It is not the job of government to control the narrative.
We do not elect men and women to city council, county commission, boards of education or state and federal government to convince us that everything is beautiful.
We do not elect them to put a spin on legislative action.
We do not elect them to hush naysayers, critics or opponents.
Regardless of the seat they hold, all elected officials are elected to represent us.
Sometimes it seems the people we elect would rather put lipstick on a pig than address difficult issues.
Painting a rosy picture does not eliminate the thorns.
We encourage all our elected officials and spokespersons to speak plainly and not cloak their actions with flowery language intended to cast government in the best light.
Government should not try to convince the public of anything.
Trying to convince the public that legislative action is good or bad is called campaigning and campaigning should be left to political campaigns.
The public does not need government to think for it.
And so far as the media goes, when elected or appointed government representatives work hard to spin the narrative, it just makes us more skeptical, look harder and work more diligently to find the real story.
Government spin is counterproductive to the agency or individuals doing the spinning.
For instance, elected officials should never try to justify a tax increase.
It is up to the public to determine if raising the millage is a good or bad idea, based on the numbers, not based on a crafted narrative.
Another example: Government is actually prohibited from campaigning for a SPLOST, E-SPLOST or T-SPLOST, but that does not seem to matter. It is done anyway.
In many communities across Georgia, signs along infrastructure projects read “Your SPLOST pennies hard at work.” What is that if it is not campaigning? Who pays for the signs?
Does it make sense to use taxpayer dollars to convince taxpayers to pay more taxes?
In a self-governed republic, the governing should never be trying to convince the governed of anything.
Candidates make their cases for office when they are running for office, once elected they are elected to represent, not to campaign.
We encourage all of our elected officials to be open, transparent, forthcoming, accessible and to speak plainly, not just to the media, but to the public they are elected to represent on city council, county commission, the board of education or in state and federal government.
– Valdosta (Ga.) Daily Times editorial