In his closing statement in the Presidential debate yesterday, John McCain said something like, "the country needs someone with experience with their hand on the tiller." Well like many, I was a bit confused. You see for a short moment there it sounded like he had meant till and just used a colloquialism. It would have been an appropriate word given the fact that -while supporting special interest groups- he and his party have robbed the American public for years.
I had to look it up and found the following in Wikipedia, "A tiller or till is a lever attached to a rudder post (American terminology) or rudder stock (English terminology) of a boat in order to provide the leverage for the helmsman to turn the rudder. The tiller is normally used by the helmsman directly pulling or pushing it, but it may also be moved remotely using tiller lines." So it appears that Mr. McCain was actually saying something quite deep. You need to be pausing for my however. Here it comes. However, who exactly did he think he was talking to? His boating friends, as they discussed their next yacht ride? His senate friends who commune in the summer on the waters off Florida's coast? Or was it the Harvard club types who meet for a brew after a day of crew? Exactly how does the common man connect with a tiller? Tell me John, how does Ms. Anna Mae Robinson from East Baltimore identify with your tiller?
It is for small reasons like this, that Senator McCain continues to exhibit why he is not fit to lead this country. Big statement coming, hold for it. He can't even speak regular English to regular folks. He has to use a word that emphasizes how polarized (distanced and disengaged) he is from the common American. I am a pretty educated fellow and even I -having inferred the meaning of tiller- still had to look it up. So now that you know what Mr. McCain was talking about, "what do you think?" Do you buy his analogy? Senator McCain believes that we need one of his hands, hopefully the one on the good arm, to be directing this country. His jabs at Senator Obama's experience and naivete -as he calls it- are becoming more common. Add Sarah Palin's country accent and annoying voice and you have a venom concerto with "Obama's naivete" its refrain.
Of course I had to look up the word naivete. I like words to be attributed and utilized correctly. Conjecture and inferences that are not rooted in directional proportion annoy me. Make any sense to you? Don't worry, me neither. The dictionary refers to naivete as, "The state or quality of being inexperienced or unsophisticated, especially in being artless, credulous, or uncritical." This description, if you may allow me to infer, sounds like Sarah Palin on her best day.
It would be naive of us to believe that Sarah could fill-in as president in Mr. McCain's stead. It would be naive of us to believe that John McCain does have four more good years ahead. We would be naive to envision that somehow the republican party has mustered a new strategy to dig us out of the black economic hole they have created. We would be naive to believe that the politics as usual stance will change -all of a sudden- when McCain is in office. It would be the height of naivete to actually believe that Sarah Palin is respected by conservative republicans. This country would be naive to imagine that after all these years in office, McCain suddenly is getting epiphanies about how to change the course of our economic, social and foreign affairs.
No, we need something just a little more radical than that, something that shows we are thinking outside the box. Something more than an African American running for president. That my friends, is an African American president.