Turning from the political circus for a moment, here’s a short list of some of the biggest issues bearing upon all of us in the near term: COVID-19; employment and economic disruption; prejudice and civility; improving justice system; national security without endless military entanglements; America’s foreign relations and diminished prestige; foreign trade policy; preparedness for the next pandemic (which may be worse), other disasters; finally fixing health care; climate and environment; growing gap between rich and poor; basic and higher education; and campaign, voting and lobbying reform.

A whole lot of big problems to handle that will take highly intelligent, thoughtful and pragmatic leadership by one who understands the details, knows the history, has maturity in judgment, is always listening to differing perspectives. Someone with some decorum and stature worthy of the office while able to manage the store and check the inventory at the same time. Clearly one who is far above average in abilities. Therefore, it’s of paramount importance that they are also of good character, possessing a decent heart and moral compass beneath the surface styling.

Our situation is way, WAY beyond Democrat or Republican, right, left or even who you “like.” Only one of our candidates can even begin to check off a good fraction of the above qualifications. The incumbent has already demonstrated an absence of most of them, even the opposite of many. If you think of yourself as a classical American individualist, I urge you to avoid thinking in pre-packaged political “blocks.” Certainly not a time to dig in heels out of contrarian stubbornness! We’re all riding on this bus together and we need a sober driver, even if he’s not as entertaining, immediately.

Jesse Brumberger, Golden Hills

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