There is much talk about “flawed candidates” as this wretched campaign nears its highly desired close.
Hillary Clinton is “flawed.” Gary Johnson is “flawed.” Jill Stein is “flawed.” I am grossly “flawed.” But I am not running for anything except the bathroom. Among the prominent Americans who have flaws we must include: Bill Clinton, all the Bushes, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, LBJ and the sainted John Kennedy. I worked on the presidential nomination campaign for much respected and much admired Morris Udall.
Mo had flaws: He was a lapsed Mormon and had one eye.
And Vladimir Putin is not a nice guy.
The Pope is flawed for heaven’s sake!
Even the newly canonized Mother Theresa had her moments.
But Donald Trump holds a special place. He is Lord of the Flaws.
Liar, philanderer, crooked businessman, misogynist, braggart, tax cheat (innocent until he releases tax returns), oh I could go on…but that would expose another of my flaws, hysteria.
So let us explore the high bar we set for our leaders, from the village alderman to President of the United States.
They should file their taxes and pay their bills, even if the work is deemed unsatisfactory by the purchaser. (Where did I hear that?)
They should not engage in idle gossip about wives and girlfriends with Howard Stern or Oprah Winfrey.
They should, but not ostentatiously, attend the religious rites of their belief. (This is helpful with older voters, younger votes couldn’t care less.)
Expectations of our lawmakers, jurists and Presidents call for living a modest lifestyle and avoiding excesses in home, dress and demeanor. Cowboy boots are ok, red velvet slippers are not.
A divorced public servant does not hold the stigma that once existed, but three marriages ought to be avoided if possible. And divorcing a cancer patient is bad form.
Some military experience is desirable, along with religious missions, Peace Corps service and Boy or Girl Scout membership.
Teatotaling raises questions, but ought not be criticized. Inhaling illegal substances used to be bad…now it is widely ignored. An office holder having a breathalyzer in his/her car and one wearing an ankle GPS device risks close attention from the media…many of whom use both.
These are but a few of the instances where failure is a “flaw” and compliance leads to “blandness” and “boring” characterizations.
And so, when assessing our current crop of office seekers and office holders, it is altogether reasonable to call Donald Trump the undisputed Lord of the Flaws.
Bob Neuman served as a speech writer and administrative assistant to Rep. Morris Udall. He is a former DNC communications director.
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