When I first gained the right to vote almost 30 years ago, the one thing that I have always looked for in a candidate for any office is that certain ability to rise above the politics and do what is right regardless of political gain or misfortune. I also looked for a certain maturity and decorum in a candidate that said to me this person is an adult who will make thoughtful and well-considered decisions. That quality is called...statesmanship. For many years, I remained politically independent for this reason. Party affiliation does not guarantee a qualified candidate.
However, I am not going to play any false equivalencies here...there is not a single individual who is a prominent member of the Republican Party (read: covered on the news and talk shows) that exemplifies any true statesmanship. None, not one of them has shown any ability to be thoughtful, and act like the adult in the room on any issue.
The latest pretenders to the throne (Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney) are all absolutely lacking in this the most important quality in a leader...statesmanship.
And while there may be some minor players on the democratic side that show an equal dirth, the big names (Barack Obama, Henry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden) all present themselves with an abundance of statesmanship.
And I am not writing about the pundits and bloggers. Different subject altogether. I will say this: Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, Hannity, etc.-- they operate on a different set of rules and are not elected nor paid to be “statesmen.”  However, a little more maturity would suit them.
Perhaps this is not an important aspect for voters these days. Many people seem to be attracted to some sort of neo-Rambo trash-talker as their leader. Or in the alternative they prefer their leaders to be like Loweezy and Elviny at the gossip fence clutching their pearls over the latest scandal...real or fabricated.
It is a poor reflection on our country that these caricatures have taken hold of our media and are the seemingly driving forces behind our politics.
The latest example of this lack of statesmanship is in the complete idiocy of the so-called “birthers” and their quixotic campaign regarding the citizenship of Barack Obama.
You all have seen the numbers. This is not a “fringe group” as the republicans would like to believe. It is a majority of the republican party.
None of the republicans listed above have had the statesmanship to come out and say that they reject absolutely and unequivocally the claims of the “afterbirthers” (as they are now being called) following the release of the president’s official “long form” birth certificate.
They are far more concerned about the next interview, keeping their names in the media and stirring up the controversy than in governing. When if they would just act like statesmen they would probably find that the “attention” the media would give them would be far more intoxicating.
Not one of them has risen to the challenge.
Think about it next time you vote.
Friday, April 29, 2011