Rock’em Sock’em Roberts

Do you remember Rock’em Sock’em Robots? I certainly do. I’m not sure if it was a Christmas present or a birthday present, but I got my own Rock’em Sock’em Robots game when I was 8 or 9 years old. I loved its 70’s era slogan:
“Rock’em Sock’em Robots…
Rock’em Sock’em Robots!
I win!”
Actually, you lose. We all lose. America as a nation loses whenever our elected officials – especially our Congressmen and Senators – steadfastly insist upon conducting themselves as the human equivalents of Rock’em Sock’em Robots. 
Rock’em Sock’em Robots are programmed to fight. In fact, all they do is fight. Consider the Democratic and Republican 2016 Presidential candidates. They float like naval ships, and sting like bees. Ha!  Rumble, robots, rumble. Dr. Ben Carson? Robot. Hillary Clinton? Robot. Jeb Bush? Android. Donald Trump? Drone. Pick any of the above, and you’ll have a person who can cite any number of issues he or she wants to fight about – but not necessarily fight for. Trump will tell anyone who will listen about his deep desire to build a wall separating the American and Mexican borders big enough to see from space. He loves to brag about how he will make the Mexican government pay for his theoretical Great Wall of Mexico. But when asked for details about his pipe dream, Trump suddenly falls as silent as a graveyard at midnight. If queried about his own plan to fix America’s utter lack of meaningful immigration reform, Trump immediately engages his default setting: accusing the mainstream media of bias because it dares to ask him about a burning issue he cannot address or does not care to address. The Donald certainly isn’t alone. I am so sick and tired of the totally contrived, so-called conventional wisdom that in order to run for the highest office in the land, virtually every presidential candidate must criticize their would-be predecessor as loudly and frequently as possible. Attack, attack, attack. The presidential contenders must pretend that the current occupant of the White House is [1] out of touch; [2] incapable of a single, praiseworthy executive order or piece of legislation; and/or [3] an opponent of truth, justice, and the American way. Why issue constructive criticism when you can throw uppercuts? Why offer reasonable points of debate when you can wildly throw right crosses? In 2015, relevance apparently isn’t defined by previous political experience, the ability to connect with potential voters, or even personal charisma. Instead, this is the year of the bull in the china shop – the political equivalent of the zombie apocalypse. The bigger the mouth, the better. The less sense they make, the better. As long as they’re ready, willing, and able to fight somebody/anybody/everybody, they’re legitimate. 
“Hey… he knocked my block off!” True, true. But intellectually, it’s a dumpster fire.
Rock’em Sock’em Robots don’t actually have personalities. Hillary Clinton may be one of the nicest people on the planet. But when the cameras are rolling – and the lights are on – she struggles to connect with all but her most passionate supporters. She is a master at artfully dodging tough questions. That’s a shame because most of the time, she has a decent answer; she just chooses not to share that answer then and there. To the average American, refusing to answer a political question is pretty much the same as being unable to answer a political question. Clinton knows that better than anybody, but she does it her way anyway. Chris Christie, on the other hand, has mastered the art of manhandling reporters and town hall meeting participants. If anyone asks Governor Christie a question he doesn’t appreciate, he’s as likely to order them to shut up and sit down as he is to ask them if they’re stupid. I like Christie as a person, but he cannot be the President of the United States because he’s the textbook example of unpresidential. Bobby Jindal? Ted Cruz? I’d be willing to pay good money if you can show me an angrier politician than either one of them. They make C-3po look like George Clooney. In Marco Rubio’s world, the past sucked, the present sucks, and the future will suck even worse. But he still wants you to vote for him. That sounds like “Star Wars: The Farce Awakens” to me.
This great nation doesn’t need robots. If we did, then Sarah Connor would be a 2016 frontrunner. America needs compassionate, courageous, forwarding thinking, consensus-building candidates who will be compassionate, courageous, forwarding thinking, consensus-building Congressmen and Senators when/if they’re elected. Our mission is identifying leaders with a can-do mentality, not can’t-do.
Ecclesiastes 3:7-8 informs us there’s “ a time to be silent and a time to speak… a time for war and a time for peace.”
Robots can’t keep our streets safe, teach our children, or craft legislation. Only real people need apply.
Rock’em Sock’em Robots? No thanks. I’ll wait.

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