Into Enemy Territory

In reading my latest non-fiction conquest and 848-page blunt object, I noticed one similarity among presidents since Reconstruction. Most of the really effective presidents, and all of their really effective cabinet members, were involved with politics from an early age.

If I listed all the presidents who canvassed for, stumped for or simply outspokenly supported presidential nominees from an earlier age, I’d have quite a list. Benjamin Harrison for Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt for Benjamin Harrison. Franklin Roosevelt for Al Smith and, funnily enough, the same Roosevelt for Herbert Hoover a decade before Hoover took office, and 12 years before Franklin whomped Hoover’s pasty Quaker, Chinese-fluent buttocks.

However, It takes dedication and self-sacrifice to get ahead, just as much as political opportunism. William Taft three times turned down his dream job — Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, which he much later earned — from T.R. so he could finish up his current job.

If I’m going to amount to anything in life, I should take these examples of model citzenship, and get active. Lacking a better idiom, I need to get fired up and ready to go — a simple interest, however active, is not enough.

Hopping over to another side — I’ll vote third party this year — isn’t new to me. I went door-to-door for Bush in 2004, but that was more because I got paid $75 than because I believed anything he or Kerry believed in. Either candidate has but to ask, and I’m on the mailing lists for both candidates.

Both ask for cash. Obama more often asks for help.

Looks like I’ll be going to Camp Obama.


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