if you vote for me”)

2- The contract involves an offer to another party, who accepts the offer. (Vote for me and I will fulfill the promise)

3-In order to be valid, the parties to a contract must exchange something of value. (Your vote)

4-In order to be enforceable, the action contemplated by the contract must be completed. (you voted, they are elected)

If the terms of the oral contract can be proved or are admitted by the other party, an oral contract is every bit as enforceable as one that is in writing.

So, should we be able to sue our government or a politically elected official or remove them from office, if they have made a promise to get your vote and then decided not to fulfill that promise after they have been elected?

How did we get to a point in our society that we no longer make our elected officials accountable for the promises they make? How do we make them accountable? Most Americans would respond that you make them accountable when you go to the voting booth in the next election. However, how much damage can an elected official do in the time they are in office before you have the opportunity to vote them out? Two years, four years, eight years? How many times will they defy the promises they made within that time? How do you get the public to remember each and every promise that was made and broken? How do we watch and listen to past promises and yet just shake our heads while we watch those promises continuously broken. In this day and age of ever progressing technology, why do our Politicians continue to lie, when they know these promises are accessible to all via the internet? Do they really care about us, or are they only concerned about being elected? With our technology, do they have too much information available on our attitudes and preferences so they know the needed promises to make in order to get elected, all the while knowing they have no intention of fulfilling them? Do they know we won’t act or we won’t care, or we are so inundated with information that we will forget the promises made? Do they know all the while, there is nothing we can do about it in a respectable amount of time to prevent them from doing exactly the opposite of what they promised? Where do you stand? How accountable can we make our elected officials? Can we change the laws to make them accountable to the American people? If they could be removed from office if they were found to have knowingly lied, would the promises become more sincere? I think we should make them accountable, after all if is supposed to be a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

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