God bless America!
I'm not running for office but I will pick up the refrain from the chorus of national politicians parading across my television screen this fall because I am loving the fact that the politicos are throwing all they've got at each other and no one has been shot or arrested by the military. These things can happen in other countries where the laws are less revered, women are silenced and hidden, and candidates have less intestinal fortitude.
We have seen some disappointing moments. Vice President Joe Biden's Cheshire Cat smile did give me pause in the debate with Rep. Paul Ryan, who seems to have disappeared down the rabbit role of campaign silence. And Mitt Romney's lack of specifics under President Barack Obama's pummeling made me wonder about both of them.
I've watched all the presidential debates and listened to most of the rest that involve Wisconsin and I am left with a reluctant but genuine admiration for our politicians who have remained civil if not on message. I don't know of another way in this complicated, diverse society to distill the issues than this malarkey-fest that wears us all down and then sends us to the polls.
God bless all of the political hopefuls who battle to keep their jobs or to ascend to them after unfathomable fundraising efforts and many trips to Ohio and Oshkosh. If you don't believe in God, then send good Karma or warm thoughts to these people who spend precious time listening to "malarkey," undergoing television makeup and memorizing talking points. Yes, they will become some of the most powerful people in the world if they win. But think of it this way, if we were 40-something African American professors or 60-something white business executives, could we have kept our game faces on during those debates with so much at stake? Or would we, as some people I know, have started hollering --- inadvertently, of course --- at the television debate after a day of a bit too much caffeine.
Pat yourself on the back, America. Millions of us are listening and debating the issues as we carve our pumpkins and rake the leaves. It's not perfect. We all know someone unemployed or underemployed. We all worry about those who will retire without savings. But it's the best system I know of right at this moment. At least we know we have problems, and our leaders are being forced to talk to us about solutions.
Finally, let's not forget to send our best wishes two weeks before the election to the fact-checkers who are surely keeling over from exhaustion.
God bless us all.
Now, go vote.
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