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LETTER: Trade-offs are part of life


Trade-offs are part of life. A choice that brings more of X leaves less of Y. Wherever we are on the cost/benefit spectrum, voters seem to take the benefits for granted and blame the government for the costs. And they confuse this irate stance with “good citizenship.”

Of course, we need to watch politicians to make sure we don’t get swindled. Power does corrupt. But if you’re just sifting for details that fit your malicious preconceptions, you’re not open to the truth. Hostile watchdogs are not good guides to public policy. They’re against everything except their pet panacea, and if that gets enacted, they’re against that too.

Leaders are people with one eye on the road ahead and one eye on the people behind them. They can only lead us where we’re willing to go. They can only lead us on roads that are passable. Raging at leaders may be a teen rite of passage, but it’s not a civic virtue.

William Perry