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CREDIBILITY: It matters

| February 11, 2024 1:00 AM

Whether we bestow it or want to have it, credibility is relevant regarding input sources. So, what determines credibility? Degrees from uppity Ivy Leagues or from a practical state college? Abundant gray hair? (Millennials may believe it’s an absence of gray hair.) A lengthy resume or a lifetime of “street smarts?” Being homeschooled or government-schooled? A referral from a friend or a listing in “Who’s Who?” Perfection isn’t a criterion because it’s unattainable. For most folks, there are multiple criteria.

In today’s world, information is readily available in real time, so we needn’t wait for the supposedly sage six o’clock news anchors to tell us what to think. Instead, most adults consume myriad inputs from a range of sources — including our smartphones. Thoughtful adults then carefully weigh information to make decisions while often incorporating perspectives from trusted advisers. A respected local statesman, a church elder, a news-savvy neighbor, an independent journalist or a local political committee can be our official and unofficial “blue checkmark” influencers.

Depending on the decision’s significance, we’re more ponderous. For example, what to have for dinner is decided in moments with minimal input. Election choices are weightier, however, so credible sources are essential. We deem those sources to be credible likely because our values align, their evaluative criteria are sound, they’ve proven trustworthy and there’s an established track record. One of those inputs may be from a trusted source who also scrutinizes and evaluates candidates. The KCRCC has such a process. 

In light of the direct impact local election outcomes have on our lives, these decisions are worth careful consideration. Credible sources matter.

MARIANNA COCHRAN

Rathdrum