Burnt Offering: Lion In Winter

So here I am sipping a coffee, it’s 9:30 pm and health care has passed the House. I’ve listened to President’s Obama’s speech on Fox News and I reflect. What I now have to say many may not agree with, and it will probably piss a lot of you off. But I have never been known not to speak my mind. So here goes…

Leader_In_Search

Go back to the election just over a year ago when I would discuss with some who I encountered who they were voting for and where they stood politically. Not people in show biz but just average folk from cab and limo drivers in different parts of the country, to shopkeepers, waiters, landscapers, and airline hostesses. Across the board, all had their own reason for voting for Obama but one in particular struck me.

He was a driver for a car service that had picked me up. His name was Oscar and he was from South America. I opened the conversation and he was very open, as was I — neither being shy about our point of view — he didn’t care if I tipped or not because I didn’t agree with him, and I didn’t worry about being left in the desert somewhere for disagreeing with him.

I asked Oscar why he was voting for Barack Obama. He said he never listens to what a politician says but watches how they move, what they look like, what they project. Oscar said, “Obama is a lion. That is what the world sees, a lion. He may be a young lion but that is what he is and there are no politicians who are lions.” So Oscar goes on and says that during the primaries he knew Obama would win because while watching the debates the others seemed wounded while Obama projected strength.

I remembered seeing a young Muhammad Ali and sensing a force of nature in the ring that was palpable.

I remembered how when I first became aware of Obama during the Democratic convention. As he gave a rousing speech I thought, “Damn, I wish he was a conservative.”

What is interesting about Oscar’s comment is that, as I said, Oscar comes from South America and there’s a certain primitive honesty and rawness that comes from a third-world perspective. A somewhat closer connection to nature, hence the lion reference. This is the power the Democratic party has today. They have a lion who is King of the Pride and this is what is lacking for conservatives: a leader who has this connection.

Remember Oscar said he doesn’t listen, he watches. Well I contend that is the same for the majority. To most of us it is more about what is projected than what is said (especially when English is not our national language). When President Obama spoke this last week at a university he was able to rouse the youth. Let’s be honest, they (like most experts) may not know what it’s all about but they do have a sense of the Lion who will protect the pride.

President Obama has changed America, but also it’s our politics that will never be the same. Conservatives need to understand that their message is not being delivered.

So where and who is the Lion for the GOP?

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