Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Questions

As the candidates desperately attempt to establish themselves as understanding the plight of the average Joe, several questions come to mind. They are not designed to work to the advantage of or the disparagement of a particular candidate, party affiliation, race, gender, age, creed or what have you. They apply as well to congressional aspirants to national and state office. As the selection process proceeds on its inexorable march to a conclusion ask yourself how your favorite would answer the following questions:

When, if ever, have you pumped a tank full of gas into your own car, gone into the C-store, paid, and then driven away all by yourself?

Did you ever stand at a meat counter and determine that pork is a far better buy—pound for pound—than beef and experience the folly of increasing corn prices for ethanol production and understand that it affects what is on your table?

Do you actually know that some people can rejoice to find a $7.50 shirt, which fits, on a clearance rack at Wal-Mart and enjoy wearing it?

Do you realize the same company’s independent decisions (along with other firms) to offer regularly renewable generic prescriptions for $4.00 are a Godsend for millions of Americans?

Are you even vaguely aware that most folks out in the heartland and flyover country go to church on Sunday to renew their relationship with a living God? Can you see their belief as genuine, personal and more important than man made doctrine?

Can you possibly absorb that most people would be happier to support you because of who and what you are than what you can promise?

When was the last time you actually opened a copy of the United States Constitution and seriously considered what the founding fathers had to say?

Have you ever remotely thought of the possibility that a simple “I don’t know” is an acceptable and understandable answer to a legitimate question?

Nobody else smiles and looks happy all the time, why do you insist upon it?

As you inventory your long held beliefs and inclinations on matters of importance to the electorate, are you comfortable telling the truth at all times? To every constituency?

Have you ever been called upon by a family member to take the garbage, and recyclables, to the curb?

When did you last operate a lawn mower, chain saw, axe, shovel (either snow or dirt,) weed whacker, rake, or any item commonly found in a garden shed?

Can you explain the reason for and the mechanics of a sacrifice bunt, a QB blitz, a foul line infraction, a 7-10 split, and Kentucky windage?

What is the purpose of a carburetor on a modern automobile?

Can you explain the role of deacon in current religious usage?

Can you define the word “Pentateuch?”

Is it possible in a genuine apology to use the word “if?”

A captain in the US Navy or a captain in the US Army; does one outrank the other?

Which are you more likely to “fill,” an open end straight or an inside straight?

Don’t peek but what regional center processes your return to the IRS?

The average voter would have no difficulty coming up with answers to these questions. Yes there are a few which would require some degree of special interest or experience. But on the whole they are things which the average bear has ready acquaintance. Some imply a lack of wealth well past normal creature comfort. Others require participation in everyday activities which huge numbers of Americans do daily.

Amidst the constant claims of understanding the wants and needs of others in our nation, I am convinced that they would mostly flunk this series of questions without exception. Two anecdotes come to mind: George H.W. Bush at a supermarket years ago but well after the common installation of bar code readers. He was amazed by the whole procedure. He had apparently not seen that which had been in use for the rest of us for years. The other example is equally ridiculous.

Early in the Clinton presidency the discussion of federally mandated cattle guards came up. When informed that we had approximately 5,000,000 currently in place he suggested that as a cost saving, the government should “fire half of them.” Keep that in mind the next time you drive over one.

These examples would be humorous if they were not indicative of the separation from reality these politicians have. Both former presidents were properly embarrassed by their gaffes but both demonstrated they were seriously out of touch with common perceptions and normality. Bar codes, cattle guards, health insurance, Social Security, education, foreign relations, war and other dangers from rogue regimes around the world require a sense of awareness and some common sense to confront.

The big question then becomes; how would your candidate react to these problems. Is he equipped to lead or legislate the simplest matters? If we ever needed prayers to our heavenly Father, the time is now.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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