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One Moment, Please... Presidential Pendulum of Popularity


Fri, Jul 27th, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

Well, another presidential election is upon us in a little over three months. Or, shall we call it a popularity contest?

I certainly wish that the voting process put more weight on the popular vote than the electoral vote, but I know I am only one of about 235 million U.S. voters who feel the same way.

Yes, the coverage of the presidential election might as well be the weekly cover of People Magazine, since it seems to be a celebrity affair.

To me, I could care less about debate over Voter ID and gay marriage. There are only three things that really matter: jobs, the economy and healthcare. All the rest is simply filling a void of back-and-forth conversation. Forget foreign affairs for a moment. We have people in our own nation who need assistance. Let’s clean up our own backyard before we try to fix problems around the world.

I said this along time ago in a newspaper far, far away, that the presidential election process is merely a public pendulum. Since we are adamantly opposed to anything but a two-party system, the question always comes down to public perception and whether it will be four or eight years of control by that particular party.

The Republicans maintain control for four or eight years until people are convinced through media and marketing efforts with the help of Democrats that we need a new president. And, likewise, when the Democrats maintain control, the Republicans do everything they can to defame the Democrats until they are voted out of office.

Can’t we all just get along? Yeah right!

Historically speaking, Roosevelt is the reason our nation established no more than a two-term limit for the office of president, serving more than 12 years in office.

So, if your party isn’t in control at the moment any time in the near future, don’t worry. History shows that either political party will be in control again at some point. We are simply following the continuum of the swinging pendulum. Whomever is in office is always the target of our nation’s inadequacies. It comes with the turf. Right or wrong, it is what it is.

And, I do believe that just like Rome, the state of our economy wasn’t built in a day. It takes years for the evolution of an economy. Stimulus packages are mere blips on the radar. And, even when we think they will have an immediate impact, they don’t. We don’t see the expense of those endless shopping sprees in the immediate future.

Yes, truth be told, many presidents take credit for success and blame for demise for things of which they cannot control. Decisions made 10 and 20 years ago will impact the outcome of today. And, likewise, decisions made today will impact a future yet to be had.

Public perception is everything in this celebrity fit club of the presidential campaign. How many houses does the candidate have? What are their religious beliefs? Where were they born? How many children do they have? What are their ages? What have they done for a living? How rich are they? Do they like cats or dogs?

The interview for president is a human resource manager’s nightmare. I can just hear HR saying, “You can’t ask that!”

We dive into the personal lives of all of our candidates, looking for moral fiber imperfections. And, really, we should. We should be looking for ghosts in the closets of all candidates from Senate to Congress to Supreme Court Justice to President. If it is a position of power, it deserves ultimate magnification.

In the end, the incumbent always has the upper-hand. Even with a dismal approval rating, they have already had an opportunity to demonstrate they can “act presidential.” They have had the opportunity to show what they would do if they were president – for real. They’ve been there, done that.

So, the question will be answered yet again in the November election as to who will be our next president. But, in case your presidential hopeful ends up falling short, don’t worry. Your party will come again some day. It’s the pendulum at work.

But, really, can a president solve our problems? Look for my answer to this question next week.

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