Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


September 19, 2013

Undercover governor?

You know that television show “Undercover Boss”?

The CEO of a good-sized firm pretends to be somebody else while cameras follow him around (it’s usually a guy) as he does menial jobs for the company, learning what it’s like at the bottom and getting to know some regular folks.

The bottom-up view of the company usually reveals a lot that the big boss didn’t know…or plain forgot. By the end of the show, the CEO resolves to do better, try harder, and make a few changes taking care of the folks who do the work. Occasionally, he has to hold somebody accountable, but the episode always ends with hugs and laughter.

Translate that show to politics. We call the elected politicians leaders, but really they are often so immersed in their work at the statehouse or in D.C. that they aren’t really leading anyone in particular. They become detached from the world they knew. It’s easy to do.

I still contend that local politicians do not have that luxury. They live with the consequences of their decisions. They don’t go live in a mansion somewhere with servants and security details. They drive the same streets as you or I. They put out their trash for pickup. They face constituents at the grocery and the ball diamond. You cannot run a county or a city and hide from the voters.

Online, we read about legislators exempting themselves from the laws they pass for everybody else. They even sometimes exempt their friends in high places. After a point, it looks as though they figure they are exempt from responsibility as well. They always have a way to deflect criticism, saying how hard they fought the system on everyone’s behalf.

Give me the messy integrity that is local governance. It can get scary if you make an unpopular decision locally, but you should be accountable. Congressmen, on the other hand, get reelected at a ridiculous rate. We all hate the Congress but love our own Congressmen. Occasionally, they swing by for town hall meetings. But that’s just not the same.

Text Only
  • Five Decades of 'Progress “Political polarization,” “divided government” and “Washington gridlock” have been on the rise for the last 15 years. Public calls for compromise and de-emphasis on centralized government stand out in public opinion polls; yet, nothing changes, and t

    July 31, 2014

  • Governor Pence addresses President regarding unaccompanied children Dear President Obama,I am writing to express my profound concern about the federal government’s mishandling of the present crisis of unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s Southern border by the tens of thousands. The federal government has not

    July 31, 2014

  • Now why didn't I think of that? According to the dictionary definition, repurpose means “ to change or adapt something so it can be used for a purpose other than its original intent.” As one of the many who spend their free time “repurposing,” I like to think of it as bringing new

    July 31, 2014

  • Getting on with the program Now that the fair has been written in the history book, it’s time to get on to more Extension Homemaker News. But first, I would like to extend thanks to Eileen Fisse for the wonderful job she did for the Open Class exhibits. The building looked nice

    July 30, 2014

  • Pat Smith: An actor's life Chances are that Ben Tebbe would have been successful anyhow but it’s refreshing that he remembers who gave him a chance. No doubt, Karen (Clemenson) Hoak would have been proud of what he has accomplished since she gave him a part in a Tree County Pl

    July 30, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Nature’s BountyOur daughters were raised in the country and definitely couldn’t be considered “citified” children. Not with Dad around! From the time I was a little boy, I learned there are a lot of good things coming from the wild, and I set about e

    July 29, 2014

  • Word of advice So, what’s the word?Really, what is the word? With over 250,000 words in the English language, you’d think there would be a word for just about everything. Not so. Therefore, I am on a crusade to find a term for some everyday occurrences for which th

    July 29, 2014

  • 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures INDIANAPOLIS – Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Brian Howey: Rising up to meet Putin's thuggery BLOOMINGTON – Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of the Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my pa

    July 29, 2014

  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.