We’ve got hot summer nights on the horizon. Come on, it’s an election year. In thinking about the days ahead of heated debates, accusations and counter accusations, I made some resolutions I’d like to share:
• I resolve not to get too caught up in politics. No, seriously. I’m not going to count the days — 138, but who’s counting? — before the election.
• I resolve not to study a single political poll between now and Nov. 8, which is, as I mentioned but we’re not going to talk about, 138 days away.
• I resolve I will not watch too many debates when I have better things to do. I might need to clip my toenails. Or, maybe, a movie I’ve seen 20 times, like “Bull Durham” will be on TV and I’ll just have to watch that scene one more time when the players come to the mound to discuss wedding gifts and cursed gloves.
• I resolve not to focus on the number of times either candidate calls the other one a liar. If they do, however, I resolve to imagine that candidate adding, “liar, liar, pants on fire,” to add some levity to the accusation.
• I resolve not to worry too much that one of these two people whom I don’t particularly like will be president. Seriously, we’ve got all these people eager for power and these two are the best we can find? Not everyone wants to be president, but doesn’t this seem like the perfect time for a dark horse to throw his or her hat in the ring?
• I resolve to avoid listening to pundits. I don’t want to hear how you absolutely think your candidate won the debate and the other candidate completely lost the debate, the election and his or her mind the other night. Can you imagine two pundits watching everything you did in a day?
Pundit 1: “Oh, he totally nailed that plaque on his teeth. He won’t need to brush his teeth for a week after a performance like that.”
Pundit 2: “Are you kidding? Do you think he gave the molars any attention? I’ve spoken to the molars and they are feeling neglected. I have a way to brush that would fight for every tooth and not just the ones on top.”
My only pundit exception is David Gergen: He’s smart and funny, has a deep authoritative voice and he’s really tall, so it looks like he’s observing everything from on high. Besides, in the early 1990s I met him, not to name drop or anything, and he actually listened carefully to a question I asked.
• I resolve to do 10 push-ups every time I hear one of the candidates, in an advertisement or during a TV or radio news program, use the word “fight.” I figure if they argue that they’ll fight for me, I might as well fight for my own fitness. Maybe I’ll do 20 sit-ups every time I watch them shake their heads in frustration when describing the ridiculous and calamitous choice on the other side of the aisle.
• I resolve to think of the two candidates as the leaders of their packs on a middle school playground. Each time one of them is emotionally wounded and levels accusations against the other, I will imagine that they are just going through a difficult phase in their political career and that they’ll be OK once they get to high school.
• Finally, no matter what, I resolve to remind myself that the Constitution guarantees us checks and balances. That means, regardless of the final “winner,” other leaders can protect all our interests.