SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
As we wind down 2007, the most looming cloud on our horizon is the 2008 presidential election.
Sure, there will be a lot of arguing over global warming and Iraq and energy policies that aren't... but the really big, dark cloud hanging over the U.S. is the election of the next president.Recently, I received an email from someone who asked me what I thought about Ron Paul. In essence, I said he might be a nice, well-meaning guy, but not presidential material. That lead to a brief look at past presidents:
When you look back at presidents that are remembered as great leaders, they often had little in common except that they could look out at a crowd of thousands or millions and make every person feel as if that president's gaze was directed at each of them personally and that president's message was the most important thing that could be said to them. It didn't matter if the nation was in peril or at peace.I didn't try to define "it." But "it" was independent of party or platform. Perhaps "it" was dependent upon circumstances... or opportunities. But, more likely, "it" was the ability to create a sense of national direction and purpose, whether waging a war or avoiding one, whether rising to a challenge or throwing down the challenge.
They had it.
They didn't have it... and it went way beyond communication skills.
- Bush I and II
He had it, but was such a screw-up that he finally blew it completely when she blew him.
When I look at all of the presidential hopefuls, I see another addition to the Carter, Nixon, et al group. There is not much inspiration or vision to be found... just a lot of false piety and pettiness... but I guess that is the nature of politics and it takes something... someone... special to rise above that.
Politics is now about "spin." How can you ascribe meanings to words and actions of your opponents that demean and debase them within the political process?
With 300 million citizens and, maybe, 125 million voters, each candidate is hoping to appeal to about 63 million people... enough to get elected.So a little exaggeration here and a little omission there and maybe we get our next Carter or Nixon.
But my greatest fear is that, given the divisive circumstances the next president faces, we will get the one president I have not listed yet: another Lyndon Johnson.Let's hope that the new year will be a good year, but let's be prepared for something less.