The Preseason

I watched a little bit of a football game in the first round of the preseason last week. I only watched a few minutes because it was boring. I am not enough of a fan to watch a game where no one in the game cares who wins.

The preseason is like that. No one cares who wins. Instead they are taking the important steps of trying out players, testing out strategies, and also very importantly, making sure they don’t risk any injuries that will take them out in the actual season. The preseason is not about winning, it’s about preparing to win when it matters.

At the right time the coaches will shift their efforts into a new gear. They will choose a plan based on the results of all this testing the waters, and then work that plan hoping it will end in victory. For me, the games won’t really hold my interest until the players begin caring about the outcome, when they begin playing to win.

Now some of you will wonder why I am putting this into my column on Monday. Monday is the day that I talk about politics, not sports. So why did I put it in my column now, at the earliest portion of the primary for a presidential campaign?

Advertisements

My Presidential Wish List

Election season, 2016 has begun. A couple of candidates have now officially thrown their hat in the ring and we are officially off and running. It makes me think, what do I want in a candidate? What kind of a person would I vote for?

I want to vote for someone with morality. Someone who knows the difference between right and wrong and lives it both in public and in private. I don’t want to vote for someone whose ethics are being shaped by the pursuit of votes or by the whims of public opinion. I want them to have a concept of right living that is guided by a higher standard than current trends.

I wouldn’t vote for someone who is obviously going to further divide the country. Of course, it’s hard to tell who that will be. The current president spoke a good game of creating unity, but he apparently expected everyone to come to his viewpoint in order to experience that cohesiveness. I don’t want to vote for an idealist who cannot compromise without feeling he has corrupted his own perfect plans.

I want to vote for someone who patriotically loves this country. Someone who sees the founding documents as important and worth honoring. Someone who will not ignore the rest of the world, but will never prioritize world issues above the needs of our own citizenry. I want to vote for someone who understands US Government, not for the purpose of working around the limits and balance of power, but who will work to guarantee these boundaries as a safeguard for our future freedoms.

I don’t want to vote for someone with no track record or business experience. It seems to me that the oval office is one of those jobs that is too important to take a ‘learn as you go’ approach. I don’t want to try and figure out their skills purely from their speaking ability. I don’t really want to vote for a career politician, but would prefer a person who has chosen to serve for a time based on what they have to offer. Career politicians remain in the mix by protecting themselves, while public servants feel a freedom to do what is right without concern for how it affects their careers.

I want to vote for someone who can understand the economic world we live in and still create jobs in this country. Some jobs are being created but by eliminating manufacturing we have limited ourselves to job creation in service industries and entrepreneurship. In other words, the jobs we currently create are only for the best educated and qualified or are so low paying they cannot support the workers life needs. The jobs which form the historic middle class have been either priced out, or regulated out, of this country.

This is not a complete list. I will think of other qualifications as I give it more time. Unfortunately I already have doubts that my list will be met by any candidate, and even more doubts that if they are, the media will find these details important enough to report upon.

 

 

My Hope for the Cantor Loss

One of the more mysterious things to happen in politics this past week was the defeat of House majority Leader, Eric Cantor by relatively unknown, Dave Brat. When the votes were counted, neither Cantor nor Brat were quick to believe the results.

They had been told by polls how the election was going to go. Only this time it didn’t.

They had expected the difference in money spent campaigning to rule the day. Only this time Brat, spent less than $123,000 while Cantor spent almost $5,000,000.

The media believed it had relegated Brat to extinction by marginalizing him as a part of the tea party. But that apparently didn’t have the expected effect.

 

I cannot tell you what really happened in Virginia. But I can choose to see it as a positive.

I find it hopeful that the polls were wrong. Polls have been thoroughly misused, to not only inform the public, but also to shape public opinion. This event may reshape the power of the pollster.

I also find it hopeful that dollars did not rule the day. Dollars winning elections should be an abhorrent thought to all Americans, the idea that we are bought.

I find it hopeful that the public bucked the negative labeling of the press. I believe a media which was doing its job would inform the voting public of the positions of each candidate. Then they could vote, accordingly. Perhaps they will again begin reporting the public opinion instead of trying to shape it.

 

Note on that last point, America and politicians have been told the way to win election is to stay aligned with your political base while winning votes from the moderate middle. But perhaps at some point it can once again be about public service, leadership and maintaining American values and virtues.