Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — It’s said that politicians and diapers have one thing in common. Both should be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
I try not to wade into the deep end of the pool, but when I talk about politics that’s exactly what I’m doing. My superficial take is a cork-gun in the battle of understanding the political stage. Pretending otherwise would be foolish. So what the
heck … nothing to lose here.
It’s my opinion that all of the fuss regarding Mitt Romney’s choice of Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate — on the Republican presidential ticket — is much-to-do about nothing. Every election year, questions are raised about the vice president nominee and his ideological proposals. Does it really matter? Do you really think his ideas have a chance of coming to fruition —exactly as drawn up — in this dysfunctional and fractured system we call our government?
If Romney wins the election, Ryan will be like any other vice president (with the possible exception of Dick Cheney) and relegated to anonymity with the enormous task of holding a pair of scissors at ribbon cutting ceremonies. He’ll have as much say on how things are run as Edith Bunker and Alice Kramden did. In football terms, he’ll be put on the practice squad and called up to play only in an emergency.
Another thing about the presidential election: rhetoric and campaign promises aren’t worth a plug nickel. The credibility of a politician hovers somewhere between that of a golfer and a fisherman. The only time he tells the truth is when he says he’s a liar.
It’s virtually impossible to understand an issue when both parties describe the exact same thing in completely opposite terms. How is one to distinguish which is right? Candidates package theory as fact — and hawk opinions as truth.
And why do we have a system where the choice is limited to only two candidates? Such an important position should command more options. For gosh sakes, we have 24 contestants to vote for on American Idol — and the Miss America pageant has a whopping 50.
Furthermore, there is far too much quibbling about inane things. I’m talking about when one party jumps on the opposing party and tries to make them look foolish because of what some irrelevant politician said. That’s all it takes. The juvenile bickering is picked up by the media; it hits the newspapers and we’re led to believe that a certain candidate is unqualified for office because either he misspoke or some clown in Missouri said something stupid. It doesn’t make sense because these incidents are not germane to whether or not a candidate would be a good president.
If oratorical and impromptu-speaking skills were as paramount to getting elected fifty some-odd years ago (as they are today) — anyone old enough to remember would know –— Dwight Eisenhower would never have been President of the United States. Ike’s speaking skills made Yogi Berra sound like Winston Churchill.
No need to notify me how foolish all of this sounds, I’m aware of that. I already told you I’m in over my head when I jump into political discourse. Thank God I’m not running for office, it might wind up in the newspaper and, boy, would I look stupid.
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.
Tom Valley is a Medina resident. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.