You know that everything we heard in the debate the other night is pretty much bogus, right? Bogus because the President can say anything he wants, but that doesn't make it happen.
See all this fuss about Joe the Plumber? (who isn't really a plumber, by the way). It doesn't really matter. A President can put forth an idea of what he wants to do with taxes, but ultimately it's up to Congress to take any action. So why are we making such a big fuss about a tax plan that may or may not ever play out?
Why aren't we looking at what really matters?
For any of the ideas that Obama and McCain are espousing, nothing is going to happen without cooperation from somebody. If it's taxes, then it's Congress. And if you don't get along with Congress, you might as well kiss your ideas good bye. If it's a new Supreme Court Justice, I'm thinking you better have a good relationship with the Senate. And if you're hoping to get the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on someone, well, you better hope they take your call.
Here's what I think we should be looking at. Does the candidate play well with others?
We need someone who people like in the office of President. I know this may surprise you, but we aren't perceived very well around the world. You would have thought that someone close to the current President would have suggested some Dale Carnegie classes. (And Senator McCain, may I humbly suggest that they might do you some good as well).
I think McCain trying to sell himself as a maverick is silly. First of all, he isn't one. But more importantly, now more than ever he needs to get along with people. And the very definition of a maverick is one who doesn't go with the flow. In fact, I'm thinking that maverick is almost the antonym of bipartisan. And frankly, the only maverick I want in the White House is James Garner. (Did you see My Fellow Americans? A great political romp)
We need a President who respects others. Especially the women-folk. That air-quote bit dismissing women's health at the debate the other night pretty much told us everything about McCain's feelings towards women. He has disdain for us. He doesn't respect us. And we aren't smart enough to make our own decisions. Wow. He's not playing very well with me.
And when you are sitting next to a guy who about half of the United States thinks should be President, don't you think you ought to give him a little respect as well? You don't have to like him, Senator McCain (and I think you made it pretty obvious that you don't), but by golly, you DO have to sit next to him. And when you dis' him, you're dis'ing half of the United States who think he's a great guy.
Right now we are facing the biggest crisis that most of us have ever known. We're not going to get through this economic downturn unless we work together. And that means everybody. We really do need to play well with others. And I don't know about you, but my mother always told me that being angry doesn't solve anything.
I'm thinking we need to ignore any of the campaign promises that we hear. They probably aren't going to come to fruition anyway. Instead, we need to look at what counts: Which candidate plays the best with others? Because right now we need a leader who understands that the only way we're going to make any kind of change is through cooperation. And we need a lot of change.
So let's stop rolling our eyes, smirking and making air quotes. Let's stop trying to make bogus radical connections to terrorism and inciting hatred. Instead of fanning the flames of small-minded divisiveness, let's show some authentic compassion and empathy. We're in this mess together. Let's not be mean-spirited, but instead, let's find a spirit of cooperation.
Because you know what will happen if we don't. That sandbox will get awfully lonely.
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