From time to time, I reread some of my favorite novels. Recently, I was deep into Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’, a title taken from Ecclesiastes. . .”The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose. . ..”

Now, bear with me.

You know how on occasion one thought leaps into your head, propelling you to another similar idea, or perhaps one quite dissimilar to the original? That happened to me the other day although the word ‘leap’ is a bit of a stretch for me. ‘Stumbled’ would probably be more apropos. Nevertheless, it happened.

The political debates fresh in my mind, I was standing in my backyard studying the damage Ike did to my neighbor’s trees when the quote from Ecclesiastes popped into my head.

Now, his backyard is full of trees, a fifty by fifty jungle. Forty at least, and of all varieties. Except for a Chinese Tallow, they were planted about seven or eight years ago by a dear soul who has since moved out.

Ike snapped the Tallow in two and uprooted several of the younger ones.

In my backyard is an old live oak, unscathed except for missing leaves.

The leaves would return. The Tallow as well as the uprooted trees in the neighbor’s yard, if not removed, would probably put out some new growth. Ike’s damage would heal. It did with Rita. Just as surely as the sun comes up every morning, life goes on. You wake up the next morning and things are a little better. And better the next, and better the next.

The trees would heal slowly, but they would heal.

I studied his trees and my tree, noting how mine had a broad system of roots, while those in his yard without sound root systems toppled.
That’s when I took one of those mental ‘leaps’, wondering about our political system today; wondering if either of the candidates had the deep system of roots to stand sturdy against an increasingly hostile world made uncertain by a frightening economy and even more frightening terrorism.

I have reservations about each gentleman.

If you do not believe that the presidential election is more of a popularity contest than one based upon merit, I’d like to talk to you about some beachside property up in Montana. This one is no different.

Only a minority of voters still believe substance is more important than appearance; the majority are caught up in the flim-flam of colorful rhetoric and fabrication.

Senator Obama is quite eloquent; a masterful debater; a charming Pied Piper who knows what the American public wants to hear.

Senator McCain has been around for years, a solid fixture, but he does not possess the eloquence and fire of his opponent. I heard him called a ‘plodder’ with firmly set philosophies.

To me, Mister Obama is much like the trees in my neighbor’s back yard, young, vibrant, anxious to grow and cast his own shadows, but without a root system to provide stability. To be fair to him, he hasn’t had time to develop such a system. Joe Biden has, so why was Obama picked and not Biden? (reread the fourth paragraph above.)

If I’m not mistaken, Obama hasn’t been in congress as long as McCain was held prisoner of war.

On the other hand, McCain is like the oak in my yard, possessing a root system that provides stability. No one could have survived his experience without possessing such a wide spread root system. His problem is that he’s caught up in the economic woes being blamed on the Republican Party when the opposing party actually initiated the act that brought the mess all about. On the plus side, he has more political achievements than Obama, but he’s been around longer.

Who will I vote for?

Beats me.

I’ve no problem with race or gender.

If you want to know the truth, I’m not crazy about either one, but I will vote. I just don’t know how.

For all of you who feel as helpless and frustrated as I in what I consider a poor field of candidates, take consolation in Ecclesiastes.

”The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose.”