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Monday, July 15, 2024

Sadly, class is not a prerequisite for the presidency

A sign on Ron Paul's desk: Amen, brother

A commenter on one of Capitol Hill Blue’s recent stories noted that GOP presidential contender Ron Paul has more “class” than another challenger — the constantly whiny Michelle Bachmann.

That’s true — and if class had any bearing in presidential elections, Paul would be a frontrunner instead of a second tier contender who has no chance at winning the nomination, much less the presidency.

Sadly, class has nothing to do in determining who becomes a party’s nominee or eventually president of this nation.

Neither, unfortunately, does competence, honesty, ability or morality.

If ability were a determining factor, we would not be suffering under the failed leadership of Barack Obama.

If competence or honesty were a criteria, George W. Bush would not have been in a position to put this nation through eight years of trauma.

If class, morality or honesty determined our presidents, Bill Clinton would still be a cornpone politicians in Arkansas.

We can go back many years, many decades and find sad examples of humanity who made it to the highest office in the land.  Some were honest but incompetent. Others were corrupt, immoral and dishonest.  Some might say Ronald Reagan had class — at least in public — but those who worked with him know that behind the scenes he was an immoral, obscene, back-stabbing son-of-a-bitch.

Nice guys, the old cliche says, finish last. That is not only true in politics but in other walks of life. Steve Jobs, hailed as a technological genius, was a ruthless man who ran roughshod over friends, employees and competitors.  Mark Zuckerberg stole the concept for Facebook from Harvard classmates and betrayed his best friend but is hailed as the father of social networking.

Tiger Woods dominated professional golf and became the world’s most admired athlete while cheating constantly on his wife.  Only after his “sex addiction” became public did he fall from grace with the public.  His golf game went into the crapper as well.

Penn State legend Joe Paterno?  That story is still playing out and it ain’t pretty.

Because we must choose our leaders and heroes from the human race, we cannot achieve or expect perfection but isn’t it sad that we must accept so many flaws in those we elect to office or put on pedestals?

Does our obsession with celebrities, sports heroes and flawed leaders say more about us as a nation than those we idolize?

Instead of cheering the overpaid, steroid-doped athlete who opts for multi-million contracts instead of finishing his education, should we not be honoring the teacher who works at a salaary barely above minimum wage yet finds a way to awaken a desire to learn in our children?

Should we not save our love and respect for those first responders — many of them volunteers — who save our lives in a car wreck or risk their own to pull us from a burning building?

Why haven’t any of them ever shown up on a list of “most admired Americans?”

With so many millions to choose from, why can’t we find one good, honest, competent, moral man or woman to run this nation?

Someone with “class.”

Maybe we can’t because we don’t have the class ourselves…or the honesty…or the integrity…or anything else.

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18 thoughts on “Sadly, class is not a prerequisite for the presidency”

  1. Obama speaks the language of the crowd he is working. Amazing how he can “go ghetto” when it suits him or may present an advantage.

    Cain also appeals to his audience with his minstrel show antics. I’m all for seeing who can do the best “Geraldine” to get my vote – if I every again voted for president.

  2. Hal, I believe you have it down pat! Jimmy Walker indeed! The Republicans have left the ship and a level of near idiots has taken over the RNC. I saw this start when Haley Barbour was head chief of the RNC and he approached every action as an Evangelical, not as a Republican with leadership. He tried to force the actions against abortions and gay marriages and although more members of the religious right joined forces with the GOP many of us walked out.

    By the time President Bush was in his second term. the GOP went into a fighting mode against any Americans having free choice within their own lives. This happened all over Europe too when the Pope was given the final word on moral actions of his own people.

    This morning on Morning Joe, John Meacham mentioned the power of federal laws when it comes to how we raise our own children. He felt the government must always rule in favor of a morally correct action. He was referring to a federal law bringing in local police against anyone violating a child. In my world it is family who raises a child not the government. I am not a Catholic and no other human being will get away with violating one of my kids. My rules are a hell of a lot stronger than any man wearing the cloth.

    What we have left in the GOP are the dregs of mankind unable to set standards for the voters higher than the previous generation. Evangelicals who have taken instructions from their church leaders most of their lives and want all Americans to toe the line and obey every demand. Thinking is no longer necessary as Evangelicals will always have a hand picked candidate to tell us all what not to do. They were so successful with Gov. George Bush, they went back to the farm and got another one named Rick Perry. Many Republicans in the past would never be caught dead talking badly about another Republican and they watched their words against a standing President. Respect was part of the bargain but it took a dunce by the name of Rush to rid the game of the rules.

    Instead of an interesting and important campaign, we are now facing a religious war. It is tilting on a racial war and that is where I refuse to play. Conservatives have done a job on labeling their enemies as filth in the streets.

  3. Maybe Democracy has been oversold. Perhaps there are good reasons why the founding fathers did not create a political system where the president was selected by popular vote.

  4. I believe that aside from Obama being a Democrat, and thus according to those in the Tea Party, can do no right, the fact that he’s black is another reason many will never support him ii any way, shape or form.

    What is more interesting to me is the question as to why some who identify themselves as Tea Party and who are also racist support Herman Caine. There must be some.

    My explanation isn’t that Cain’s positions trump his race. It is that Obama is too “uppity” for them and Cain isn’t. I wrote about this before:

    I strongly suspect that the loudest protests came from those who can’t stand that there’s an “uppity n—r” in the White House. They will find any excuse to discredit or attack him from a speech to school children to where he was born.

    and also in a comment to an article by Susan Walker I wrote “Obama in particular knows that if there’s any perception worse than his being an uppity n-word to prompt lazy racists to come out of their holes to vote against him on election day, it would be to come across as a overly confident (read as “cocky”)and uppity n-word.

    Cain on the other hand shucks and jives, wears weird hats, and often sounds tongue tied and uneducated… and he even breaks into gospel songs. Despite his being rich, he fits the stereotype these people have of a, well, you know what.

  5. Question for Hal. From the moment that Obama thew his hat in the ring, a voice from the radio took him down. Rush Limbaugh did this to Clinton for as many years as Clinton was in the White House. I could not believe my own friends for following the words from this loud-mouth fool. Clinton made it through the assault but another factor tied up Obama. I believe this factor was his race.

    If this is indeed because he is black, I can’t imagine what anyone can do about it.

  6. Just watching Morning Joe and Chris Mathews made a good point about what I agree should be a prerequisite for being president: leadership.

    Despite other characteristics that I would describe as Obama having “class”, he is dismally lacking in leadership skills.

    Mathews said that whether it is leadership through persuasion or intimidation, the president must be able to lead effectively. Perhaps Obama thought he could lead by a combination of charisma and being a true believer himself. Not so.

    The president has to be able to convince both members of Congress and the public that his policies and ideas need to be implemented.

    For example, despite his eventually getting his health care bill passed, he never sold it to the public. His jobs bill has stalled because he hasn’t been able to convince the public that it is common sense, and the Republican politicians have capitalized on this.

    Look at all the candidates as salesmen. Ask yourself which one could convince you to buy one brand of washing machine over another.

  7. So why does CBS News corporation, an artificial person set up strictly for the purpose of making money, get to run Presidential debates?

    I think that’s a bigger story.


  8. Touche. Certainly would explain the numbers for Perry, Cain, and Gingrich. It’s definitely a sad commentary on what passes for decency and respect in these times.

    Although let’s not forget the big story here is that CBS “News” premeditated and intentionally limited these candidates time and questions because they don’t feel them viable, even though Paul consistently polls in the top three in straw polls and has shown ability to raise funds.

    It’s certainly arguable Gingrich’s rise is only due to the favoritism shown during the debate. Where would Paul be if he was shown such favoritism?

  9. Hi Everyone,

    The RNC has been complicit in the marginalization of Dr. Paul, as well as the media blackout. We all know this. I have set up a little website to bring attention to this fact and to help Dr. Paul. It is not the kind of thing he would do (in fact he couldn’t even acknowledge it without being summarily expelled from the GOP), but it IS the kind of thing I would do, ESPECIALLY after the last debate where Dr. Paul got a whole 90 seconds to speak. This must stop and by God it WILL stop, and YOU’RE going to help me stop it!

    Go to and sign up please, and spread the word. I set up the site myself it has no ads and no profit, just a labor of love in defense of Dr. Paul.

  10. Americans aren’t the “best and brightest” on the planet, this is easily proven.

    Sadly, they are not the most moral either.

    To call those in the offices of government “leaders” is an insult to anyone who truly understands the definition of the word “leader.”

    To call the “representatives” is more of the same.

    It bodes poorly for America that the words honest, moral and genuine are also absent from the list of things one can call these thieves and liars.

    …..and yet, we tolerate the abuse.

    Ignorance and apathy rule the day and Rome continues to burn.

  11. “…in every democracy, people end up getting the government they deserve” …Alexis de Toqueville

    “Democracy in America” published in 1835 by Alexis de Toqueville a French poltical thinker and historian fairly sums up our national condition, not only then, but so too now in these seeming trying and possibly end times for our still young Republic. I urge readers to read a Wiki synopsis of this seminal work. It will connect the dots and provide and explanation as to our current national lot.

    Thanks Doug Thompson for your spot-on and timely editorial. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

    • “…Alexis de Toqueville” …extract from post

      should read”

      …Alexis de Tocqueville

      my apologies.

      Carl Nemo **==

      p.s. At least I didn’t misspell this man’s name…Alexis de ‘Tokeville’ : ))

  12. Fabulous commentary. Could it be time to discuss exactly what it is we want for leadership? It is time for some soul searching? Most of us have a vague notion of what true freedom and liberty is all about but we have little knowledge of how to keep and maintain it.

    Every 4 years since I reached 21 I have read every possible news story on our government elections and it seems that there is always someone who can fill a need that had been missing. The internet should have given us all this tool. But it did not!

    My desire for a government that represented the majority of the people had no chance and organized religion stepped in. As far as I’m concerned America is now a Christian nation and a quick look at the Congress proves it.

    My sincere hope is that this commentary by Doug might start a positive discussion of what it is that this site can discuss regarding the problem.

    Will we end up collecting all wealth and dealing it out for everyone in America? Will we force a closed Wall Street and the closure of all corporations? Will we all have to burn out own libraries so that no unsuspecting person can read Rand?

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