One Less Myth

Evaluating Politicians

This politician has a terrible track record!
Nuance is required when evaluating track records. We want to label every decision as good or bad. Things are rarely that simple.
So how should we evaluate their record?
Is this an issue they have evolved on, apologized for, and made substantive action to mend? Politicians aren't perfect, and we should look to see if they have used their power since changing their mind to support their improved position
Are they operating in good faith on behalf of citizens?
Do they admit their mistakes? The longer their career, the more we'll have to second guess, or will have aged poorly in hindsight.
They didn't solve the problem I care about!
Did they have the power to make their own decisions, or were they constrained by the laws, regulations, or public sentiment at the time?
If so, did they make the least harmful decision available to them at the time?
They changed their mind on this issue
Changing minds with new information is a good thing
They only changed their mind because public sentiment changed!
We should want our representatives to listen and adapt to the will of the people!
They should lead on moral and ethical issues, not follow polls
We live in a democracy. Politicians can only push for so much change beyond what society wants, without getting voted out.
Politicians understand that they have to pick and choose their battles. They know it is often better to reduce harm in some areas, than to defend a position that will get them voted out, and their successes rolled back
It is the job of citizens who care to educate their communities and move the general public's perception of an issue so that politicians have the power to enact those needed changes.
That is what is meant by "a government of the people, by the people, for the people". We cannot abdicate our responsibilities to politicians and then blame them for lack of progress
Well this politician over here has a better track record!
They led before it was popular!
Is that because they represent an area where people support better things?
If they are a national politician, are they effective in making change? Or do they talk about how it should be?