Monday, May 19, 2008

The Candidates

THE CANDIDATES. I suspect that, deep down inside, Senators Obama and McCain actually like each other.

National security. National security is the only issue that really matters in selecting a President. Senator Hillary Clinton was very right to bring up that point in her "Who will answer the phone at 3 a.m.?" commercial. It's the most important question, and it wasn't fear mongering for her to broach that subject.

We don't need a President to fix our economic and health care problems. We don't need a President to decide social questions about marriage, or legal questions about gun ownership.

The President has to get only one thing right -- keeping our nation safe. Senator Obama is the one who has been right about national security. He took a clear position in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and he has kept that position, and that gives us our best chance.

Obama hasn't promised results as far as I know. There is no "End the War" button in the Oval Office. The war in the Middle East has gone on for generations. It will continue until the Moslem population learns to love the Jews in their midst, and it will continue until we take the oil weapon out of the hands of Arab despots.

Keep Obama Real. It has been easy for me to restrain my enthusiasm for Obama. My job is to keep him real. When he formally clinches the nomination, the media is going to lay on the hype as thick as whipped cream. I sure hope he doesn't believe it. He's a guy from the South Side of Chicago, and he might make a good President.

Old John. Old John McCain is a far different man than George Bush, and a better man too. I am not hellbent on his defeat.

A Polarized Nation. We are not. I am not polarized. I have widespread friendships across the country and across the political spectrum. I am not mad at any one -- except I was mad at Hillary last month, but I got over that.

What to think. I don't know what to think about same sex marriage, but then I realized that thinking wasn't necessary -- the California Supreme Court relieved me of that burden.

Frog Hospital Dating Service. I got a call from Teddy Olensky in Boston asking me for dating advice. He's an old pal from when I used to live there, but he was calling me now because he just signed up for JDATE -- that's an Internet dating service for Jews.

Last month I said to him -- go ahead and try JDATE, for $4o bucks you might meet someone. So he put up his photo and his profile. Teddy has got big ears, like Barak Obama. He has a manly look and a warm-hearted smile. So he put up his photo and got lots of hits from women all over the country.

This made him happy because when he called me he kept laughing. I said to him -- well, it's flattering to get so many emails from interested women, but most of them are just interested in chatting.

"I mean, Teddy, are you looking for an email friend, or some woman you actually want to meet and start a relationship with?" I said.

"Oh, I don't want to be just friends," he said.

So you need to pass them up, I said. Except for one, she was a Jewish woman from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Teddy said he was very struck by her messages and felt quite an attraction to her.

"I felt like just jumping on a plane to meet her," he said.

I reflected on this. The woman is Jewish, she wants to meet and date a Jewish man, yet she lives in a small city in the Deep South, and has few contacts with the kind of man she would like to meet. So I decided she might be a serious person, not just interested in email chatting. And, as impractical as it might be, two people can begin a relationship from a distance and still find love and happiness. My belief is that doors begin to open for couples who are truly meant for each other.

But don't forget the local girls, I told him. He said, yes, he was going to meet a woman the next day for coffee -- and you never know what might happen.

Further advice. Some people say that Internet dating is dumb. Yes, that's because dating is dumb. Dating is like being in high school. But that's what we do -- we make an effort to meet someone, we put on a smile and face that awkward moment.

And it doesn't work. Nothing works. You meet someone when you're supposed to meet someone, not a day sooner. But while you're waiting, you need to be doing something, which is why they invented dating.

What do I know? It's funny that Teddy calls me for dating advice -- it's the blind leading the blind. I know nothing about romance. Experience is no benefit. I wouldn't know how to get a date if I fell off a truck. I see all kinds of attractive women at the hospital where I work, but I can't think of anything to say.

I go to Haagen's supermarket in Mount Vernon, because the groceries are so good there. Plus, it's a good place to meet women, especially in the produce section. The presence of fruit and vegetables encourages me and I feel stronger. I think women like that.

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