Do you remember recess in grade school? Someone always had a dare. "You do it!" "No, you do it!" I vision the same scenario when presidential candidates are chosen. It's a lot of work. The pay isn't great. Eight years and you're done. No, you do it!
Look at this year's battle for the big prize. Our best corporate and political leaders are nowhere to be found. What remains are two spineless pairs of sparring partners each without any substance. Even more disconcerting is their ability to respond to each other's actions. It is no different than a childhood schoolyard. Is this the best America can do?
Let's start with the Democrats. After a long and trying primary season, discarding the elections in Michigan and Florida on technicalities, Barrack Obama emerged as their choice for president. Perceived as young, ambitious and somewhat devil-may-care, Obama needed more substance and credibility. The Republicans already had an old guy to show their strength and conservatism. Well, the Democrats found a non-descript old guy too! Enter Joe Biden, an old goat to balance out the wild young colt!
Mr. Biden is an interesting case. He weaseled his way through Syracuse University after being caught plagiarizing considerable content in his law journal entry. Five deferments, based on his mild asthma, freed him from serving in Vietnam. He is probably best known for his endless wandering questioning of Supreme Court nominees Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. More recently, his derogatory quotes have brought him grief. Who could forget: "You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." (Does he know Apu at the Kwik-e-Mart?) What a formidable guy!
The Republicans are no different. John McCain is as non-descript as any Democrat running for The White House. Seeing the gap that Mrs. Clinton left as she exited this circus, Republican marketing specialists sent out their call out of the castle: "Bring us a woman!" And they did! Enter Sarah Palin, a pistol-packing Annie Oakley from Alaska. What a perfect choice to reinforce an old and weak jellyfish! One woman is no different than any other. Sarah will do fine! And Vern, I understand she can even kill and quarter a deer! Do you believe that? What a winning team!
You don't have to be a woman to find this behavior completely insulting. Leaders of the G.O.P., just how shallow and stupid do you think we are? My disgust was amplified to rage after catching a TV discussion the day Palin was announced as the veep pick. On-screen, I saw a middle-aged female 'expert' remarking that women of the 21st century simply have to make choices and achieve their own balance in their lives. Business and personal achievement are much more important than family...and after all, the kids will adapt. Yes, in life we all adapt even if we have pregnant teenage daughters. Parents can't be held responsible for these things! Ma, when I grow up, I want to be just like her. Yeah.
Vice-presidential wannabees aren't that important, are they? Examine the tentative nature of our presidential candidates. Barrack Obama would be the first Afro-American president. How I wish it weren't true but race still angers irrational extremists. John McCain is a battered Vietnam War veteran, aged 72 years, who has had three of his four limbs broken and has fought cancer. Both are not secure bets for surviving four year terms. Would Biden or Palin suffice as our country's Commander-in-Chief? Wait a minute. Didn't Biden have two bouts fighting brain aneurisms? Is young Sarah Palin our only hope? I hope not!
Should I feel disgusted or just sad about our state of affairs? America has become a depressing place to be. The greed of Wall Street is undermining all our savings and hard work. The political parties want to serve stale bread instead of enticing us with gourmet delights. Family values no longer have value. Do we have to accept rapid decay as a way of life? I wonder how long it will be before someone of competency leads America with authority and confidence. Our country is in dire need of a skilled leader instead of a cardboard figurehead. "You do it!" "No, you do it! I dare you!"