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It Just Doesn't Matter

October 15, 2008 | Category: Rants & Raves

Are you sick of how polarizing politics have become?

I am.

My neighbors to the left have a McCain/Palin sign on their lawn. Across the street, it's Obama/Biden. No one in these families has ever raced to the middle of the road to scream vitriol at each other. Yet I wouldn't be surprised if these same neighbors, united in real life in so many ways, could be found in cyberspace slamming each other's choices.

This? Is how technology's veil has screwed the process. (Yes, it has improved it, too - but that's not my bitch here).

For example, both Senator McCain and Senator Obama have had their citizenship questioned. I've watched as bloggers have ranted and raved about these accusations. Opposite-sided writers will assert "My preferred candidate is SO an American but YOURS isn't!" as though there wasn't some kind of ironic madness to the essential the "I know you are, but what am I?!" playground chanting.

It makes me want to just bang my head against the desk.

So I was grateful to see in my newsfeed this morning that CNN actually did a piece about "Internet Rumors" and how crazy it's become to try and counter them in a campaign.

It reminded me of a story that my mom told me about when she and Dad were still young marrieds. My father was up for a management position at a new company, and as part of the process an executive's wife interviewed my mom. Back then, it was believed that not only did a candidate have to "fit" - but their family did, too.

By the time I was in a similar position in my own career, no one even asked me if I was married - much less asked me if my partner would be an asset to the company. Can you imagine if they did?

I was asked about my management tenets, my strengths and weaknesses, my 5-year plan, my vision for the corporation and how I fit in it. These were questions that really measured how I would suit the team.

These are the kinds of questions I want answered by candidates for the job of President. It's an executive job, perhaps the highest-profile one on the globe. The two candidates could arguably be described as being on the world's most public job interview.

And also the most intrusive. Questions we no longer ask (by law or culture) in any other vetting process are de rigeur in politics.

I ask you - does it help? Does it matter? Does it clear the waters to know McCain adopted three of his seven kids? Does it add to Obama's qualifications to know he came to Christianity as an adult? While these may be interesting aspects of the candidate's lives - do they bear on their abilities to lead and manage?

Sometimes I feel like the crazy person standing in a storm shouting for moderation. But I am a product of the "Free to Be... You and Me" generation. I was told that the heart of the matter is the heart of the person - not the extraneous crap that just gets in the way. I was told anyone can be anything, as long as they have the skill and desire.

And? I believed it.

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Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life
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As far as I can tell, both candidates and their running mates are Americans and want what is best for their country.

The question for me is which one is most likely to be able to actually DO what is best for their country.

By this point, if we haven't put candidates up there who in general want to do what is best for the country, then we are in bigger trouble than we think, and our system for choosing candidates is not working.

Posted by: Laura on October 18, 2008 07:28 AM

J'ai comprende.

Posted by: Janie on October 15, 2008 08:41 PM