Before I move on to the thoughts for today, can we have a moment to pass on our thoughts and prayers for the fly that landed on top of Mike Pence’s head? Pence wasn’t looking to good and he had been exposed to the virus, so we can only hope that virus didn’t also pass on to the fly. Their lives are so very short anyway. I can’t imagine dying in that kind of agony.
In all seriousness, I would normally give an autopsy of the debate, but it was really a standard debate. He hogged the time, but that’s normal. There were a normal number of interruptions. There were a normal number of times both candidates avoided answering the question posed. Vice presidential debates almost never move the needle one way or another.
A thought occurred to me yesterday as we received one of “those” emails at work. Another student or teacher has tested positive for the virus. Based on our notifications that would be three for our campus. My daughter’s campus has one so far and that’s based on what we have been told. It immediately made me think of leadership.
The number one positive characteristic of good leaders is that they have excellent judgment. We can come up with all of the protocols and processes in the world, but what do we do when the chips are down. What decision do we make and what kind of demeanor do we have when we carry out those decisions?
At a local level, the CDC, county, and city have not or cannot give us exact acceptable rates of positivity before we shut down. Is it ten percent? Is it ten students and teachers? Do we flip a coin? Some have rested on ten percent like my daughter’s district. Others haven’t really said. It’s a judgment call.
What has struck me with every single issue is that this election is all about judgment. After all, the Trump campaign is trying to paint Joe Biden as senile. Why would they do that? Well, the answer is pretty simple. We can’t trust his judgment if he is senile. Some of us have elderly parents. Others might have elderly grandparents. We worry about them. We worry about their health, but we also don’t want them to get taken advantage of. Their judgment is not where it used to be when they were younger.
This election is about a lot of things and I have written about almost all of them, but the issue on every ballot is judgment. Judgment is the key ingredient in any crisis. It is the thing that is always important no matter which individual issue happens to be the issue of the day. It is the question of which candidate will make the best decision for the American people.
With the pandemic we still want to know if they should have shut down the economy and when that should have happened. If it had happened sooner would we have killed the curve? I guess we will never know. If a president has an international crisis, he or she must determine whether to send in troops. How many lives lost is an acceptable number given the situation. Military experts can give you the estimate, but they can’t tell whether that’s acceptable. That always depends on the individual circumstances.
In schools, sports leagues, state houses, city halls, and the halls of Congress, leaders are making these crass life and death decisions. What are the acceptable numbers? How many cases is acceptable before we shut down again? We certainly can weigh in on those, but part of the magic of November 3rd is that we get to make the decision on who is going to make these decisions. That includes representatives, senators, governors, mayors, and even city council and the school board. Left and right is certainly important to many of us, but bigger than that we have to ask whether the person we want to vote for has better judgment than their opponent.
I dare say the case for president is easy. The current president can’t stop infecting people because he has no idea what the word quarantine means. We don’t have to what if the situation. We are already there. There is no getting around the loss of 210,000+ people, but the silver lining is the fact that we got to see the president in crisis. It’s hard to imagine anyone failing any more miserably. It’s impossible to know whether Biden is fully up for the job. It’s hard to know that about anyone whether they be 35 (the minimum age) or 78. The best we can do is go by what we know and judge for ourselves what we think their judgment can be. After that, all we can do is pray for that fly.