Surfers come in plenty of packages. There are, of course, the typical beach bum surfer and the bro-dude surfer. But then sometimes you find successful business owners, pastors and a whole host of other non-surfery folks who love to paddle out on a regular basis. I think you find this because a surfer's life is about balance, literally while on the board and figuratively while finding time to surf between family obligations, work meetings and fixing your car. It makes sense that this life in balance can find itself landing in lots of different places with lots of different people. To segue into my little political rant, I think this idea of balance is why I've come to some sad conclusions about this year's race for the presidency.
My wife and I missed most of the debates on both sides of the political spectrum (there are only two sides of course) and so we've been catching up the last week or so. What I have found is that I kept gravitating to the candidates who seemed somewhat moderate in what they said, were level-headed and respectful in their demeanor and, for some reason, extremely unpopular.
I was disheartened to see that these candidates, who made plenty of comments that made a lot of sense, particularly in the realm of bridging gaps in politics to get things done, were largely overlooked. Literally placed at the fringes of the stages, these men were often excluded from questions, denied responses they were due, and given significantly less time to stake their cases for the presidency. At the end of it, since we're catching up on things, I was sad to find many of them have already dropped out due to said unpopularity.
What I want to write about is how ridiculous it is that what could be the most logical candidates are the ones who are pushed out of the race because they just aren't that good for news. (This is where I point out the word "humble" in the title, because I'm going to admit that my research on every candidate is fairly limited. What I'm writing is based mostly, but not entirely, on the debates.) People want a show and so the media brings it. For all the reasons above we are left missing the words of guys and gals who could be really good presidents, but because they don't embody a strict conservative or liberal platform (or maybe just don't act like they do), and aren't boisterous or argumentative, we may never hear from them again on this scale.
It's shameful that we only give our attention to those who cause the most noise. We're choosing leaders, not casting a movie. Objectively, wouldn't you want someone who is level-headed, respectful of his peers, not afraid to deviate from party lines every now and then -- someone who is overall balanced -- to make decisions that affect this country and the rest of the world? I know I do! But because that's not all that interesting, we will push the men and women who just might be the best qualified for the job to the side of the stage, regard their meager speaking time as an annoying formality, and microwave some popcorn until the next argument breaks out.
Yes, this is American politics in 2016... I don't know if any politicians surf, but if they do, I bet part of it is to escape from the circus. I don't blame them. Maybe if they all surfed, things would be better. Maybe...
The image is from humblesurfer.com, which has nothing to do with this post aside from the title, but I wanted to share that link because he makes good art. Check him out!