I am not excited with our presidential political process yet. I should be; there certainly has been enough drama and the spectacle has unquestionably been anything but flat. But it’s been a show. The real issues that touch people’s lives and that impact our culture and society are back stage and haven’t broken through the fourth wall.
Not that they haven’t tried. I think there have been six Republican and five Democratic debates so far. The sponsoring network tries to make the run up and the follow up compelling, but somehow I don’t feel connected. And I’m not being partisan here – this sense I have crosses both party lines.
I have tried to figure out why. It is no secret to most people who know me that I was energized eight years ago, excited in “the change we can believe in”. It is just none of the candidates work for me. Conceptually, I would love to see a woman president. With some embarrassment I say, I would love to see a Jewish president, no matter how unobservant. With a little bit of trepidation, I timidly say I would love to see a young and bright candidate whose family are recent immigrants. But nothing is motivating me, until this morning.
Front page of the New York Times, next to a picture of two feet of snow in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, there is this headline. “Bloomberg Is Considering 3rd Party Bid.” My heart soared. I read the article through carefully. Is there really a chance that a knight in shining armor can come and save this our beloved country? Is there really someone who can galvanize all those people like me who are sick of politics the way it is being played out and don’t want to vote for any of the current runners? Is there hope?
Here comes the caveat and my need to back peddle a little bit and make sure I am being clear here. These words are not an endorsement of Michael Bloomberg. They are a testimony to the need for someone in this political process to understand me and people like me: life-time democrat who believes in an agenda firmly rooted in America’s promise in the potential and right of every individual to live up to their highest potential no matter where they were born, how much pigment they have in their skin, what their religion, what their faith. To know that I am looking for a president who can unite this country with a practical vision that encompasses a plan to address a crumbling infrastructure which for me means bridges and roads but not just physical ones: bridges between races, roads that promise pathways to the American dream for the poor and underprivileged, beltways that force politicians to face the real problems of gun violence and terror both home grown and imported. I want a president who can bring us together and make me believe in the American political process again.
Am I expecting too much? Am I an inveterate and impossibly naïve dreamer? Am I looking for the messiah? You tell me.