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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Candidate ‘08



Wouldn’t it be funny if the candidates who are raising so much money ended up buying themselves out of business?

It could happen. They will have so much money for media campaigns that by this time next year, citizens will be sick of them — their harping on old issues, their trashing each other, their unified failure to come up with specific plans for America’s many problems. Even the most ardent liberal has got to get tired of listening to Hillary Clinton hedge, fudge, dodge, and duck and even the most idiotic conservative has got to realize that the war in Iraq isn’t all that different from abortion.

As candidates with too much money battle candidates with too much money, the inevitable media bombardment will backfire. By primary time, people will be turning away from it all. The faces in political ads will elicit expletives. The vague promises will wear thin. Voters will see candidates the same way children see the last of the Halloween candy — as something once desired but now enough to make carrot sticks look good.

So the question is, who are the carrot sticks who will come riding dark horses out of the woodwork next spring? Just as a mixed metaphor is a welcome relief from the drip-drip-drip of irrefutable logic, so will be the messages of saviors on the right and left. Someone on the left will present a workable universal healthcare program. Someone on the right will overturn our misguided militarism and focus it again on defense.

Maybe it will be someone who can tell — and take — a joke. Maybe it will be a Democrat who says, “Yeah, I’ve smoked pot. We can talk about that or we can talk about Republicans and the oil industry.” Maybe it will be a Republican who says, “No, as a matter of fact, my kids haven’t joined the army. Would you like to know why?”

Maybe it won’t be a Democrat or a Republican. Or a Green or a Libertarian. My bet: It will be something to the effect of a Bull Moose — somebody with guts and a few good ideas in a one-man party untainted by preformed opinions. It will be…and I hate to use this word because we’re all going to get sick of it soon…a leader.

If there’s any hope for this country, it’s that leadership can still trump campaign funds. I’m not sure it can, but if it can’t, we are doomed to a government run by fundraisers. American will be a drifting ship whose resplendent captain is wooing widows in the ballroom as the end of the cruise draws nigh.

As we follow the horserace of the standard candidates, we should watch for the emergence of real leaders. Their qualifications will be evident in the honesty and comprehensiveness of their platforms, not in their relentless presence on TV. While the standards hedge, fudge, dodge, and duck the diversions (abortion, the pledge, terrorism, sex) the leaders will grapple with what everyone knows are the real issues: energy, federal debt, health, our daily bread, our trespasses, and a world that hates us.

The best we can hope of the standard candidates is that they’re lying to us, that behind their smokescreens and equivocation they have ideas, courage, and benevolent agendas that they’re afraid to reveal. For all the millions spent trying to communicate non-messages, concerned citizens will listening for what’s not being said, the truth between the lines.

If any real leaders emerge, they aren’t likely to have hundreds of millions of dollars to spread their message. They won’t have a spare dime for boloney. They won’t be able to waste a media moment promising suckers a better tomorrow, a brighter dawn, a later twilight, more junk in every garage. They will have to speak their piece and be quick about it. They’ll have to stand on their platforms, not on a barrage of glitzy soaring eagles, flags flapping in slow motion, and chins uplifted to the sound of French horns and harmonicas.

If America ever gets to see a brighter dawn and a better tomorrow, that will be the moment when the future starts — when Americans turn away from the candy corn and see the beauty of a carrot stick standing tall.
(Editor's Note: Today's guest blog is from my father, GC. I really had to twist his arm to write one for me, but he finally did. I am honored to post his contribution. If you like it, and I'm almost sure you will, go ahead and take a look at his website. Reminder: I am doing a LIVE BLOG on Thursday evening during the Democratic debate. Be sure to check in frequently throughout the event.)

4 comments:

atm said...

My favorite part of this witty and truthful post- the candy corn and the carrot stick.

Just had a chance to read the 9 match up posts and really enjoyed them. While you remain pretty objective for the most part, I sense that Edwards is a favorite. Looking forward to the Live Blog.

sptmck said...

IC--I think you need to enroll this blogger as a regular. A+

IC said...

I know it. That was incredibly well done. The sentiment was wonderful and impressively described. A+ indeed.

I don't know how the website can go back to MY words again!

PresidentWebb said...

GC for Governor ...

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