Primarily… January 10, 2012

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Sixty-three per cent.

I am told by those who schedule me for engagements across the United States that sixty-three per cent of those who are contacted about the possibility immediately say no. That leaves thirty-seven per cent who express some interest.  I am further informed that about half of them eventually choose to decline, bringing it down to about eighteen per cent who actually welcome me into their environs. Eighteen per cent. I don’t think I could win ANY election with that, do you? I don’t think eighteen per cent would impress any pundit pouring over the numbers from New Hampshire today. Matter of fact, someone from the outside might look at those numbers and say, “Gee whiz. Maybe you ought’a find something else to do. It sure looks like you’re not very popular.”

Popular. What an interesting word. From the first day I stepped into kindergarten, popularity and how it worked was very clear to me. It had something to do with giving people what they think they want. Of course, humans, being fairly fickle, have to constantly revise themselves to the ever-changing demands. So the “popular people” in high school did not necessarily go out and change the world, invent something or cure a disease. No, they married their popular counterpart, had children and tried to teach their off-spring to be popular.

I do not understand how we elect and vote for a President in this country. If I were running for office (you can stop giggling now), I would immediately do three things:

1. I would make two videos–one on the best of my accomplishments, entitled The Best and a second video of my faults and bloopers in life and surname it The Worst. I would play both of them equally so as to make it clear to the constituency that I am capable of good AND bad, with a greater inclination to discover the good because I’m not afraid of admitting that I’ve done bad.

2. After making those two demonstrations of the equality of my actions, I would challenge the competition by asking them to do the same. Anyone who’s afraid to deal with his or her bloopers is never going to be a good leader. Anyone who feels the need to qualify his or her mistakes in some lengthy explanation is going to try to justify future bumbles. I would even the playing field by making us all human–or let us all realize that nothing of any human good will come of it.

3. And finally, the third thing I would do is put out a daily report on how I would choose, as President, to handle the situations facing our present administrator. If I believe it’s a serious job, I should not fault the man or woman holding it for having some difficulty. But if I cannot offer solutions to the problems that exist now, and only project what I might do in the future, I probably am not only worthless, but also potentially a liar. Offering a plan, day by day, of how one would handle being President of the United States is the only real way to let the public know what they’re getting with the deal.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? There is what the public wants, what they require and what they need. Politics, religion and entertainment continue to pander to a confused populace materials which they are guessing are adequate to the desires of the current whining. A few bolder souls might make suggestions on doing things better, but the minute those are rejected as impractical–or worse, un-American–those brave adventurers quickly retreat back to advertising the status quo.

What people NEED demands that we look at the history of the human race, the hearts of our species and both the spiritual and physical needs of each other. At times it means being out of step with the current trends and perhaps even at odds with what seems to be the “taking the poll” way of doing things.

But what people need is, after all, what they need. So I continue to travel across the country with an eighteen per cent approval rating because my message is not borne of popular opinion, hatched from a voting booth or manufactured in a Madison Avenue board room. No, my message is, “NoOne is better than anyone else.” It seems simple until you sit down and realize how many different ways we express our superiority to others. But when we abandon that foolishness–to be better than others–we allow mercy, tenderness and humor to return to our lives.

So let them hold the primary today in New Hampshire, and let America once again believe it can vote in the favorite flavor. I will continue to travel around the country and joyously share my little piece of heaven. I may not ever become President, but by the grace of God … I don’t ever have to lie.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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To see books written by Jonathan, click the link below! You can peruse and order if you like!

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

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