Promise Her ANYTHING…

Wednesday nights’ debate was broadcast on NBC.  I typically watch my favorite back-to-back series of Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD.  Instead, the debate came on – WHAM – right in the middle of my Wednesday night. 

I do not watch debates as a rule.  The last time I recall enjoying a debate was watching Geraldine Ferraro debate as the Vice Presidential candidate in 1984.  She was electrifying!  I remember being so impressed with her; her mind, her poise, her confidence.  I was totally impressed.  Not so much since.  Issue debates have morphed into character assassinations and decorum held on to by a thread.  I cannot take it.  However, after only a few short minutes I was captivated by the theatre known as the Democratic debate!

I must confess, I knew readily that Alex Baldwin was not on stage as I have always like his acting despite his rather offensive rendition of Trump – but I could not convince myself that this portrayal of a debate was not in reality a caricature enacted by cast members of Saturday Night Live. 

What the hell were we listening to?

As some candidates were very well spoken and clearly prepared for this event, others were very obviously blind-sided by questions brought forth by both the commentators and the other panel members.  At one point, I actually felt myself coaxing from the cheap seats hoping to throw a ‘lifeline’ to the person being cornered just to keep them going. 


This morning we are seeing postings from the Democrat side of things with the caption “we’re screwed.”  It is no longer a Democrat or Republican issue – WE ARE SCREWED.

Whether a fan of Trump or not – the fact is we have at most 4 more years and then it is literally open season where this aptly named circus will take place on both sides of the aisle. 

Let’s back up for a second….

As a young girl, I recall hearing the story of how Romania would select those girls they not only felt – they knew would be the best to train for the gymnastics team.  They would x ray their hips to see if their body structure would allow the required flexibility.  That is not to say any other child could not participate in gymnastics.  But if there was no physical possibility of the child being able to do certain things, they were not going to be groomed for the Olympic team.  I get that.  But it begins to resonate with me that the Romanians took more care selecting children to train for their Olympic team than we do as Americans selecting a future President of the United States; the country both parties claim to love and hold so dearly.

None of these candidates are there because their party wants them because as we can plainly see every party has a plethora of options they have thrown into the ring.  At the end of the day, it is not important that the party loves them but rather that the party believes that one person is the great hope of defeating the other party’s best hope.  Our presidential election has turned into a shoot-out at the end of a tie game with our best players taking a turn.  But are they?  Are they really our best players?

What we have right now is a huge popularity contest.  Some are charming.  Some deplorable to opponents.  But all self-appointed.  They are talking their way in; buying their way in; schmoozing their way in; wheeling and dealing and promising us anything but giving us Arpege’ their way in. 

Arpege was a perfume introduced in 1955 and its slogan was “Promise her anything – but give her Arpege” 

My grandma wore Arpege.  I remember the smell like it was yesterday.  It was a beautiful perfume in an attractive bottle.  And that smell will forever remind me of my grandma.  But like it or not, Arpege is still an artificial smell that if applied to something that doesn’t smell so good, will not make that much of a difference.  A good smell can only mask so much!

When I was studying for my MBA, I learned about an Executive training program put on by GE.  It is a very comprehensive, well thought out program that both tests and grooms future executive leaders.  Many apply, only 2% make it through and of those, one at a time may be selected.  GE started this program in 1910 and it is still alive to this date.  If you’d care to read more about it, the link to the details is here:

My point is this.  Why are our candidates the product of a real life pin-ball esque compilation of experience that THEY believe uniquely qualifies them to lead literally every other citizen of this country to a better tomorrow?  Why is there no program that grooms future leaders of America?  I’m not talking about taking a few classes of political science, or even studying law.  I’m talking about a literal grooming program for future leaders – for our towns, for our states and for our country.  Am I the only one thinking of this?  If so – WHY?


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  1. Ann Joyce on February 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Love your articles but I question the grooming of leaders some of our great leaders were born leaders they walked the walk and talked the talk no matter what they will shine.

  2. Steve Mescall on February 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    good point