I had lunch with a good friend the other day, and we naturally started talking about politics. This happens a lot, especially since I am technically a politician.

As a local elected official, I *guess* I’m a politician by definition or default, but I can’t say I’m comfortable with that term, given what many of the elected folks in DC are like. I’ve often felt that way about being a lawyer as well- there are many folks in the profession who give all attorneys a black eye, and it doesn’t feel fair to be tarnished by their bad actions, just because I went to law school and passed the bar.

Anyway, we started to talk about other statewide and national political figures, and we agreed on a couple of core things:

-The people we liked the most were those that seemed comfortable in their own skin and authentic to who they were, even if they weren’t perfect. The ones who sound like everything they say is a talking point, sound bite, or poll-tested catch phrase are the ones we trust the least.

-You can hear whether or not they believe what they say in their voice. Hey, I can’t stand Rick Santorum, for example, but at least I know that he believes everything he says, because you can hear the conviction in his voice. Marco Rubio, by contrast, sounds like he has never been off a tele-prompter in his life. Everything he says seems vaguely robotic and pre-screened for his voter’s (or the party’s) pleasure.

-The “new” faces in the Democratic party need to understand this. If you look at why people love Joe Biden, Chris Coons, Julian Castro, or even Bernie Sanders, it’s because they always are giving it to you straight. As much as I love many of the things Elizabeth Warren stands for, her delivery just sounds like she’s talking to a class of very adorable yet slow elementary school children.

-What’s happening in DC is so incredibly toxic, yet has such far reaching implications, it’s more important than ever to stay involved and make a difference. That means helping elect local candidates you believe in, especially in off-off year elections like those happening locally in 2019. Get to know the folks who are running to be your councilmen, supervisors, prothonotaries, clerks of court, etc. Canvass for them. Invite them over to meet your neighbors and ask them questions. These folks do more to affect your day to day life than many people higher up the political food chain, so help make sure the good folks end up in offices where they can really make a difference.

Remember these things, and the life you can improve will be your own.