What about best for the nation?

We often marvel at how parochial political candidates think we are. They run campaigns for national office, ­­ the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, ­­ as if they were running for the Statehouse, promising to put the needs of their state first.

What about the needs of the nation?

Holding national office means that you hold the fate of the nation in your collective hands.

Certainly you want to help your state or your district, but to promise nothing else in your campaign is to assume that the voters can’t possibly see the bigger picture.

We think they can. If they can’t, we’re all in trouble.

When we elect someone to national office, and in particular to the United States Senate, we must be convinced that they are thinking of the good of all of us nation­wide, not just the folks in New Hampshire or Wisconsin or Arizona or New York. They should cast votes based upon what they believe is best for the United States, not what’s best for their constituents. Indeed, sometimes they need to summon up the courage to vote for something their constituents are against, or against something their constituents are for. That is called governing.

Too many politicians promise, through their negative TV ads, to do more for their state than their opponents, to do more for you, the very narrowly focused you, not you as in all Americans.

We’d love to hear one candidate, any candidate, promise this: “I can’t always do what you want. I have to do what I think is best, and sometimes you won’t like it.

But if I’m convinced that it’s best for the nation, then I’m going to do it, and if it turns out you don’t like it, well, then the only thing I can say is, if I had to do it all over again, I’d do the same thing. I want to do the right thing, not the popular thing.”

Remember the words of Theodore Roosevelt: “I’d rather be right than president.”

Too many of our politicians would rather be anything, even if it means being wrong.