I don't know about you, but I can't wait for this election to be concluded.
Maybe it's because I live in the New York City metro and we've been force-fed a dose of "real life"--right up in our face--this week, maybe its because we all need to focus on genuinely important priorities, but for whatever reason I have "2012 Fatigue."
As I pen these thoughts the candidates are in the midst of making their closing arguments. President Obama is manically trying to defend turf in Colorado, Virginia, and Florida, and Governor Romney is surging with an expanding map in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. (All states Obama won in 2008.)
The closing days of a campaign are always a bit of history to watch. For two whole years these campaigns have been moving their star attraction from state to state, talking about the issues, and hopefully offering solutions to the problems Americans face. And problems there are...
It's been mostly a sales process, a marketing endeavor. But sadly--even for good men to get elected--they have to walk through this process.
With new job numbers out Friday reminding everyone that there are more people unemployed today then there were at this time prior to President Obama's election, the economy remains job one of the incoming President.
With Hurricane Sandy's passing through (essentially Katrina multiplied by three), FEMA's abysmal response, and the absolute dropping of the ball by Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg, it appears that the need for the White House to assist people getting their lives back on track will be more pronounced than after any other natural disaster in our history.
With the failures in Benghazi, the denial of essential security to our diplomatic corps there in advance of the attack, and the absolute denial of assistance in the midst of it, we are reminded that Al Qaeda hates us. We are also reminded that they are not on the run, but instead very much alive. Just this week we learned that AQ had 10 separate militias that surrounded our Libyan consulate and carried out that hellish, coordinated assault.
In short, from Day One, the incoming president will have his plate full. His nights will not be devoted to endless Wednesday night parties at the White House, but instead the sober and intense meetings with National Security personnel on that day's events, and the next morning's briefings. His weekends will not be filled with a bottomless supply of tee times, but rather a lot of long weekends working with leaders of both parties to attempt to get the American small business owner back on his feet.
From Day One, there will be state funerals where the requirement to stand by caskets and not lie to the families gathered there in support of their fallen loved ones will be of the foremost obligation. From Day One there will be the need to have complete transparency in not hiding how bad the economy is, and then to begin to convince leaders in Congress to make the right decisions to get it going in the opposite direction.
Lastly there will be an elevated sense of what the presidency represents.
Unlike this week there will be no more special assistants to the President telling supporters to "win this moth*rf*ck*r." Unlike this week there will be no more Vice-Presidents threatening to spread his male DNA, or his excremental waste upon those who are gathered to help get the vote out. No more Vice-Presidents using the "f-word" to describe the future of health care reform. No more Presidents in office putting the idea in six-year old minds that's its ok to label his political opponents as "bullsh*tt*rs." There will be no more coarse, mean, racist, substance-free slanders against those who oppose the president--
For the current team in the White House, this election has been thin on a lot of things. No real explanation of what the incumbent would do should he prevail--to even attempt to create a different or improved outcome from his first term. There has been precious little discussion of how big a threat radical islamists pose to us, after the incumbent forced out leaders of middle-eastern nations and welcomed with open arms their muslim brotherhood replacements. There has been no explanation on how we've kicked in the teeth of our most important allies. And there has been almost no discussion of other big ideas, solutions, or problem solving skills from the administration.
However, in the closing days, there have been plenty of F-bombs and bomber jackets, dishonest and disparaging characterizations of their opponent, and more discussion of both bovine and human waste (and reproductive material) to make even sailors blush.
And I'm tired of it...
I don't want my twenty-year old, my two year old, or my two month old sons having those images, those words, those actions emulated for them one minute longer than is absolutely is required by law.
From Day One, I want a president who behaves consistent with the character of the office. Who respects the People's House, as the public memorial that it is, and who understands that we didn't just give him a four year vacation, golf, and party pass. Rather I want a President who, will refuse his tax-payer burdened salary, and understands a sober, honorable, and excellent opportunity to work very hard for us--his boss, and to turn around a nation--as best as a single person can--and to point her in a different direction, for a different outcome, for our children's future.
I look forward to elevation in thought, word, deed, and accomplishment, and I can't wait for that Day One to come quickly enough!