Bob Thomas: Let’s elect ability over popularity

“Some of the greatest love affairs I’ve known have involved one actor — unassisted.” — Wilson Mizner To me, the single most frustrating thing about this presidential campaign is the failure of the majority of voters to look at past performance records of both candidates. It has degraded into a popularity contest where the best salesman wins. What about ability? Proven success at something besides politics? Leadership credentials other than politics? Executive experience in the real world — the tax-paying, not the tax-taking, world?I’ve now lived through three presidential campaigns where the winners had zero credentials other than politics. The first one was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who became president in 1932. He had been governor of New York and was a well-born, inherited millionaire aristocrat, coming from a famous family. Had he ever worked at anything besides law or politics? No. He was less qualified to be president than was Herbert Hoover, the incumbent who lost.Roosevelt’s largesse policies were the worst in our history up until now. His inner circle was largely socialist as history has proved, with a couple of communists thrown in for good measure. His attempts at government-driven economic solutions to our Great Depression were all failures. Our economy would have continued to stagnate with 25-30 percent unemployment for another 10 years had it not been for WWII preparations beginning in 1940. I strongly recommend reading the book “FDR Goes to War” by Burton W. Folsom, for an in-depth assessment of Roosevelt’s 13-plus years as our president. The man governed like a king and was worshipped as such by most Americans. His speech delivery was a work of art, on a par with the best Shakespearean actors. Sound familiar?The second election, where once again the popularity-contest mentality prevailed, was that of John F. Kennedy in 1960. He came out of nowhere just like Obama. He had been a senator for a short time with a zero noteworthy record. If he ever worked for a paycheck in the private sector it was a best kept secret. This was another example of aristocracy in action. Money talks but it is only ill-gotten if it is earned — Republican style.Being Catholic, Kennedy did have an uphill battle. In those days there was resistance to Catholics holding high offices. Word on the street was that if a Catholic were president, the Vatican would be running our country. His election defeating Nixon was, indeed, close.But Kennedy was young and vibrant. Nixon, by contrast, looked like an unshaven hood. And Jackie Kennedy was soon loved by young people, women in particular. She was fashionable, with an attraction and following similar to Princess Di. Camelot was born again. While Nixon was a good speaker Kennedy was a superb orator, like Roosevelt. He had been thoroughly grounded in public speaking and debate. His speeches were also of the Shakespearean school but he did mostly read them. Other than cutting taxes, his presidency was nothing special. Now comes the Barack Obama campaign. Like Roosevelt, his inner circle is largely made up of socialists with one communist with a capital “C” and one without. I’m talking about Van Johnson and Bill Ayers, not to mention his communist Harvard mentors. His advisers are far left and are dedicated helpers in Obama’s quest to socialize the U. S. through, by his own admission, income redistribution. Here again, Obama wins the popularity contest over Romney. For a non-aristocrat, Obama has the mannerisms of inherited money, his needs having been provided for by others. He is a gifted orator as long as he can read his teleprompter. He has perfected his cadence, his pauses and his sweeping looks over his audience better than any politician I’ve ever seen. It is my opinion that Barack Obama is the biggest hoax ever thrust upon the American voter and moreover, were he not half-black, he would never have been elected. Obama voters have admitted their votes were partly guilt and partly underdog votes, as recently reported by The Associated Press.• Bob Thomas is a retired high-tech industrialist who later served on the Carson City School Board, the state welfare board, the airport authority and as a state assemblyman. His website is These endorsements are Thomas’ and not those of the Nevada Appeal.


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