I was raised with the notion that "God helps those who help themselves". The message was simple: help yourself, don't wait for anyone (or anything) to do it for you. God will help you as you help yourself. Simple.
Secondly, I remember the phrase "hope springs eternal". It was a reminder that hope is easy, but it doesn't guarantee anything.
Between these two maxims (if I can call them that), there is a very simple lesson. You can hope for everything, but what you are willing to do to attain anything?
I work in business as a consultant. My success is based on my clients' success. Whether I talk a good game or not, it doesn't matter. What matters is whether or not my client succeeds. If they succeed, I succeed. Simple.
Why does the same standard not apply to a politician? Why do "sound bites" matter? Why does a politician's intentions mean anything? I care about results. That's what determines MY success. Politicians seem to care only about telling us what they intend to do. How bizarre is that?
I don't care if a politician is articulate, I care about what he (or she) is willing to do and then actually does. I care about the consequences of their intentions and the resultant actions.
In this election cycle, I'm not particularly impressed with ANY incumbent's actions. I'm hopeful that by having paid attention and then voting my conscience, I will cause consequences. I'm only following a few maxims to do so.