Be Better People

So last Saturday I am sitting at John Paul Jones Arena watching the UVa men’s basketball team blow its lead to Carolina, when all of a sudden my blackberry twitter feed starts going crazy about some shooting in Arizona. My first reaction was “what happened? and why is everyone so upset?”

Recognizing that I was at a basketball game with our oldest son William and two of his friends, I returned my attention to the issue at hand.

As we have learned since that tragic event, perhaps the best thing to do in crisis like that is to help. Blaming someone or some group does not help. In fact, it really does hurt the situation. I have found the best thing to do when tragedy strikes is to pray for the victims and those who can actively help the situation.

Then as the facts come out, make up your mind as to what you should think and do. Sadly our overly political, baby boomer dominated culture reacted in yet another ridiculous effort at self affirmation that is bordering on psychotic. The good news from all that over reaching is that those who did just that only hasten their departure from serious debate.

President Obama gave a great speech which,in White House hindsight, would have been best delivered in a much smaller venue. I am also reminded of President Bush’s and Governor Kaine’s addresses to Cassell Coliseum the day after the Virginia Tech shooting – those were stirring as well. Our leaders do rise to the occasion and so do our people – except on twitter it seems.

Following up on my email last week – yes, Obama is the odds on favorite to win election to POTUS in 2012. He is still polling well (enough) and people seem to genuinely like him as they genuinely oppose his policies. When his policies change (theme of 2008!) and the economy gets better, his polls will continue to climb. Right now he is at 44% in Virginia – the question for those who can get him to a majority in Virginia is – what will it take to get people to vote AGAIN for Obama? Obama will figure that out while the GOP Dozen + try to outdo each other.

Haven’t run the electoral numbers yet, but I am sure Axelrod has.

Next week, I will get into some policy ideas but obviously the events of this week were far more important; however, that should not prevent you from offering your ideas.

I will be offering some thoughts on transportation and Unemployment Insurance (UI) in the very near future.

A few of you QUICKLY pointed out that my prediction that all visiting NFL teams would win their games went belly up after Seattle (7-9) upset New Orleans at home. Yes, it was an upset! Otherwise, I will take 3 for 4.

This weekend, I will root for the Steelers but not bet on them. The Ravens are a great team and have not beaten Roethlisberger in the last six game and Ray Lewis wants to get back to the Super Bowl as his brilliant career comes closer to its end. The Steelers are only 5-3 at home and the Ravens have the desire edge. This game will go down to the last possession, maybe last play.

As a Steeler fan prior to my conception, I really could not give a rat’s patootie about the other games (that and NO ONE is going to beat New England this year anyway) so I would go with Green Bay over Atlanta, Seattle (+10) to cover but not beat Chicago and the Patriots to cover the 8.5 they are giving up over the Jets.

As the Democrats and Republicans are both retreating this weekend, things will gear up in DC next week. After the House votes to repeal Obamacare (still time to read it!), Governor Romney will return from his trip overseas.

But until next week, let me leave you with this thought and questions based on this brief story.

Yesterday, I met with senior member of the Virginia state Senate. We discussed tax and spending policy with deep brevity. In the end, he stated that people don’t see the value in government otherwise they would pay for it. SPOT ON. It’s a value thing.

We need to add value. Does Wall Street ADD value? Do foreign companies? Does your local, state or national government? How do you know? What do you do about it?

Someone asked me how we elect better representatives. I answered “be better people – they represent us, what do you expect?”


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Chris Saxman

About Chris Saxman

Father of four, small business leader, retired politician, and Executive Committee member and former Chairman of an international trade association, Chris Saxman delivers strategy and insight as a political coach and keynote speaker. Contact Chris.

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