Friday, July 29, 2011

Substance in my Sundae

I’m all for bed-side manners, but when it comes down to it, if my child were having life-saving surgery I would rather have a distant, boring, even down-right rude surgeon who is experienced and competent than one who is understanding and compassionate but has little experience and a less than stellar track record.

I realize my vote isn’t a life-or-death decision, but I feel the same way about my presidential candidates. Take some of our presidential candidates for instance (not mentioning any names, but they may rhyme with Lachman or Lomama)—these are people with charm, wit, fresh voices, and great speech writers. But why would we put them in control of the greatest nation in the world—its military, its economy, its social issues, everything, when they have so little experience or track record to prove what sort of leader they’d be? It’s like sending my five-year-old daughter in to repair a nuclear power plant just because she is so ridiculously adorable and says the most endearing things to all who will listen. Or putting my fourteen-year-old son in charge of the Pentagon because he can tell you anything and everything about military history (actually, he is wise beyond his years and his experience, but setting up battles with miniature army men and deciding strategy for real live soldiers are two very different things).

I just can’t understand how people can so easily give away their votes based on a lovely speech or moving address with few ideas and even less experience to back it up. I do think our President needs to be a strong speaker and confident leader, but also so much more than that. Leadership without substance and experience is like a sundae without ice-cream or chocolate sauce—just a really bad idea—and all we’re left with is a pretty, glass dish that will break if it drops.

We Americans should be smarter than to fall for someone who tells us only what we want to hear or promises us something that is too good to be true. We’re not teen-agers who fall for the first pretty face or flattering words that come our way. We should be smarter than that, but are we? Because if not, I know a pretty charming five-year-old, and an awfully bright 14 year-old who have some interesting ideas about democracy. How old do you have to be to run for President?

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