My 86-year-old mom has Alzheimer’s Disease, but I think she could do a better job of managing the nation’s debt crisis than the current crop of elected officials in Washington, D.C.
Symptoms of the disease present themselves in many ways with my mom. For instance:
She can’t remember my name or the names of my wife and children;
Her conversation “menu” includes a handful of topics that seem to run through her mind in something of a continuous loop, repeating multiple times during a typical afternoon of interaction; and
My mother always speaks of pleasant or happy memories, such as when she used to make divinity — a white fudge made of whipped egg whites, sugar, and nuts — every Christmas and when she served several terms as president of the PTA at Taft Elementary School in Enid, Okla.
When I consider most of our elected officials, including those now on center stage, allegedly attempting to settle the debt ceiling crisis before the nation goes into financial default, symptoms of the memory-robbing affliction present themselves quite clearly:
The typical elected official cannot remember the name of a constituent without the aid of a database listing the amount of that constituent’s latest campaign contribution;
Though it changes with the direction of the political wind, the typical politico’s conversation menu includes a handful of topics (a.k.a., “talking points”) given to him by his handlers (a.k.a., “party bosses”) that he repeats often, seemingly in front of anyone with a camera or microphone; and
Unlike my mom, those on their political soapboxes in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House seem to focus on bad times ahead if one thing or another doesn’t get done via legislation. In addition, they blame people on the other side of the political aisle for being reckless and wanting to cause harm to children, seniors and others with special needs.
Now is the time for us to go back to the citizen legislature envisioned by the Founding Fathers and to elect presidents who, like George Washington, are best for the job and don’t necessarily want the job.
In lieu of that, the best temporary solution might be to elect my mother as president in 2012. Believe it or not, she thrived as PTA president and, she tells me, she ran a pretty tight ship.
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