The real work of vetting

I have recently been witness to the hiring processes people I know have endured for a couple different kinds of jobs. In both situations, there were multiple rounds of grueling interviews, requests to prepare and deliver presentations, a significant review of work samples, and a thorough background check that included a credit check.
All of that, and there are still multiple other candidates going through the same process for a job that only one of them will get. I understand the careful approach to hiring the right person. Anyone who has ever hired someone gets that.
With that as a backdrop, as a journalist I spend more time than I’d like observing the actions and decisions of people we have elected to make major decisions about our futures in their role as government leaders. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t take nearly the time vetting these political candidates as we do in the hiring process.
The employee we’re looking to hire is closer to us, and we take much more care in getting it right, but the political candidate can have a huge impact on our lives as well. Seems like we should be more deliberative in vetting the person for whom we’ll cast our vote.
Recent evidence in local, as well as national, government seems to indicate that we aren’t doing a very good job in the media vetting candidates before they’re elected, and we, as citizens aren’t all that engaged with making sure we know as much as we can about those who seek public office.
A lot of that is on us as journalists.
Some of it comes from the fact that most of us in society at-large don’t want to hear anything contrary to our pre-conceived notions.
We live in a Google society. It’s Alexa’s world.
When we have a question about something, we ask a digital device to provide the information. Too often, the answer an algorithm takes to the top of our feed becomes our new reality, displacing whatever we thought before.
It makes for an easy answer, but it rarely gives us a full picture of truth. In fact, because the algorithm is based on our own prior behavior, the response often feeds our own confirmation bias instead of making us seekers of deeper meaning and answers that might change our opinion.
It takes us out of the realm of instant gratification and asks us to do the work of seeking facts and truth, but it seems like it’s worth the extra effort. For those of you who have already learned this valuable lesson, thank you. The rest of us have some work to do.