Merits/Demerits

When I was in school, I was in the ROTC program. Folk in this program were rewarded with merits. They were also given demerits for things not rewardable.

Some of us thought that it was okay to have demerits as long as you had at least as many merits. Sort of like the merits cancelled the demerits.

No such thing! Our stinking thinking was quickly corrected when the officer in charge expained the situation. He informed us that having an equal number of merits and demerits merely indicated that we did the right thing half the time. The other half we were not flying right. Since he could never be sure when we were going to fly left, he could not depend on us for anything but the most trivial tasks. In short, he would not let us fly at all for fear we would hurt someone.

I think this lesson is something politicians should take to heart. It is not good enough to do good things. They also need to avoid doing bad things. Good things do not offset bad things. Doing both merely marks a person as being unreliable.

For instance, being a moderate has nothing to do with moderation. It merely marks a person as being moderately good at times and moderately bad at other times. Essentially unreliable.

Are you listening Gov Perry and Senator Hutchison?

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