I've stayed away from it for the past 6-8 months. My fellow columnists and editorial colleagues seem to be approaching writing fatigue with the their constant nitpicking of the late 10 Republican Party primary candidates.
For some reason, it was long ago when the likes of; Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachman, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Thaddeus McCotter, John Huntsman and Mitt Romney were crisscrossing the country and detailing in countless venues their message to the American voters.
There was nothing left unwritten about the 10, that wasn't too small to criticize and dissect. Eventually, the 10 were distilled down to one, Mitt Romney. The entire focus of the Left is now on him and how trivial it seems to be.
For starters, the Left is relentless in their quest to have Romney disclose his filed tax returns. The liberal press believes that he must be using offshore tax shelters to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
The liberal press would be reticent to reveal to their readers that the Cook Islands, Grand Cayman, Bermuda, Ireland and Anguilla as well as other places are recipients of wealth for another purpose - assets are out of reach from U.S. litigation. But why should we care - it is all quite legal.
Romney is quite wealthy and should not have to apologize for his accumulated wealth - did Washington, Jefferson, the Roosevelts - have to justify their family's financial
What I've always found intriguing is the wealth politicians amass, while in office or soon thereafter. The Clintons for example were "dirt poor" in 1992. Several years after leaving the White House, they became multi-millionaires - influence pedaling does indeed have its rewards.
All of this is petty, sarcastic and more importantly, not helpful. What is important is to be asking the two presidential candidates some questions - their responses will have far reaching impact. For example, as President of the United States,
1) Upon what circumstances will you commit Americans fiscal and human resources to oust President Assad of Syria?
2) If Israel unilaterally attacks Iran, what role will the U.S. provide fiscally and militarily?
3) If the Afghanistan Administration is unable to have stability by 2014, will the U.S. stay in Afghanistan?
4) If North Korea launches an attack on South Korea, will the U.S. defend its ally with our military might?
5) Who will you appoint as your Secretary(s) of State, Defense and Treasury?
6) If there becomes vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court during the next 4 years, who is on your list of possible appointees?
7) If the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) fails to live up to its expectations due to cost and severe rationing of care, what do you plan to do?
8) Exactly what steps would you propose to make the U.S. tax law more equitable and bring the unemployment rate down to below 5 percent?
9) If there becomes a world-wide, long-term shortage of oil, just how would you look to resolve it?
10) If the drug cartels in Mexico spill over into the U.S., what action would you take - would you send our armed forces into Mexico?
I could go on with questions on education, crime, housing, poverty, war on terrorism, the China issue(s), the environment and energy, election fundraising and more.
The point is: Why is the media so hung up on minutia? What do we gain from hearing or reading if President Obama is a U.S. citizen, Romney once a bully?
The fact is we are being "fed" the inane because the media, the political handlers and TV/radio talking heads believe we are intellectually lazy in dealing with significant issues - so let's just continue to give the electorate the "attention grabbing news" even though it has zero substance.
Five years from now, we might very well be asking, how did we ever get into this war, economic plight or long lines at hospitals and at gas stations? We deserve whatever dire straits we will be embedded in, because we allowed ourselves to be fed trivia, when in fact the issues were always there to be dealt with.
Don Keelan writes a bi-weekly column and lives in Arlington