Back in 7th grade, I was an ambitious young lad and decided to run for Student Council at Lewis & Clark Junior High. (Go Patriots!) The other candidates and I all got up in front our classmates at an assembly so we could give our best speeches, trying to sway all those undecided 11 and 12 year olds. Some candidates promised a new soda machine in the cafeteria. Some tried to talk about lobbying for more recess time. Others pledged to get new gym equipment. Everyone made their best pitches. Then I remember one student stood up, recited some bumper-sticker-like saying that essentially translated into “may the best man win”...and then he sat down. I smiled. I felt confident that I wouldn’t have to worry about him getting in the way of me achieving ultimate power. But, I under-estimated one thing: he was one of the popular kids. And, yep, he won.
That story doesn’t haunt me as much as you might think it might, although I do seem to remember every little detail of it like it happened only yesterday. But I have thought of it a few times recently when I start looking at all the presidential candidates. Liz and I have had quite a few of the candidates on our morning show and after we finish talking to one that may be under-performing in the polls, we usually have the same response: that person has a great resume and some great ideas, they just aren’t getting any traction or any love from the voters. Why? Same explanation as 7th grade...it’s a popularity contest. The candidate who can handles themselves the best, says what the voters want to hear, sounds the best and yes, looks the best, is often the person who ends up winning the race, regardless of their ability to actually do the job. As Americans, I think we all bristle at that idea, but it’s hard to disprove it. Some of the candidates (both Democrat and GOP) who have the best resumes in this election cycle are being left in the dirt and will eventually be left in obscurity when it’s all said and done.
In addition to popularity, the other factor for a successful campaign is.....no, not workable ideas and proposals.....but money. One of the reasons that incumbents are so hard to get rid of is that they already have money behind them. Polls show that only 11 to 15% of Americans think that Congress is doing a good job, but in 2014, the last general election, probably 95 to 98% of those running for re-election, got re-elected. Why? Name recognition and money. Also, it’s my assertion that the general population feels that Congress is so bad is because of ‘the other guys...my Congressman is fine..it’s all the rest of them’. So nothing changes. In SC, Lindsey Graham faced 8 different challengers for his senate seat, all accusing him of not being conservative enough. People couldn’t tell you fast enough how much they hated him, and how they couldn’t wait to get him out of office. When it was all said and done, Lindsey is still their senator and won by an easy margin. How? Name recognition and money. He was the best known of any of the candidates, by far, and nobody could come close to his war chest. So despite the grousing, nothing changed.
The best and the brightest amongst us is not always the most articulate, the richest or the best looking. Sometimes they have trouble getting their point across in a cogent manner, have a few extra pounds or don’t come across well on camera. Those may sound like insignificant reasons to dismiss someone from something as important as the presidency....and you know what, they are. But you know what, they do.
Whether you get married by a Justice of the Peace or a priest or you just go to city hall... whether you have a reception, go on a honeymoon or get a bite for lunch afterwards... any way you cut it... you are married with a marriage license that's recognized in every state.
Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships stop short of allowing same sex couples marriage rights and it's not recognized across statelines. All they want are equal rights when it comes to marriage rights.
Call it something else. "Wife" and "husband" should be reserved for heterosexual marriages. "Partner" was working all these years for homosexual partners. "Marriage" for heterosexual couples and "Civil Unions" for homosexual couples.
Just change the parameters of a Civil Union, and the problem would be solved. End of story.
It's not about religion. It's about rights. It's not about moral decay. It's about two people that love each other.
Today's Supreme Court case is about two women who are in love and raising a family together... three kids! They want to protect their family. That's far from moral decay.
Whom am I to judge who one loves and why? I'm not perfect at it either... neither are half the married couples in this great nation.