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Written by: Terry Budget
Last week’s Vice-Presidential debate was nothing like the Presidential one. What a breath of fresh air to see candidates address matters of concern for the American people. Hold on a second…did they really? We can all agree that the moderator did her job of controlling much of the outbursts that took place. We can further agree that although some issues caused spikes in tempers, the event was significantly less pain-staking despite deliberate interruptions by the incumbent, Vice-President Mike Pence.

On several occasions Vice-Presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris, gave her opponent the all-to familiar and infamous evil eye. It was unusual to see the introduction of that posture in an open forum of this magnitude. Clearly, she subconsciously returned to her roots when certain cords were struck, especially when agitated about her response to the upcoming Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings and her record of African-American prosecutions. When attempting to respond to such comments, there were a resounding number of interruptions. One thing that must be adhered to when dealing with personal and professional attacks that strike close to home with women, especially women within the African-American community. Do not break the cardinal rule; NEVER interrupt mama while she’s talking!

Her persona and forth-rightness demonstrate her persistence when dealing with discussions of critical topics. Her assertiveness and self-confidence provide a glimpse into what may seem to have been an elusive element in her mannerisms and ability to overcome aggressive situations, but were certainly made apparent in the debates. Despite an abrupt sign of frustration after being berated with questions regarding possible actions her party might ensue resulting from the SCOTUS hearings, she remained poised and provided that subtle, but noticeable “evil eye” in his direction.
What proved most noticeable in this matching of wits was VP Pence’s refined approach in responding to the moderator questions. Curiously, his accusation that Senator Harris did not answer her questions appropriately was mocking. Further analysis revealed that he continuously stepped over and into her response time while failing to directly answer many of those questions himself.
Leadership should be intentional, transformational, and positive, but also transparent. Citizens expect and quite frankly, demand the truth from those elected to govern. The character of each individual is ingrained in their personal convictions and their commitment relating to the components enumerated in the US Constitution; “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and “equal protection under the law.” As leaders who aspire to attain or remain in higher levels of authority and power must understand that these degrees of responsibility are not taken from the people by the person, but bestowed by the people to the person.

Employment opportunity and future direction of the country are at the pinnacle of the American psyche during this pandemic episode. Other matters such as civil liberties carry substantial weight in the grand scheme, but not to the echelon of this pandemic. While each leader observes these issues through different prisms, the spectral image it casts is a dark shadow over the foundational principles of what we deem as a civilized culture. Any governed society has its standards of ethical behaviors and communal laws, but they are only as effective as those who obey them and those who enforce them.
Despite the back and forth commentary between both candidates, the real character that stole the attention of the viewers was the proverbial fly. Had the VP’s hair not been so luminating, the presence of the insect would have gone unnoticed. Perhaps he came to interject its thoughts on the topic of climate change or how his fellow insects have been culturally discriminated against by pesticide companies. In either case, it was not going to be cast aside until its presence was acknowledged. He should, however consider going into quarantine for being closer than six feet from the VP without a mask. I suppose the Supreme Court may have to intervene on that one. One thing is certain, the fly became the star and it will be a while before that visual image of the Vice President of the United States being upstaged by an insect leaves the mind of voters.

The time draws near and we must make a decision on what is in the best interest of the country. Both Presidential candidates are senior in age and anything could happen to either one; resulting in the VP obtaining power. Ask yourself who is more qualified to lead in a way that is conducive to a civilized society and meeting the current crisis. Will it be the “evil eye” that looks crisis in the face or the “fly’ that seeks escape when danger approaches? Get to the poles and vote.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to bring your fly swatter.

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