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Archive for January 4th, 2008

Politics As Unusual

I’m not a big fan of politics, primarily because in my mind it represents a gynormous waste of energy and time thinking and talking about candidates who represent the elected official stereotype we now expect from senators, representatives, governors, and presidents.

I opt to swing wide left from the office water cooler and avoid the debate on the merits of why Mike Huckabee’s tax plan is good or bad for America. I prefer not to get into spiraling, mind-numbing conversations about why Hilary Clinton’s healthcare plan will work…this time. I hate the hubris elected officials and political wannabees spew forth during election years. It’s just not my thing. I will not be on any candidate’s bandwagon.

I say all this because very few candidates truly listen to and understand what it is the American people seek from their elected officials. Since the American Revolution, at no point in our history have traits like honesty, integrity, loyalty, consistency, belief in what’s right and wrong, and confidence in affecting real change been more important for whomever becomes elected as the next President of the United States.

At this early stage, only two candidates demonstrate these traits in their thoughtful, candid, non-PR-oriented campaigns for the most powerful office in the world: Barack Obama and John McCain.

On Jan. 3, in Iowa, a record turnout of average Joe and Janes showed up in their precincts to make their voices heard. There are about three million residents in all of Iowa. More than 10 percent got involved in the political process to identify a legitimate presidential candidate. Democrats said collectively that they favor Barack Obama. Republicans in Iowa gave more than a third of their delegates to Mike Huckabee (McCain finished a distant fourth).

In my view (as ill-informed as it may be) only Obama and McCain, however, have listened to what our general population is saying. In my view, these two candidates are the only two who have purposefully cast aside their egos, rolled up their sleeves and given words of hope for the future of our country. They are truly running campaigns designed to take care of America and Americans first.

Neither McCain or Obama may win next November. But today, and for the balance of this hype-filled season caused by caucuses, primaries and the pre-electile dysfunction we call the campaigns leading up to the National Conventions this summer, these two men deserve more than just a cursory listen. They deserve a chance to show that they listen and will lead America into a new era of honor, diplomacy, respect, and recognition of the democracy the country was built on in 1776.

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