OP-ED: The Barren Political Desert

By Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick
Joseph J. Honick

The “desert” has always stimulated wide ranges of meanings, from romantic themes to great art to music…even biblical history featuring the trek of Jews freed from ancient Egypt.  Mostly the idea of the desert conjures up important and poetic concepts.

 So why does the political desert of this year’s Congressional contests and the lack of any sense of excitement for the  2016 presidential campaign stir any of those feelings?

Answer:  the political desert, both regional and national, is barren… devoid of any collection of individuals to whom the nation can turn with any sense of confidence.

That assertion might cause some argument from left and right about whose fault the national and world tragedies might be.  Argue as they might, however, neither Democrats, nor Republicans or whatever the Tea Party might actually be… none of them can debate the sad and even dangerous reality that there is no one who has risen in the confidence of Americans as a definable leader who might wander into the 2016 elections.

Oh, sure, the big money that fertilizes both the pockets and corporate enterprises of Karl Rove undoubtedly will hire the most creative of political image magicians to persuade the nation of some new hero.  Those on the more liberal side will  find other crusading defenders as well.  Despite the manufactured imagery, the public has begun to see through the multi-partisan smoke screens and realizes the nation’s political machinery desperately needs more than WD-40 to take loud squeaks out of its rundown condition.

And the worst worry is that all of this will only be further messed up by that most wonderful document, the United States Constitution and its cumbersome electoral college that guarantee no matter what candidates are tossed out to the public will find a political winner, however deficient.

Certainly the last 16 years have shown how bad things can get on a bipartisan basis.

 Some years ago,  only half jokingly, and to the expected derision,  I proposed the creation of a bipartisan or non-partisan executive search commission to use the same methods employed to find CEO’s for corporations in order to surface presidential candidates.  Today, despite the Constitutional strictures, the concept, with some polishing, seems even more promising.

Whatever change evolves, and it is clear change must come, it is imperative the nation not be captive to the candidates produced by the biggest moneyed investors of the right AND the left who darned well expect to get what they  paid for.    

What stands in the way of such needed change is a public beaten down by seemingly non-stop screaming headlines and TV news about war threats or almost totally distrustful of anything political at all.

Given our  nonstop determination to insist our political and military will on other nations, much, if not all of the world, friend and potential foe, are also waiting to see if we can regain political maturity.

 It is indeed a barren political desert ahead.

Anyone seen or heard from Moses lately?


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Honick is president of GMA International Ltd with offices on Bainbridge Island, WA.  He is an international consultant to business and writes on a variety of public affairs issues.

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