Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looking for a Leader

I resisted temptation immediately following Friday night's "debate" and decided to reserve my observations regarding same until a time at which I could offer a less emotion-clouded opinion.

In short, I thought it was an embarrassment for all except the hosts.

I've already mentioned that I thought the fair city of my undergrad matriculation and my alma mater did me proud with their preparation for and presentation of the first presidential debate of 2008. Beyond that, I think everyone else involved sought and found the bottom of a mediocre swamp and wallowed wastefully in willful minimus of leadership at a time when our great nation is in dire need of strong action-oriented, wisdom-founded direction.

Senators McCain and Obama gave us sophomoric snickering and platitudinous pablum, respectively, and treated us disrespectfully with their non-answers, irrespective of the gravity of the international and domestic crises confronting us. Their performances were embarrassing. These two knuckle-heads are the best we can do?

There's a good reason why senators, even very experienced ones, seldom make good presidents. By definition, they aren't leaders--they are deliberators. The founding fathers saw the Senate (originally appointed by the governors of their respective states), rightfully, as a body slow to take decisive action--in contrast to the oft-rash actions of the popularly elected representatives in the House. It's been said that every one of the one hundred men and women serving as United States Senators quickly come to believe that they could and should be President of the United States. It is a select and hubris-instilled club. But, membership in that club doesn't qualify one for leading this great nation. Giving great speeches doesn't qualify one for the job, any more than not being voted "Miss Congeniality" does.

The moderator's best question of the evening--and the one most pertinent to the future of our republic--was what the proposed near-trillion (try counting that high, even by thousands) dollar American tax-payer bailout of the country's (read: world's) financial system would mean to these politicians' proposed pandering programs. That they provided no concrete, principled recalculation of their plans (nor even seemed to have even considered the question in light of the current crises) speaks volumes to their unpreparedness to lead our nation.

I wish there was a third choice--a viable candidate whose position was staked firmly in the conservative bedrock on which this nation was founded and upon which this nation has thrived. But, there isn't one. And, so, as I have done since 1988, I will cast my vote AGAINST a presidential candidate, instead of for one.
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