Two Speeches (not from the stump) … September 23, 2012

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I don’t agree.

Political parties and pundits tend to aggravate some little open wound in my soul which refuses to heal, becoming calloused to the bizarre. I guess the popular thinking is that a certain amount of lying, cheating, attacking, fussing and maneuvering of truth is necessary to win an election. I not only disagree with this premise, but I wonder if anyone has actually ever tried to utilize the facts faithfully to a conclusion before giving up early in the pursuit to strike back over a recent smarting smack.

What I will share with you today are two speeches–one from each of the men running for President of the United States. These discourses don’t actually exist, of course. They are what I feel each individual candidate might want to express if he was intent on winning the job on both merit and humility. I will begin with the incumbent:

My name is Barack Obama. I would like to continue being your President. I guess, in a manner of speaking, you could say that I won the job four years ago. I have learned that there is a difference between winning and succeeding. I was not ready for all the surprises. No one can be prepared–because, dear folks, there is a world of problems out there in what we call the world. It is impossible to understand that in entirety until you actually get in the position where you need to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. But I have learned. May I tell you this–it is not easy to learn. You are tempted to explain your mishaps and trumpet your victories. Here is an assessment: some of my decisions were good. Others are still working out. Some of my choices, though, didn’t completely address the need. Once again–learning. To be President of the United States, in my opinion, means you have to know the difference among those three conclusions. I will tell you, after four years, I understand so much better what is going to be effective and what is a waste of energy. So let me tell you what I would like to do, should you grant me four more years:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

I ask you to give me a chance to use what I have learned. Thank you for your trust.

Another offering:

My name is Mitt Romney. I want to be President of the United States. I have no experience in this job. I have lived a full life. I have a collective understanding of business and commerce, discovered through my work,  family and adult journey. I am rich. It doesn’t make me better. It also doesn’t make me the enemy. I understand that when you are given much, much is required of you. I realize that I will be taking what I have experienced and using it the best I can, while learning how to be a good President. I will need help–not because I am helpless; it’s just that some of the assistance will need to come from Republicans, Democrats, independents and Americans of all types. I will need to listen to all of these voices because they are you. I will:

1. Abandon all bad choices and pursue the path that is fruitful.

2. Listen to all people who actually want to help the country, no matter what affiliation or what party.

3. Be a President of the conservative, the liberal, the independent and anyone else who is blessed to be an American.

4. Tell you the truth, even when it makes me look bad.

Thank you for your time. I can’t promise you an easy solution–I can tell you that we will be able to do this together. I will bring all I know and a heart to learn more. Thank you for your trust.

The pundits would not like with these two speeches. They would insist that showing vulnerability is displaying weakness, and since they believe that politics is a jungle, that such openness would turn a candidate into a lame antelope instead of a roaring lion. Maybe they’re right. But see–we don’t know. There is no way to be sure, because no one has ever had the guts and determination to stay faithful to the understandable truth throughout an entire campaign. I will tell you this–without a heart filled with simplicity and a humble spirit, the responsibility of guiding human beings is carried out by a fool instead of a righteous king.

Two speeches–it is my offering for today. I guess my only counsel to you would be that the more you hear of these admissions from which ever candidate, the better prepared he will be for the inevitable struggle of leadership.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Deer, Antelope … May 3, 2012

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Home, home on the range,

Where the deer and the antelope …

I must tell you a secret. (Actually, if I’m sharing with thousands of people on the Internet, it is no longer a secret, but rather, a perceived private thought.) I have been in Antelope Valley for four days now and I have seen … NO antelope. Now, I am not trying to accuse the Chamber of Commerce of some mass conspiracy to defraud the public about meandering wildlife, but no antelope have come before my eyes. And I’m also beginning to seriously doubt that I am actually in a valley. But rather than becoming cynical about the poor choice of name for this region, I have chosen to believe that for some bizarre explanation, the antelope are protesting.

After all, it is not easy to be an antelope. Basically, you are just as functional and attractive as a deer, but they get all the press. After all, they have Bambi. There’s no movie out about Antwerp, the Crusading Antelope who leaps through the woods trying to prevent deforestation. Why do people prefer deer to antelope? Here’s a piece of propaganda–deer supposedly have antlers, but antelope have horns. And after all, once we establish that any creature is “horny,” we are riddled with suspicion. Those things protruding on both of their heads are the same stuff–the only difference being that the antlers seem to rise to the sky and the antelope’s efforts curve. This is apparently distasteful. So deer are “oohed and ahhed” over and antelope are basically treated like some sort of mutant goat.

That would be enough to upset any antelope–and then, along comes this misleading song about life on the range. In this anthem, deer and antelope are portrayed as “playing.” Now, the deer will survive this slight–being trivialized–but the antelope, who are already suffering from the public relations “Horn of Unplenty” are left looking like  twisted, misshapen deer who just want to fool around.

It is so upsetting to the more religious antelope from the First United Antelopians that they have insisted that the words of the song, Home on the Range, be changed to “…where the deer and the antelope PRAY.” It may be a bit too sacred, but it certainly escapes the frivolity of presenting the species as lackluster and lazy, frolicking through the woods, purposeless. The Antelopians have decided to pray that the word “pray” will be placed into the song instead of the word “play,” preying on their reputation. (How about THAT sentence??)

Another group of antelope, with a more political bend, has decided to lobby for changing the song to “…where the deer and the antelope PAY”–a protest over high taxes and rising prices, which are debilitating the local economy.

Any way you look at it, the antelope must be extremely upset to miss an opportunity to show up in a community which has actually honored them by naming its valley after their sake. So what do YOU think? Do you favor the more pious rendition, where “the deer and the antelope pray?” God knows, we need more prayer. (Wait a second … Does God know we need more prayer? Is God really looking to increase His work load? Isn’t that what more prayer would put upon Him? And what would an antelope pray? Is God really supposed to interrupt His day to hear supplications about the need for more berries? Or… “why are my horns crooked, and not pointing to heaven?” I’m sorry. I digress.)

Or do you swing more towards the politically bent antelope, who want to protest high taxation? Where “the deer and the antelope pay“? (Their problem is actually quite human. They do not understand why taxes are being levied on middle-class antelope when it’s obvious from the economy directly above them that there are creatures “squirreling it away”…)

For I will tell you this. The antelope are fed up with “never hearing a discouraging word” and they just can’t figure out what it means…”and the skies are not cloudy all day.”

Maybe that’s it. Maybe the whole song is just faulty and should never have been recorded in the first place. Maybe the guy who wrote the song never saw a deer and certainly never followed an antelope around to find out the extent of its daily activity, and just rendered them “playful” instead of “prayerful” or just good-paying citizens.

Whatever the reason, there are no antelope in sight. (I actually haven’t seen any deer, either.)

Let me suggest a more appropriate name for this region: Cactus Valley. Another possibility: Blowing Dust Valley.

Although I have to say … I am still a little bit dubious that there’s a valley anywhere nearby.

  

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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