Kids watching a new role model today see that bullying, bad manners, twisting the truth and lack of accountability go a long way
Norah O’Donnell should be the next CBS Evening News Anchor
By David Maril
Remember when you were a kid, growing up?
All through kindergarten, the lower grades, and even high school, there were always a few exemplary students who would stand out.
Many were at the academic top of the class but all were conscientious, polite, earnest and enthusiastic.
In short, they went out of their way to get along with other kids, teachers, and adults.
Some were good in sports and most also had schedules crammed with extracurricular activities.
They were often modest about their achievements and while they were striving to do well and being recognized, most were team players all the way.
Of course, to a segment of the “regular” kids, who were not as focused or organized, these youthful leaders were almost too good to be considered real. Some of their classmates considered them to be phonies, like the Eddie Haskell character in “Leave It To Beaver.”It was easy to write them off as “suck-ups” or “apple polishers,” trying to impress to gain favor.
Who from this group was genuine is a subject to debate another day.
But one certainty, it was not unusual to hear a teacher, administrator, or admiring older relative, say to one of these highly respected kids, “Keep this up, working hard and staying focused, and some day you’ll be president.”
That was the highest praise of recognition, being singled out as a prospect for the most powerful and influential political job in the world.
WELL guess what?
As we sink deeper each day, trying to endure the embarrassment of having Donald Trump in the White House, the job description for the next generation of political leadership posts is being rewritten.
Etiquette, manners, sound judgment, leadership, ethics, temperament, respect, honesty, responsibility and credibility are all being removed from the Commander and Chief position.
If Trump ever manages to get reelected for a second term, and he’s already in full fund-raising mode for 2020, it’s the green light to implement new standards and introduce different role models for the upcoming generation of kids.
Don’t be surprised to see bullies, braggarts, twisters of the truth, con artists and self-centered egotists dominate high school honor rolls and special achievement awards.
The value of looking out only for yourself will become paramount. Expect to see W.C. Fields’ slogan, “Never give a sucker an even break,”on the walls of many schools.
There will be special recognition for those who get ahead by bending or breaking the rules. In the new modern world, this is a sign of resourcefulness and knowing how to get things done.
Nepotism and conflicts of interest will become acceptable.
THE TOP students and upcoming leaders of tomorrow will be recognized for cultivating the ability to take credit for anything that is successful, even if they had nothing to do with the effort. Conversely, they will be adept at finding scapegoats when they make mistakes, skillfully pinning the blame on others.
To be considered a success, it will be come accepted practice to never let facts stand in in the way of your talking points.
If you can gain by saying something completely unfounded and untrue about an opponent, you are a fool if you resort to honesty.
Those who master the ability to contradict themselves each day, completely changing what they say, will be greatly admired.
In the end, all that matters are mammoth, unrealistic promises pitched to your admirers in the the tradition of a carnival barker. Everything is going to be great and whatever you are trying to promote is going to be better than anything else ever attempted.
Never get bogged down or sidetracked trying to produce the specifics of relevant details.
IF, DOWN the road, anyone has the gall to point out most of your more significant promises have not been kept, blame it on others. And never hesitate, in a pinch, to do the opposite of what you promised.
If anyone has the audacity to try and hold you accountable, create a diversion, making up phony issues.
And when all else fails, issue a classless, irresponsible personal attack on someone in the media to draw plenty of public reaction and divert attention from your failings.
This is all pretty grim.
Maybe what we need are some big-money political funding groups that focus away from the ideological stagnation of extremists in both parties and put their financial resources backing reasonable candidates who are respectful and have character, ethics and tolerance.
IF CBS, the network of the late Edward R. Murrow, wants to increase its Evening News ratings and maintain its journalistic credibility, it should name Norah O’Donnell its new prime time anchor. Scott Pelley’s permanent replacement has yet to be named and CBS has an opportunity to promote one of the most talented and respected TV journalists to its prime anchor desk.
O’Donnell has a poised, professional and engaging demeanor as a news anchor. Just as important, she is a polished interviewer who asks the tough questions in a respectful way. She would also bring a knowledgeable background to the job on the political, national and international levels.
IT WOULD CERTAINLY help if future U.S. presidents put working with both parties on more of a bipartisan level a major priority. In recent years, whichever party was in power has resorted to trying to push legislation through Congress without seeking input from the other side.
While this might succeed on a short-term basis, once the other party regains majority status, much time is wasted battling over replacing what had been passed by the other party.
The temporary nature of partisan politics is even more apparent the way Executive Orders issued by a president are often routinely canceled by the next Commander and Chief from the other party.
It’s disappointing the bipartisan efforts of a number of governors, like Ohio’s John Kasich, to get both sides together at the table to come up with a compromise and permanent solution to the healthcare political quagmire, has been slow to gain traction. The Wall Street Journal even went so far as to describe this idea of bipartisan negotiation as being unrealistic and a waste of time.
ALL MOTORISTS should want safety on the roads and be concerned about the welfare of motorcyclists. And there’s nothing wrong with all the warning signs to car and truck drivers about sharing the road and watching out for motorcycles.
But to be fair shouldn’t signs also be directed at motorcyclists for them to watch out for cars,, drive safely and follow the rules of the road while they share the roads and highways?
While the majority of motorcyclists are skilled and safe drivers, there are a few who feel they are entitled to share the highways without following the etiquette of the road, taking far too many chances.
Safety is a two-way street and while cars should indeed by watchful for motorcycles, the two-wheeled vehicles have the same obligation to follow rules and treat cars and trucks with respect.
ISN’T IT STRANGE that federal regulators are worried enough about the sports fantasy industry becoming too anticompetitive to attempt to block a proposed merger between DraftKings and FanDuel Inc.?
Where have the regulators been when it comes to media giants, store chains and other major businesses that are a lot more significant? Too many companies have been allowed to merge together, eliminating competition, jobs and product quality.
David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.
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