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From the Lefthand Corner: The perfect politician?

The perfect politician does not exist. There aren't any. Too many people, saturated with superficial media information, decide and vote for or against a political candidate based only on their perception of some single position that the candidate...

The perfect politician does not exist. There aren't any.

Too many people, saturated with superficial media information, decide and vote for or against a political candidate based only on their perception of some single position that the candidate is for or against.

People in political office face countless decisions and are frequently damned if they do, and damned if they don't. No matter what their makeup, background or beliefs, they can't please all of the people all of the time, nor some of the people or even any single person all of the time.

Let us get used to that simple fact. We don't expect perfect agreement from spouse, family or friends. Why should we demand perfect agreement from political candidates?

Campaigns, and opportunist advertisers, would have you believe that if candidate A is "wrong" on issue X, he or she is unfit for public office. Too many voters buy into that simplistic concept and vote against a given candidate just because they disagree on some single "issue." There is little or no true black or white even on what are labeled as single issues.

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You pick the issue, and others of us can quickly find ways to complicate and redefine your understanding of what the issue is (even if it is truly single). What might seem crystal clear to you might be complicated and cloudy to me, and vice versa.

We are not likely to ever agree on when life on Earth begins or ends, let alone what government ought to do about it. We will not agree on how much to invest and voluntarily engage in military conflict. We are not going to agree on how much to spend on education, employment, transportation and protecting the environment.

But, we can at least agree to listen more and respect the right to express countering opinion.

What we want and need are people in office who are overall the most capable, most knowledgeable, most discerning and most dedicated candidates for the level of office they seek. We want people who can balance the competing factors, sort out the loud contentions, heed the alleged fears, but then reach the most reasoned, balanced conclusion they can attain and vote accordingly.

This year, most everyone up here wants to promote mining-related employment in northern Minnesota. Yet, everyone wants to protect our natural God-given natural environment. It take a lot of moxie to best balance the often conflicting base interests. Purism doesn't do it.

Most of us understand that North Dakota oil is coming this way, whether we like it or not. Other drivers don't want it in trucks on the roadways. Other rail users and people near tracks don't want oil transported in flimsy rail cars; and nobody wants a pipeline in their backyard.

But, the oil is still being extracted in ever increasing amounts and a lot of it is still going to flow this way.

Again, it takes a lot of good political savvy to understand all of the underlying sub-issues and come up with the best possible solutions.

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Inevitably, rail, truck and pipeline all have negative implications attached to any selected degree of usage. So, let's be a bit more patient with our elected officials and candidates. We should inform them accurately of any facts we want considered, and then follow them closely in every step of their decision making.

But we should not demand or insist or expect perfection for any of our divergent points of view.

Perfection is for a Higher Being level than any of us down here.

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