Thursday, January 5, 2012


I'm going off a little bit today as I am randomly want to do... Some of you saw the first picture and decided not to click... political snarkiness avoided, congrats...

So as the field grows and retracts at the end of the year, I started thinking about the candidates, the parties and this awesome democratic process that seems to give us an average "product" every four years.  This year we have a single unopposed Democratic President and a field of Republican candidates.  I don't want anyone to be confused by my blog.  Unlike those in the press, I will tell you up front that I am a Republican.  I could just as easily have written this 4, 8, or 12 years ago. It's easily been that long since I liked a candidate, since then I've been mowing in my white socks and brown loafers and keeping the kids off my lawn.

Like our government's bidding process, no candidate can be up for election without a minimum vetting by the consumers or bidders.  Like the bidders on these contracts, we are promised much in endless babbles, each speech being catered to the particular bidder.  And in the end, as with many things, the lowest bidder wins.

Clearly a lynch mob,
because no Blue would ever cheer a Red!

We're not savvy consumers either, we get stuck on price and overlook convenience, quality and other features or we over-focus on quality and miss the hefty price tag.

We become one or two issue voters come critical time. Say you're Pro-Life, well you eliminate 75% of the candidates from the go. Oh, you're Pro-Choice, well you just eliminated the other 75%.  Wait, what?!?

Marital infidelity is laughed at by some people and others can't see past it. Come lever pulling time, some people will not pull the lever of someone who has cheated on a spouse.

The homosexual community has pushed the definition of marriage into the polarizing issues forum. People will now vote on that issue alone either for or against a candidate.  

We miss the big picture and like Pavlov, we're teaching training our dogs politicians to give half answers so they don't lose half of the voters. We get to see what we want them to show us.  I wonder when I will see another candidate that inspires me to vote.

So let's talk about what a candidate has to be or have:

1. Smart
2. Common Sense
3. Wise
4. Charismatic
5. Leader
6. Connected
7. Wealthy
8. Race
9. Gender
10. Religion

Smart - we'd love our candidates to be PhD (Piled high and Deep) from Harvard or MIT.  I like to use a different word instead of smart to describe these people...Sharp. Sharp people "get it" and typically a second explanation isn't required.  They are often 3 steps ahead thinking about outcomes and possibilities and solutions while you are explaining some lame point that they got the first time.

Common Sense - Being smart doesn't mean you have common sense.  Mowing the lawn while it is raining is certainly possible, but I'm not sure I want to vote for the person who would do it. Playing mailbox baseball may be fun, but I'm not sure the people who do it have thought through all the things that could go wrong.

Wise - Albert Einstein wouldn't do it, Ann Landers wouldn't do it... Solomon threatened to cut a baby in half.  I'm sure that in the end, he wouldn't have actually done it either, but making the threat was the best way to get people to make a decision. Wisdom is born of small mistakes in an experienced resume of life.

Charismatic - charismatics get a bad rap in the Christian world as they sometimes speak in tongues and liturgically dance, but you know what... (come closer so I can whisper)... they don't care.  Charismatic people are often leaders by example.  You'll often say that "people are just drawn to them."  Take Justin Bieber, for example. (no take him for real, take him away)  I don't think he is that musically gifted, but people still go see him in concert.  Tony Robbins looks and sounds like a used car salesman snake oil salesman, but people are drawn to his magic.

Leader - giver of great speeches, preferably on the spot without prompt and script. They are the people who like EF Hutton, speak...and people listen.  They don't have to force their way into a conversation, people wait for them to speak.

Connected - we don't think we want this.  We want someone who doesn't have to leverage their friends.  WE want to be their friends, unless it means we have to give something up, because we don't have as much as the others. When the going gets tough, they will stay above water by leaning on the people around them.

Wealthy - we don't think we want this one either, but sorry to say, you gotta be wealthy to run for office.  You might have good snake oil, but the ingredients still cost a lot to make it.  We want a man/woman "of the people" and being well off doesn't really add you to that category.

Race - Yeah, I said it.  It SHOULDN'T matter.  I've never voted for someone because they were Asian (which I'm not) or Caucasian.  I've never voted against anyone for being Hispanic or African American or Native American or Inuit.  And for those of you that thought I meant something different, I have voted for Democrats and thought some Republicans were idiots.

Gender - since we're stepping on toes, this SHOULDN'T matter either.  Same rant as above.

Religion - Not just any religion if you please.  As a nation, we want to know that you believe in God.  We want to know that you cry at funerals and weddings.  But we don't want it to actually affect your policies.  We clearly want an Easter-Christmas Christian.  How long was it before we elected a Catholic?  We now have a Muslim in the Oval Office.  I would be surprised if we ever elect a follower of Judaism.  I suspect with all the Hollywooders who think they can be the next Reagan, we'll likely get a Buddhist soon.

So, to break it down...  
Truly smart people are too smart to run for office and have their lives opened like canned cranberry sauce.  
Face it common sense ain't that common anymore. 
There aren't enough wise people around anymore, as I think wisdom requires experience only gained through age. And a lifetime is too long to avoid mistakes that will show up on the Internet.
Charisma is easy enough to fake.
True Leaders
Connected people often owe too many favors to make good on any promises to the people they serve.
The wealthy are wealthy for a reason and when forced to choose between fortune and principle, more often than not principle is in the backseat of the sidecar.
Race and Gender have a long way to go before they stop being polarizing in and of themselves.
We value or devalue religion, we mock the truly "religious" and glorify when a candidate goes to a single service.

Now, can they please stop bombarding us with ads?  I want to see your vision. Lead me to your past accomplishments.  In case you forgot, this is a job interview!  Do I go in to a prospective employer and tell them all the stupid things the other candidates for the job have done?  You're fortunate to know who those people are and you should respect them.  I'm not sure who had the brilliant idea to have candidates "approve" their advertisements.  Do we honestly believe that their little message proves anything? I mean, with a little creative editing, I can have anyone approving a trailer for the next South Park episode.

We have a long history as a nation of being gullible and therefor not to be trusted to make sharp decisions.  Is that why all of our voting decisions of import are done for us? We have Congressman and Senators who craft legislation (as if they have nothing better to do) and vote on our behalf.  We can't even make an election decision on our own, we have to use an electoral college.

And this electoral college, where is it? Is this the Penn State or Syracuse of the election world, a place where young children shouldn't be left alone?  Are you telling me that in the age of the internet and smart phone, electing people who will elect our President is better than electing our President?

Who isn't worth your vote 'cause it seems far easier to decide that than who is?

I'm the blogger, and I approved this message.


  1. Well thought out.  Have you noticed that Republicans usually choose the #2 choice from the previous election in the current one? 

    I don't know how to phrase it.  I mean if you go back to 1976, Ronald Reagan was the silver winner in the primary process.  In 1980, he won the nomination.  George H.W. won the nomination by default in 88 and 92.  Dole was the establishment choice in 96.  W in 2000.  McCain made a showing and won the next avaliable nomination.

    I guess I'm just trying to say that Republicans are predictable with the nomination process.  And this year's contest is simply a show to find out who will be the establishment canidate in 2012.

  2. That's a really good point Jesse. I had to go look up the 2008 race and wouldn't you know Mitt Romney was the runner up. I did remember thinking when Dole got the nomination that there was a "It's your turn" mentality. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Here is what I think our country needs, desperately:  An overhaul of Congress.  We need term limits, so that the elected officials serve the people and not the special interests.  

    Now, politicians have to bend over to serve the powerful lobbies that get them elected (and promise them high paying lobbying jobs when they leave office).

    If we impose strict term limits (I want one term, period), perhaps with the same benefits (as to attract the best and brightest), then there will be significantly less power in the hands of huge lobbyists, since the elected official can't be reelected.  

    Serving in Congress (and the Presidency) should be about serving the citizens, not about making politics a career.

  4. Oh, we need far more than that. We need to reduce salaries, remove excessive perks, remove the ridiculous retirement pay for life.




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