Presidential election cycle in the U.S. I’m so weary of it and we have a year to go. It’s making me very tired and short-tempered when it comes to political rhetoric.
Many candidates don’t have anything helpful to say. They talk and talk and talk, and all I hear are empty promises and sometimes outright nonsense.
The students at my community college look at me funny when I refuse to talk politics with them.
Instead, I say, YOU are the ones that need to consider running for office.
Their eyes bug out of their heads. What was in Mrs. B.'s coffee this morning?
Start small, I tell them. Run for county commissioner, city council, work up to sheriff or mayor. Keep going from there: state legislature, working for a congresswoman, running for a national office or accepting a federal appointment.
YOU have more to offer than most political figures we see.
YOU came home from three combat tours and enrolled in college. YOU were the spouse who kept it together while your hubby/wife was in harm’s way. YOU know what it’s like to live on a budget, to work your job all day, study all night, take care of your kids, and get up the next day to do it all again.
YOU are the solution to this mostly shoddy field of poor excuses for leaders.
I tell them often. It’s your turn. IT’S YOUR TURN.
I’m a registered independent, I say, so I don’t even care what party you want to throw in with.
Who would do a better job than you? WHO?
They laugh at first or smile indulgently like I’m nutzo. I say: I’m not kidding!
Sometimes I see a glimmer in their eyes. Maybe Mrs. B. has something. Could I do it? Am I good enough, smart enough? they wonder. I'm the first in my family to go to college. How could I become a person of influence, a person whose opinions matter, and who could make things happen?
You are good enough, smart enough, moral enough to run for office, I repeat.
They think over this preposterous idea. Maybe I should consider helping to run this county, this city, this state, this country of mine. Maybe I could do better than those in office now. Should I listen to this crazy lady, talking her crazy talk?
I will keep talking, wearing them down to the possibility. They need to get used to the idea, to the glorious notion. I will keep talking.
God, I hope they are listening.