Don’t laugh – my cat really would have won the debate – Republican or Democrat. Follow me on this…

As another Presidential election cycle begins to ramp up, I feel like most of us take a collective deep breath and do our best to navigate the bombardment of all the coverage, conflict and controversy. All this ‘noise’ seems to have become a very unhelpful American tradition… but like millions of other politically conscious Americans, I invested nearly 4 hours of my Wednesday tuning into the Republican debate.

To be clear: As a crazy cat lady, it’s no surprise that I already consider my fine felines ‘better’ than most people – but as I watched the candidates take jabs and share bonding moments, I was struck by a powerful parallel I’d not noticed before…

Before I reveal this profound observation, I’d like to make something clear – I know there is a lot of poli-bashing going on these day… ‘Tis the season for the pundits to sharpen their knives and tongues – it’s also no secret that the election season is more exciting than Christmas for most people in the  media and in politics. It is not my intention to contribute to the overwhelming cacophony they create… In fact, in the spirit of transparency, I should divulge that I have roots in both media and in politics. I hold my degree in journalism and after spending two years in the news business, I left to work in the trenches on the congressional campaign of a man I believed in (a rare breed of politician indeed). I understand the insatiable need of the media to turn information into entertainment (or entertainment into ‘information’) and I’m also acutely aware that the strange sub-culture of political ‘propriety’ is a murky place at best. However, it is still possible to filter through the flash reports and facades to find some good information, maybe even some good people and – if nothing else – at least some clarity. So while I encourage everyone to discover and understand their own opinions, I’d like to share the bit of clarity that was revealed to me…

So, it’s Wednesday night… As soon as all the candidates were introduced, they started swingin’. Insults, accusations, interruptions and frustrated exclamations… it looked like everyone was out for blood. And then – quite suddenly – it seemed to be snuggle time… bonding over their Republican roots, fighting the good fight, congratulating each other’s “extraordinary” accomplishments… and then, without warning – back to the fight: Questionable business decisions, unflattering associates, missed Senate votes and – of course – “Someone here smoked pot” – my money was on Scott Walker – but I guess he just looked tired. Turned out to be Jeb Bush.

I was so confused! Until I realized the parallel…

Any parent of a multi-cat household knows a good play fight when they see it – but notice how a new guest in your home reacts to this specific brand of playtime… “Oh God!! They’re killing each other! DO something!”

But we know our cat kids… they are just having a little fun – and sure enough, in under 30 seconds, it’s time to give each other a bath or snuggle in for the afternoon nap. They’re all on the same team and they all quite enjoy a good, playful scuffle on occasion.

Sound familiar?

As I watched this particular debate, it all became so obvious. Did you see the hand-shakes, back slaps and high fives at the end? They are all on the same team and they all enjoy a good, playful scuffle on occasion as well. This is the play fight to practice for the big show (I’m already looking forward to the democrats practice round) and regardless of various very ‘scientific’ polls that tell us who the ‘leader’ is, I have a feeling we may be surprised by the nomination.

Scotch4PresHere again, I would like to reference our far superior feline friends:  In my house, we have a cat who would certainly dominate in the polls. He’s lovable, loud, loves attention and is not above a surprise smack-down when he’s ready play… but he’s not the alpha – he’s just the most entertaining. The real leader of our clan is the quiet, confident, kind cat… The one who’s all but ignored and certainly underrated by the inexperienced eye. However, you do not want to mess with this cat or his family (of which I’m proud to be a part). He’s no paper tiger… If you see the tail twitch, watch yourself.

And this is the cat that would have won the debate. No grand-standing, no fight for equal air time, no unnecessary character assassinations… just strong and steady. Unwavering and unaltered by all the noise.

My Scotch Boy would make a fine President – if I do say so myself.

But I know I live in Cat Land. I know I’m just a crazy cat lady with a utopic vision of a proper republic. But maybe – at the end of the day – we, the people, will take a hint from the cat pack and chose an ‘alpha’ as awesome as my sweet boy. Hell, maybe that ‘cat’ was already on the stage this Wednesday. Maybe there exists a woman or man perfectly equipped to help govern this crazy cat colony we call America…

Maybe we just haven’t seen the tail twitch… yet.




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