Knowledge is power, but the danger here is one of too much information.
Pretty soon, it becomes impossible to impute anything but a self-serving motive to every vote, speech and handshake. I don’t think that’s the case with most politicians, who, like the rest of us, find themselves entangled in decisions that can be good and bad for them and good and bad for the country at the same time and aren’t sure where to land.
Voters have to guard against ignorance; they have to guard against cynicism as well.
Ostmeyer's column provides solid information on the stock holdings of Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt, but for the most part, it seems like an excuse for not digging deeply into campaign contributions and politicians' votes. Attitudes like the one expressed in this column are one reason why Rep. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, and others of his ilk are trying to eliminate all campaign contribution limits, in favor of "transparency."
Transparency has a nice sound to it, but it will never happen as long as media outlets like the Joplin Globe are concerned about providing us with too much information. Apparently, according to this way of thinking, Joplin Globe readers are not intelligent enough to reach their own conclusions about such complicated issues as campaign contributions, lobbyists' gifts, and conflicts of interest.