Lots of talk, little real info

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2014

Have you had your fill yet of U.S. Senate television ads for Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis? Countless times throughout the day, you see Hagan questioning Tillis’ commitment to education as N.C. speaker of the House, while showing him taking a stroll toward a private jet.
On the other, you have Tillis linking Hagan to ObamaCare and President Obama in general, most recently asking whether Hagan and her president have been decisive enough in dealing with Islamic terrorists.
One of the most expensive U.S. Senate races in the country is happening in our living rooms daily, thanks to millions of dollars being poured into the race by outside interests. Yet, do we really know what Hagan and Tillis think the United States should be doing to address the country’s mounting debt, be strong defensively, improve education and healthcare, save the environment, build infrastructure, help the poor, decrease violence and find bipartisan solutions?
All we know is they’ll do what it takes to win election. Their vision for America is whatever fits on the “issues” button of their websites — and they surely didn’t write it or spend hours formulating those ideas.
The scary part of this election season — and many others which have come before — is that a toss-up race such as Hagan v. Tillis is the one we hear most about. Yet, so many other issues need to be discussed and debated by candidates at every level.
In North Carolina, it’s important to know what legislative candidates know about things such as tax policy, job outlooks, coal ash, fracking, education spending, business incentives, tax credits, infrastructure and Medicaid. And beyond what they know about issues, what do they want North Carolina to be in the future? What are their goals for the state and how should they be accomplished?
In Rowan County, the candidates need to discuss their ideas to improve education, create more job opportunities, address poverty, encourage diversity, capitalize on tourism, decrease crime and pay for infrastructure. Again, who has a plan? How would they make it work?
To be a conscientious voter takes a lot of work, study and diligence. An informed voter needs to read, attend forums, watch debates, ask questions and expect answers.
Candidates and their campaigns know voters face an enormous task to sort things out, and they count on the fact that most voters won’t do it. The Hagan and Tillis campaigns beat us over the head with that notion every day.
Prove them wrong.