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Monday, January 7, 2008



There are never more talking heads than during campaign times. The airways, both TV and radio, and, most importantly, the candidates. Just a few minutes ago I heard a campaign person for Obama in response to a question of how he, Obama, can unite the country, say that “Obama was a new kind of person who could do the job.” The questioner reminded him that Nixon and Bush both promised they could accomplish this feat, but, of course, we know that neither of them ever did.

In my lifetime, who could have been a more charming promise-it-all-to-everybody person than President Kennedy. Eventually, he accomplished less than any other President of our times. Why? In the case of Kennedy, he was too popular and a very popular President is inimical to the Congress. Congress will give nothing to a very popular President. Perhaps, Reagan might have been an exception, but that might have been due to the fact that he had one of the highest popular ratings than most others. But, if one’s popularity is 50-60% or borderline, it will not happen. Kennedy was able to accomplish nothing. It had to be left to his successor, Johnson – a man who came from the Congress, was noted for his strong persuasive personality, and was able to cash in many chips which he accumulated during his many years as a Senator.

Our most recent President, Bush, was noted to have a charming personality and he was able to unite both Democrats and Republicans as Governor of his state of Texas. But he underestimated Washington. In Washington the party who is not in power is not inclined to unite with a President of the opposing party. Let us face it, folks, it is a matter of turf. The party out of power will block most things so the party in power is perceived as being ineffective and unable to do the job. The chant is: “Give us the chance, vote us in, we can do it.” The general public essentially bought into this promise in the last mid-term election. And we have seen what the Democratic party did with their charge. This Congress accomplished next to nothing. If fact, they did the impossible – absolutely nothing. Amazing! The public was duped once again. To be fair, why were the Democrats unable to accomplish anything during this most recent Congress? It is because the opposing party, the Republicans, would not allow it. The Republicans want the Democrats to fail,– and vice versa -- because each want their turn again. It is a never problem with the two party system, not that having more parties is any better, like in many other countries of the world which may accomplish less.

I do not know the solution to the problem, because it has to do with some basic negative human tendencies of selfishness and greed. It is extremely discouraging that when an issue arises, and I do not care what issue it is, both Democrats and Republicans almost always take opposite positions. Can they ever agree on anything, and why can’t they? Recently, during the past week or more, I have to turn the TV off because it has become so sickening to watch both the candidates AND the media people who are no better. The media are great at instigating and creating controversy. I believe it is because negatives sell better than positives. Watch the way the media shows pictures of flooding waters. The more rushing and dangerous the raging waters are the better copy it makes. When was the last time the media showed the sun shining on a beautiful day? Save this image because it will be a collector’s item.

nicola michael c. Tauraso, M.D.
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic

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