“For the first time in history, we were able to have Presidential candidates treat us equally.”
– O.J. Semans, executive director of Four Directions, a voting rights group that organized a seminar at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa, for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to address Native American concerns.
As the 2020 elections approach – almost too quickly – here in the U.S., I’m almost amused at the thought of who’s going to grab the Democratic presidential nomination and how they will combat (faux) President Donald Trump. Key word here – almost. A lifetime of watching political battles rage across the media spectrum and nearly three decades of making every effort I could to register my own vote, along with discussing a variety of issues with family, friends, coworkers, gym partners and strangers, have perhaps left me cynical and jaded. I feel that usually happens once you get past the half-century mark in birthdays. Not only is my body now wanting to lead a life of its own, so is my mind. Can I get a new persona?
But, despite the anguish and
frustration, I realized something crucial a while back. Every election cycle candidates for whatever office
rushes out to visit potential constituents; shaking hands, kissing babies (born
or unborn), eating virtually everything that approaches their lips, and – of course
– dishing out a cadre of promises. Then,
as often happens, they get into that designated office and find out it just doesn’t
work out that simply. So they disappoint
us and shove their spokespeople and p.r. reps before our faces to explain why
things didn’t go as planned. So, what’s new
Nothing, really. Yet, I know THEY seek our votes for a certain
high-profile position and – if elected – they will get paid with OUR tax
dollars. Ultimately, THEY work for
US. We DON’T work for them. WE employ them, in fact, based upon their
qualifications for the job (in theory), and THEY are assigned specific duties,
according to that particular role. These
are not full-time, permanent roles for them; they are CONTRACT jobs. In other words, they are nothing more than
glorified TEMP WORKERS.
Whether it’s the U.S. presidency, a
governorship, a judgeship or a spot on a local school board, they present
themselves to us as job candidates and ask to be hired. WE, the People, analyze their skills and
experience and make our decisions afterwards.
We are charged with the complex responsibility of assessing their
viability for the job and choosing whether to grant them that role. In all cases, the majority rules; regardless,
WE, the People, are essentially their employers. Again, the salaries for those positions comes
out of our tax dollars.
They are contracted out for an X period
of time, and when that term is up – if they’ve chosen to continue – WE, the
People, review their job performance and decide if we want to renew their contract. We look at what they’ve done and how they’ve handles
themselves during their tenure. Both work
performance and attitude matter equally.
As with the initial hiring process, the majority rules. So, while some of us may be thrilled to see
the official re-hired, many among us aren’t.
Sadly, that’s just how it is.
These election events are always
difficult and frustrating. It’s not that
they can be difficult and frustrating; they ARE difficult and frustrating! Things don’t always turn out clearly. Evidence: the 2016 U.S. elections.
And no official in their right mind (and
understand many of them aren’t from the very beginning) will take their
contract renewal for granted. Evidence:
the 2018 Senate race here in Texas. Republican
Junior Senator Ted Cruz almost lost to Democratic opponent Beto O’Rourke. Cruz had coasted easily to his 2012 maiden
run and perhaps assumed last year’s contest would be equally undramatic. As I always love to see happen to such arrogance,
Cruz assumed wrong and won by literally a handful of votes.
It is such an unpleasant task to sort
through the chaos and the rhetoric and determine who is best equipped for that
designated position. But it is what We,
the People, have to do to keep our society functioning properly and soundly. Democracy is one thing that can’t be
Just remember, my friends, the people
who run for office are asking for our votes.
That simply means THEY work for US.
We, the People, hire them and we can fire them. They all have to remember that. But so do we.
I’ve all but abandoned the Democratic Party. In my opinion, they’ve let Americans down on so many issues. They didn’t push for an absolute end to our engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq. They didn’t seek to find the causes of the 2008 economic downturn – the “Great Recession” –which caused millions of job losses and very nearly upended the entire U.S. and subsequently seek to punish (imprison) those who created the mayhem. They didn’t even seek to impeach President George W. Bush when they took over both Houses of Congress in 2007.
But I’m actually starting to like Pete Buttigieg, the young mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He’s highly-educated (a Rhodes scholar); a military veteran (he didn’t have bone spurs or other priorities); multi-lingual; media savvy; and personable. He certainly seems real and unburdened with the baggage of his political elders. A lot of people focus on the fact he’s a homosexualite, but considering what we have in the White House now, is that really the worst anyone can be?
Besides, I feel this nation is at the point where we need someone in office
who’s too young to remember the novelty of color television, but mature enough
to conduct their own spell-check.