28 October 2008


I both agree and disagree with the analysis that most of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates' talk so far has been "garbage."

In past presidential elections I almost exclusively focused on the issues, without much considering personality and even character. Now, I believe, the next President and his administration must, if we have any chance of surviving, tell the American people that we will have to sacrifice and make very painful changes to our very unsustainable lifestyles--economic and environmental. This will require of the next President believable communication, character, and leadership. Franklin Roosevelt had it; our next President must possess it, too.

The next President and his administration must also revise the direction our foreign policy has been going. He will have to communicate that the misguided "global war on terrorism" should, instead, be an internationally unified policing of terrorist groups. Sound judgement, communication, and believability will be key to this.

Last, I believe this election is an existential election about who we Americans understand ourselves as being as a nation, where we want to go, and how we could get there. If we begin to solve the energy and financial crises, there will be painful adjustments to lifestyles. Only a good communicator with great character can help us understand ourselves and help us feel the requisite confidence that great changes will require.

For these reasons, for the first time, I am considering communication skills, character, judgement, and leadership skills of the presidential candidates. Many of the problems we will have to face as a nation are not now being addressed--much of the talk is garbage--but this does not mean they won't be addressed. The problems will be forced on us.

So, I'm now listening very closely to the garbage--actually, through the garbage--to make an evaluation on communication, character, judgement, and leadership. Listen very closely to the garbage and then consider the communicator beyond it. I believe one of the candidates is clearly far ahead. That is he who we will rely on and sorely need very soon.

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