Don't major in the minors of life

I want to get serious with you. I teach history at the university level. Generally, I understand politics. However, I don't understand this presidential election. I can understand that one of them, who hopes to become the president, says things that don't make sense to the normal voter. He said that he was a severely conservative governor that passed the first universal healthcare legislation in the nation. I have never heard of anyone using those two words together, but I'm not an English professor. I didn't know that one could use an adverb to modify a noun.

Description: Mitt signs bill This hopeful candidate is signing his healthcare bill.

This severely conservative governor's legislation in a New England state became the basis of what this former governor calls Obama Care. This severely conservative candidate is severely conservative on nearly every issue...both for and against the particular issue. He doesn't support the Lilly Ledbetter Act. This candidate was Pro Choice and is now Pro Life and claims that he was Pro Life as a governor. Rolling Stone mentions a dozen examples of flip-flopping. His ethical criteria is that he is for or against something depending upon whether he can get votes...ethics has no basis because ethics isn't the issue. Beyond the nonsense of flip-flopping, there isn't even a shred of ethical concern in his mind.

I get that he doesn't care until he thinks that he can get votes and then he decides to flip-flop. What I don't get or understand is why millions of Americans accept that political modus operandi of flip-flopping. There is an intellectual and ethical disconnect in his thinking process along with many Americans that follow this severely conservative flip-flopper.

This candidate has a clone who dresses just like him. The clone wears either a business suit or blue jeans depending upon what the other is wearing making it difficult to know who the real one is. The clone rehearses his message and is mentally focused by his handlers. The real one, when not on message, will say some of the stupidest things. During his first presidential debate, he tore into Big Bird, PBS, and Jim Lehrer. While he likes all three, he is going to fire them all if he is elected on Day 1.

When the Democrats mentioned Big Bird the next day, he and the Republicans dissed the Democrats, because they were trivializing campaign by mentioning Big Bird. That is an interesting charge...especially when he was the one who brought up firing Big Bird, PBS, and Jim Lehrer the night before during the debate.

While this candidate was threatening Big Bird, PBS, and Jim Lehrer on Day 1, my 27-month old grandson, Jack, must have overheard part of the TV debate from his crib just before going to sleep. When my wife and I saw him the following week, I was greeted with him holding Big Bird, Elmo, and Cookie Monster tightly in his arms. I asked him what was troubling him. He expressed his concern about the presidential candidate that wanted to fire Big Bird and all of Big Bird's friends on Sesame Street. So Jack and Owen sat down and started to talk about the situation.

Al sitting with Jack and Owen

To further help resolve Jack's concerns, we went for lunch down at the Illinois Street Food Emporium, which is located at 5550 N. Illinois St...our favorite eatery in Indy. I assured him in spite of his inner turmoil that the neither the guy nor his clone would be elected president in November. I told Jack that the guy was on a fool's errand swearing to fire Big Bird, PBS, and Jim Lehrer on Day 1. I told him that the guy would have had a lot to do on Day 1 if he had been elected, but he won't be elected.

While eating at the Emporium his favorite lunch, mac and cheese, I explained another issue that got women all upset...equal pay. This candidate is against equal pay for women who do the same job as a male colleague. I told him that a woman gets $ .25 less on every dollar than her male colleague gets. Jack didn't believe that was right.

Jack eating mac-n-cheese

Then we went into the attack in the diplomatic mission in Benghazi and how either the real candidate or his clone dissed the administration even before all the reports of the attack had been known. I was on a roll and went into a long dissertation about healthcare reform. Jack seemed interested but went back to his concern about Big Bird and his two favorite friends: Elmo and Cookie Monster. Jack wanted reassurance that no one was going to fire Big Bird or the rest of his friends on Sesame Street. He wanted reassurance from me so that he could tell his brother, Owen, that all would be well on Sesame Street.

Finally, after my rather long dissertation of this firing, flip-flopping candidate, Jack's concerns seemed to be abated for now. However, as I looked into his face, he seemed concerned and mentioned getting a cookie for dessert. I told Jack that we'd get one but to finish his mac and cheese. While eating, I mused over the fact that some people followed this candidate's wish list for Day 1. To me, this firing candidate was majoring in the minors of life. Then I looked into Jack's eyes and said, "Papa loves you. When you grow up, don't major in the minors of life. Therein lives an important lesson of life. In the meantime, let's get a cookie."

Jack smiled and said, "I won't major in the minors of life, but can we get a cookie?"

Jack with cookie

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