Every morning my husband and I take the dog for a walk. It takes a full hour, so there’s plenty of time to talk without distractions.
We discuss what’s percolating and this morning I was frustrated and irked. I watched the debate last night. Checking television and blogs this morning you would think Romney had it all in the bag. For many in the media, he does. They want him and it’s as obvious as the cracks in the pavement we walk on.
My impression was different. I found him passionate enough, but it was all for himself. He had an unbecoming earnestness. Romney answered questions hurriedly, as if he didn’t really want to give an answer, just appear smart. There was a shifty, Nixonian quality to him that troubles me.
Cain, the other favorite (because he can’t win; but neither can Romney), got attacked – rightly – for his 9-9-9 plan. It sounds good at first, but it would mean we’d pay about 20% tax on everything we purchase when federal, city and state taxes combine. Would that help the economy? I don’t think so. One candidate correctly said that once a tax is started it never ends. Amen. He’s just expanding government.
Perry was correct in emphasizing energy as the key to our renewal. Unfortunately, it’s not a sexy, glamorous answer. It would immediately bring jobs, encourage manufacturing and travel, save Americans money and make us competitive against China. Bonus: grandma and grandpa wouldn’t have to freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer.
However, I wanted someone in the debate, preferably Perry, to stand up and have a WTF moment and I don’t mean Winning the Future. Someone needs to scream ‘This country’s on the precipice of disaster! None of your plans will work. Cain and Romney will grow government out the wazoo! Look at Massachusetts. They’re not in great shape. Cain has never been elected to any office. How’s he going to work in the snakepit of Washington? Our people are suffering! I’m mad as hell about it. Now let’s get going!”
Unfortunately the conversation was interrupted by our newspaper carrier who pulled over to talk to us. He’s delivered the newspaper in our area since 1968. It’s a big accomplishment for someone who is handicapped with a speech impediment and crippled body. He takes his job very seriously. Today, he told us he was laid off on part of his job. It’s not even a well paying job, nor an easy job. That’s what it’s come to now.
That led to a discussion about leadership today. Where is it? Our politicians aren’t leading, but then aren’t they really a reflection of what we as a people are? Our businessmen aren’t leading anywhere except to the unemployment line.
Somewhere in this century we gave up on experience. I don’t mean knowing what to do in a situation, but experiencing something in person instead of relying on someone else to tell us. We watch these debates filtered by the media. They pick the topic, the locale, the participants, the questions, the camera angles – everything. They shape the responses afterward with commentary. It doesn’t seem to matter what a candidate has done or espouses. It’s how he comes off on camera. Is he/she witty? Is he/she charming? Does he/she please his audience? Is he/she politically correct?
In the country’s past debate performances didn’t determine winners. Words did. Deeds did. Attitudes did. It’s hard to imagine some of our great presidents being elected in today’s climate. Wouldn’t happen. Abe was certainly not photogenic.
Where is someone who will take command? Look at Bloomberg in New York. He is coddling the Occupy Wall Street idiots. He ought to go down there and offer menial jobs like cleaning the place up; if they decline, toss them out. Seems we’ll have to wait for bad weather to do the job he should do. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sent down heaters for them when it gets cold.
My husband wondered if Ben & Jerry sent down any of their ice cream. Probably not, if it came out of their pocket. Unilever, the parent company could, but then there’d likely be suits. Someone would claim “I choked on the chunky monkey” or “I didn’t know there were peanuts in the Reese’s cup and I’m allergic!” or “I slipped and fell when my ice cream dropped!” Why are we putting up with them?
We’re in a crisis at a time when we can ill afford poor leadership. Is there any on the horizon?