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Mike Bonifer Headshot

The Problem With Human Candidates

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At first, I thought Frank Rich's recent New York Times article "Wall-E for President" was a pop tune that wasted Rich's rich voice.

But I changed my mind. (Drudge Headline: PERSON CHANGES MIND!)

While one might argue that he sang it a bit off-key, Rich's song was not, as I initially heard it, an ode to love, robot-style. Instead, it echoes for me (in perfect pitch) as a heartachey aria to the human failings in all of us. (Yes, all of us. Barack Obama, John McCain, Hugo Chavez, Tonya Harding, James Dobson, Oprah, Gilligan, The Skipper, The Ayatollahs, The Pope, the New Orleans Saints, You, Me, Everyone Else.)

Why can't human nature be as simple, faithful and reliable as 90 minutes of robot love? (Drudge Headline: HUMAN BEINGS FLAWED!)

Oh, if only a presidential candidate could be as persistent in his vision and mission as a Waste Allocation Load Lifter -- Earth Class. (Drudge Headline: YOU SUCK. HERE'S HOW.)

Why, oh, why, can't things be just perfect, like a Pixar movie, where monsters are really our friends, and global disasters result in unlimited fountain drinks and plenty of Fred Willard for everyone? (Drudge Headline: LIFE NOT PERFECT!)

Sadly for Frank Rich and the rest of us, we are stuck for the time being with human beings as presidential candidates and programming that does not always follow the script or frame the picture to cinematic advantage.

Humanity, of course, is what media jackals like Matt Drudge and Bill O'Reilly feed on. The flaws. The juicy lil' peccadilloes of personality and life. A candidate apologizes. A candidate is old. A candidate changes his mind. A candidate is weak. A candidate forgets his lines. A candidate emails a hot blonde actress to win her support. A candidate knows some colorful characters. A candidate makes a mistake. (Drudge Headline: HUMANITY IN THE HOUSE)

And we fall for it. We think it's news. We believe that people the media set up as gods are in fact gods. And then, when O'Reilly raises a cynical eyebrow, we see our ideals, our dreams of perfection, shattered again. And it feels strangely, masochistically good. We are not alone in our shortcomings.

There is only one way out of this quicksand of perpetual disappointment, and that is to believe in ideas, vote for ideas, rally around ideas and support the people -- our ambitious and flawed fellow humans -- who have given their life to those ideas. We need to vote for ideas, because as Drudge reminds us every day, if we vote for a human, we are voting for a LOSER. (Drudge Headline: DRUDGE JUDGES)

Let's begin with the idea that one candidate is a military man who owes his professional life to war and believes it's good for business; and the idea that other one has dedicated himself to building communities and consensus, and feels there are other ways than war to fuel an economy and govern a nation.

It ain't perfect, but it's a start.

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