Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In Search of...signs that you want the job just a little too much

The fight for the Florida Republican primary has gotten ugly. Make that deaf, dumb, and ugly. Yeah, yeah, Newt is delusional, is planning not only for his second term as president, but also for additional statehood on the moon, but you gotta give him credit for bravado. He wants to appear bold, forward-thinking, and presidential. I'm not buying, but I admire the chutzpah.

Mitt, in the musical equivalent of arms flailing and crazed desperation, has resorted to a horrifying attempt to capture the coverage and affection garnered by President Obama's recent soulful rendition of an Al Green song. Only this white man can't sing. Oh Mitt, where do I begin to count the ways in which this version of "America the Beautiful" is going to bite you? First of all, don't you have anyone in your corner who is willing to be honest with you and tell you not to do it? A wife or ten, perhaps? But no, they probably told you you have a lovely singing voice. That's where that billionaire lifestyle can seriously lead you astray. Anyway, thanks for trying, but don't quit your day...wait a minute, do you even have a day job? Oh yeah, campaigning for president.

And just because he can't help himself, Donald Trump is waiting in the wings. No, he really doesn't want to be president, but you know, if America can't live without him, he's just the kind of guy who'll sacrifice for his country...not on a battlefield, of course, but just as president so he can be the most powerful man in the world. He's a giver, the Donald is.

All this fodder has been making me think about what job I'd want badly enough to do this tap dance for. I'm reading Chris Matthew's book called Life's a Campaign and it really does come down to people's perception of the degree to which you care about them. This is where the Republican candidates all fall short. They are good at telling you what's great about them and how bad Obama is, but as for listening to a country that's hurting, no can do. They'll be happy to tell you where you've gone astray, but they won't take responsibility for any of it. That's on you. And here's the problem with that: everybody played a part, whether it was private sector Mitt or Speaker Newt. Passing the buck and casting blame aren't signs of leadership. They are signs of cowardice. And true leaders inspire and encourage people to be part of a team and work together.

Is lying and name-calling an inevitablity in today's political landscape? Maybe. But I think the better tactic is empathetic listening. I think that truth is what is inevitable and the jockeying for power is fleeting, at best.

Well, I'm off to polish up my own vocal repertoire. You never know when you might need to publicly break into song.

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