Do something -- but make sure it counts

Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2007

In the upper right corner of the Web site is a tab labeled "DO SOMETHING!"

The problem is, following that link doesn't lead to any real course of action.

Viewers can sign up for an e-mail newsletter, donate money to the Alaska Democratic Party, which launched the site recently, or follow another link to the party Web site.

Sorry, but it takes more than sending out e-mails and soliciting donations to bring about real change.

Certainly the new Web site illustrates the questionable connections of Sen. Ted Stevens, who currently is under investigation for ethics violations. The site is a companion to, which illustrates the questionable links of Rep. Don Young, also under investigation.

What these sites don't provide is what citizens are looking for in their elected leaders: leadership.

What can we do to change things in Juneau and Washington, D.C.? If Stevens and Young and all the federal funding they've secured for projects in Alaska are wrong, what is the right way to ensure that our state is able to continue to grow?

There are answers to those questions, but launching attack Web sites more than a year before the election does little to address those issues. Surely, political donations can be put to better use bringing forward solutions rather than smearing opponents.

With Stevens and Young up for re-election next year, the political rhetoric will continue to ramp up in the coming months. Whichever Democratic candidates step forward are sure to hammer on corruption and ethics issues facing their Republican opponents. The Republican Party likely will come up with its own attack strategy with which to hammer any challengers.

Instead of discourse, we get discord. It all becomes noise.

We the people would be much better served by a party with a plan something more than, "Whatever they're for, we're against." Show us where we need to go, and what we need to do to get there. We know the problems; show us a solution.

While both sides will focus on what the other has done wrong, there will continue to be very little debate about what needs to be done. Our state and nation face serious issues. Give us some direction. Give us some vision. Show us what it means to do something.

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