Beware of Buzzwords — by T.J. Lovato

It’s a county election year here in Millard County and it’s interesting to sit back and watch as all the popular buzzwords come out of the woodwork. The primary point of buzzwords is to try to impress and create emotional effect.


Perpetually, the single biggest buzzword in this area is “Water” and phrases that have to do with fighting for water rights. Once again, I have been interested to see how many candidates seek to employ the H2O-related buzzwords to their advantage, asserting that they will “fight” to protect Millard County’s water resources.  As Mark Twain famously said, “Whiskey’s for drinking; Water’s for fighting.”


Mark Twain Whiskey Water 2

Getting past the surface of the buzzwords, water rights involve important property rights.  From my perspective, there is no question all the candidates understand the importance of water in Millard County.  But the most important question is not whether they understand the importance of water enough to employ  related buzzwords as part of the political gamesmanship of an election campaign. The most important question, when it comes to water, and all property rights, is whether they have enough basic understanding of fundamental property rights, like water rights, and a track record of knowing how to stand-up and fight.  Which of the candidates, if any, already have a track record of standing up and fighting for property rights?  Which of the candidates, if any, have a track record of standing up and getting involved without the prospect of getting paid to do it?  Does naivete count as a virtue?

Buzzword Cartoon 1I have also been interested to note the increased focus on buzzwords related to the amount of time required to be an effective county commissioner.  Some people are asserting their willingness to devote “full-time” to the office (whatever that means — and, as if full-time politicians are a good thing).

The reality is, anyone could turn the position of Millard County Commissioner into a 24/7 obsession.  But is that really necessary, or even desirable?  The most important question is not how much time they are willing to spend.  The most important question is how and what they spend their time on, and whether they are willing to do what it takes to get the job done.  There is a big difference between the two. Some people can spend forever and not make much happen.  Others are capable of working much more efficiently, and actually producing results.  Rather than focusing on the amount of time, the focus should be on results, and how and what they are going to focus their time, efforts and energy on.  Do they even understand the most critical issues?

As long as you’re producing results and getting the job done, how much time it takes is up to you.  And that is what really matters. Which of the candidates, if any, already have a track record of devoting time, energy and resources to county issues without the prospect of getting paid to do it?

To answer the previous question, naivete is not a virtue.  Rather than allowing yourself to get buzzed up by emotional buzzwords, look at the facts.  Look at a candidate’s track record.

Beware of buzzwords.

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