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I assume good intentions but judge people by their actions

  • Published in Letters
To the editor,
Bernadette Loesch and I apparently differ on what we consider important. Ms. Loesch apparently considers that a politician's intent is more important than the results of his actions or policies. Since good intentions don't help people and save lives, I consider the results of a politician's actions and policies to be what is important.
I assume that our politicians care about people, just as I assume that letter writers, even those I disagree with, advocate for what they think is best for our people and our country. It seems to me that wanting the best for everyone is part of the American character.
If a doctor makes a mistake and harms a patient, we assume he intended to help the patient and we usually forgive him. But, if he makes the same mistake repeatedly, always harming patients, we no longer forgive him, we question his good intentions, and we say he should have learned from his mistakes and changed to procedures that help rather than harm people.
So, the important thing is not someone's intent, it is not even their actions. The important thing is the results of their actions or policies, and we should not be forgiving politicians for not changing failing policies.
Mayor Bloomberg may be very well intentioned. He may have done some good things for New York City. But, with respect to violent crime and murder, his policies result in many times more victims of violent crime, including murder, (per 100,000 people) than the policies that we have enacted in New Hampshire. Mayor Bloomberg should learn from New Hampshire, and certainly we shouldn't be taking his advice unless we want to increase our violent crime rate and have many more New Hampshire victims.
Because we believe in their good intentions, too often we accept our politicians' good sounding promises and programs which often turn out to be counter-productive or have terrible side effects that hurt more people than they help. Many federal government programs, even some we think are important, are operated in a way to deprive people of opportunities and jobs, keep them poor, influence them to not prepare for their own future needs, keep children stuck in failing schools and saddling them with enormous debt, and in the case of Mayor Bloomberg's gun controls, they create more victims.
It is time to hold all politicians to a higher standard, one based on results, not intentions. Based on that standard, we need to replace most of our politicians and demand that failing programs be changed or eliminated.
Don Ewing