Thursday, March 3, 2016

When I think I'm not sane, I just look to people who want to be president

This is a painful, painful election season.

I continue to think that maybe I have gone mad.

But I haven't, and most people I talk to seem to feel like they've gone mad regardless of their party affiliation.

There is some small comfort in that, I guess.

As a way of checking my sanity, I ask myself, "Self, do you want to be President of the United States?"

Self always says no.

That makes me feel better, too.

Even though Trump seems the most insane of the whole band of candidates, I really think wanting to be President has to be a sign of some kind of derangement.  Extreme power-hungry-ness?  Acute idealism?

I'm not sure what is going on politically, but somehow it feels the earth is shaking under my feet, under America's feet.  Like something is going to blow big and hard and irretrievably.  Maybe I am just feeling paranoid because everywhere I turn, every radio show, every article, every news story, is awash with "I can't believe this" and "No one predicted this."  This isn't just a case of my mind being blown.....and if everyone's collective mind is being blown that has to be big, right?

I don't love (or even like, if truth be told) any of the candidates from either party, but I will not, under any circumstances, vote for Trump.  He makes Ted Cruz look moderate and reasonable (and I maybe can't believe I just typed that).

I have posted occasional things on Facebook against Trump because he is unkind and reaches into the territory of cruel.  Maybe it is an act, I don't know.  If it is an act, that suggests he's a nitwit and can't be trusted with a role as big as the president.  If it isn't an act, that is one of the scariest things I've ever witnessed.

More than any other characteristic in my children, I encourage them to be empathetic and kind, and I cannot tolerate unkindness and cruelty when I see it and when it could become the 45th President.

I expect politicians to lie, to backstab, to not play fair, to have bags of bones in their closets.  I like to imagine George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as beyond reproach, but I suspect if I could time travel back to their day, I would be privy to unstatesman-like behaviors and statements.

But this election of 2016 makes me think we should remove statesman from our collective vocabulary.  A statesman is civil, is inspiring, builds and doesn't cut down, and knows that there is far greater power in compromise than in refusing to consider and negotiate.  A statesman makes other people want to be their best selves without having to trash anyone else in order to do it.  A statesman doesn't belittle others, and even if you don't agree with him/her, a statesman makes you want to consider his/her view because it is expressed respectfully and comes with a willingness to learn and listen.

Donald Trump, of all the candidates, seems the least capable of doing any of that. 

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