Monday, April 7, 2008

We don’t need a hero

This endless presidential campaign has worn me out. I tuned out weeks ago — or at least tried to. It’s hard to avoid.

The cable news channels are busily picking lint out of their navels and examining it under a microscope, filling their voracious 24-hour news cycle with any bit of political trivia they can conjure, desperately waiting for some real action in Pennsylvania.

Hillary Clinton keeps “misspeaking” (“did I say ‘under sniper fire?’ I meant ‘in a country where snipers have fired’”). McCain keeps offering “straight” talk (“I don’t understand the economy.” “I never said that”). Obama keeps delivering masterful speeches. Tastes great, less filling.

And yet people latch onto a candidate with enviable passion and commitment. For some, Obama is a kind of savior. Clinton partisans will do anything for Hillary. McCain... well, McCain doesn’t seem to inspire much passion. The right can’t stand him. That may mean trouble for him in November.

But anyway...

We want so badly to believe in real leadership .... and we are so consistently disappointed.

Gregory Rodriguez wrote a great column in the LA Times about all this. Here’s a sample: “...the practice of idealizing politicians, of putting presidents or any other elected official on a pedestal, is a little like repeatedly nominating a used-car salesman to the Better Business Bureau. How many Eliot Spitzers does it take before we stop being even a little bit surprised that these people are not only human, they’re wildly ambitious, which makes them especially prone to the big fall?” (Read the column here:,0,5098203.column).

We’ve given the President massive power — too much. And we expect the President to bring “change” to cure what ails us, to remake the world. It ain’t gonna happen folks. The candidates are politicians, with all the human frailties and then some.

We don’t need a hero; we need somebody with smarts and common sense who won’t make too many big mistakes.

The President won’t lead us to the Promised Land. That’s up to us.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. A sampling of combat veterans from recent past wars tells us the heroes of war, in their eyes, are those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Just yesterday a Navy SEAL, killed in Iraq after throwing himself on a grenade to save to other SEALs, was acknowledged as just such a hero with a posthumous Medal of Honor.

    Politicians are not heroes. They are servants of the People, elected to do the People's work, and to do so ethically, quietly, and with their own careers a far second to the People's best interests.

    I don't want a "hero" for a President. I want a decent, humble, hard-working, ethical, sober human being who pulls down walls between peoples and nations and truly does the hard and honorable right over the easy, unethical wrong.

    In the meantime I'll continue to do what I can in my small part of the world to make this country, our country, a little bit better today than it was yesterday...and to touch someone's life in a manner that lifts them up rather than tears them they might do the same for someone else.

    I am one such combat veteran whose heros are those who I remember for their determination to be where so many others dare not go - and whose service demanded the ultimate in giving.

    I agree with your final thought, Jim. Let us only hope and pray such a person shows themself worthy in the very near future.

  2. Unfortunately, we have few good choices right now. If we want change in the party in the White House (and why wouldn't we?) we have only Obama and Clinton to choose from. If we don't want that change then we are stuck even more with a current presumed nominee. Following the campaigns now is tiring (try Jon Stewart or Colbert for a little relief from the cable news channels, or for that matter, SNL has done some pretty good satire on this)but seems to produce something new almost every week. MSNBC has some astute observers of the situation, particularly Olberman and his program even with its overblown graphics and production nonsense at least provides some sharp barbs at the powerful and not-so-powerful.

    When I place my vote it will be for whom I think has the best chance of beating McCain and I can't decide that yet. When the nominee is chosen I will get passionate about the Democratic candidate whomever it is.

  3. Any one who is having a hard time deciding between Obama and Clinton should watch the documentary "The Clinton Chronicles".

  4. Its too bad the news mediums can no longer deliver "news". Instead of providing facts and unbiased opinions - letting the people make up their minds based on credible "news", they seek to salt the story to suit their self serving agendas and beliefs. Now, thanks to the erosion of the news medias credibility there is nothing anyone can read or watch that they believe. Shame on the nugget for turning the nugget paper and its website into their personal blog. How about getting back to unbiased reporting? Only then will you have any credibility..