Don’t be swayed by empty campaign promises

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2012

Throughout this week, the top four contenders for the Republican presidential nomination have been canvasing the state in advance of today’s primary.

While they generally avoided the Democratic stronghold of New Orleans, they played to their strengths, hitting heavily Republican areas such as the Northshore and central and northern portions of the state. Newt Gingrich put in the most time in a sort of last gasp effort for the nomination, while Rick Santorum spent a considerable effort shoring up his support in a state expected to go his way as Mississippi and Alabama did. Mitt Romney visited a Metairie mall yesterday in an effort to drum up support there, and even Ron Paul, who has yet to clock a win in this round of primaries and caucuses, made a few stops in the state.

Here in Louisiana, the people are somewhat used to being ignored by the powers that be. The state has neither the wealth nor the population to make big waves in Washington, so all this attention comes as somewhat of a shock.

Four years ago, by the time the Louisiana primaries were held the nominations were pretty much a foregone conclusion, so there was very little campaigning in the state. But in 2012, the Republican nomination is hotly contested, so the state is has received much attention. Attendees at the various rallies no doubt heard about how candidates love “crayfish” and other dishes associated with Louisiana. They have also no doubt heard promises that travesties such as Hurricane Katrina or the BP oil spill would never have occurred on candidate X’s watch. Such statements offer easy rallying cries for candidates. After all, what citizen of Louisiana doesn’t want to hear that someone can make all their problems go away? But such promises are more easily made than kept.

So when you go to the polls today, don’t be swayed by volatile rhetoric. Instead, look at a candidate’s track record, and vote using your head rather than your heart. And most importantly, make sure whoever comes out on top in November stays true to his word.