I hope that this entry does not read as a rant, and that impression is not intended -- but if that is the impression that is perceived, please consider that I have given fair warning from the beginning.
What does American society demand from the individuals who aspire to hold the most powerful executive office in the country, the Presidency of the United States?
Many attributes are sought in a capable executive - as a leader of America's bureaucracy, as the commander of the military, and as the foremost of our diplomats, enormous levels of skill, experience, and ingenuity are required.
However, many Americans seem to care mainly about things which I charitably define as "extraneous".
No, I don't want a President I would feel comfortable having a beer with.
We admire Lincoln because of his sober decision-making. In fact, he was a teetotaler.
Not that there's anything wrong with drinking -- but there's nothing wrong with refrain or sober responsibility, either.
I find it absurd and insulting that candidates like Hillary Clinton felt that they had to drink shots with "the people" in places like Crown Point, Indiana so they could be perceived as a "regular gal" or a "regular guy".
There are rituals which candidates must undergo perpetually -- certain constituencies, more powerful than others, must be appeased. These shamans of popular faith control the bedrock values of our society...
But I'm not talking about Rick Warren. I'm talking about Ellen DeGeneres, I'm talking about Oprah, and I'm talking about Larry King.
If we focused more on the candidates' qualifications and less on their dancing skills, I think this would be a better country for all of us, propelled by a more informed and cautious citizenry.
Now, I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with Ellen, or Oprah, or Larry King, or even Rick Warren, that is inherently bad.
I just believe that politics is not the ideal territory of popular culture - or maybe I just resent the dancing.