I read some time back a reporter’s assertion that before digital technology came into our homes providing us with almost instant knowledge of events around the world, news reporters had it made.

All they had to do was report who, what, when, why, and how an event took place. According to her, that is no longer the case, for now, old Joe Laptop can boot up his computer and learn the same information just as quickly as our reporters.

What does that mean? Well, many reporters are forced to take an additional step, and as we writers of fiction must do, discover motivations for various behaviors of their subjects.

That is the reason I’m not looking forward to the election marathon this year. Truth is, the only thing I look forward to less is the Texas Legislature going into session every two years.

What you and I will se is every candidate examined minutely, from the wart on his little toe to the scanty comb-over on his bald pate. His or her motivations will be examined in detail, then approved or disapproved.

With the Iowa caucus kickoff, the primary race has burst from the starting gate and with it carries enough fodder to provide us with gossip and innuendo for the next three hundred odd days until the election. Three hundred long, long days.

And I dread them. I’ll be glad to get the voting over with.

How am I going to vote?

I have no idea.

I’m not Republican, not Democrat, not Libertarian, not—well, I’m not any of the others either. I’m an American citizen who wants someone in there to run the country and do what is necessary to take care of the United States.

You’ll have to excuse me for being selfish like that, but I believe our first obligation is to our own citizens, our LEGAL citizens, I must add.

We have plenty of problems right here without looking elsewhere, yet we must be realistic and recognize we are decades past the isolationism of the early Twentieth Century.

Like it or not, we’re global, and we must live globally.

I won’t lie and say I don’t fondly look back on those elysian days of my youth in the Texas Panhandle when crack cocaine, jihads, skinheads, drive-bys, and HIV were not even part of our vocabulary.

Every Tuesday, I have lunch with several learned gentlemen out at Central Mall. It’s always a pleasant hour or so. We’re all within a couple decades of each other, so there’s no question of the experience and resulting wisdom of the group, yours truly excepted.

One of the most chilling realities we’ve all had to accept is the halcyon life of the past is just that, ‘of the past’.

Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will never experience such breathtaking freedom, will never know what it’s like to run the streets without fear, or will never have the peace of mind knowing that your world is safe from those who would harm us.

As most, I revel in our technology, in our advances, but for every digital achievement, we sacrifice another charm of yesteryear.

And we can’t stop it.

That’s why in this coming election, we need leaders with the wisdom to guide us through the minefields of uncertainty.

Do we have any out there like that?

I don’t know, but I’m going to do my best to find out.

There is nothing about me that is politically correct, so I have no compunction in saying that I wouldn’t mind a candidate with the attitude of Teddy Roosevelt who said ‘speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.’

And from what it looks like in the next few decades, it will have to be a mighty sizeable chunk of wood.