The Ten Times Rule and Banjo Bob

‘…here I lie where I long to be, (in my own bed)………… Morag has now returned to the blogworld – permanently. Two day suitcase change and she was off to the Yankland to attend a funeral service that had Mick Jagger and Henry Kissinger delivering eulogies – Eric Clapton playing and Phil Collins, Bette Midler, Crosby/Stills/Nash and Young, Ben E.King, Kid Rock (to name a few) singing – only in America. Even in death Bigger, Brasher, more Over-the-Top than any one person/place/or thing has the right to be.

Love it or hate it you’ve occasionally got to respect America’s balls and that is what I set out to do. I wanted to see if I could get past 9/11, George W., and all the things that have set most right-minded folk against America in the past few years and get a view on what America is really thinking now. For personal and emotional reasons (death of a friend – hatred of Bush) I have not been to New York in 7 years.

Despite living there for many a year my views of current America have, like many of us, become coloured by UK television which insists on portraying the majority of Regular Folk (i.e. folk not in ER or Lost) – as a nation of fat cretins without access to a passport or a pair of long-trousers. This truly is unfair – even though there were a few decades when English men were portrayed on US television (in the main) as lace handkerchief waving, yappy-dog carrying, mascara wearing young men :) Of course there are many fat cretins but Yankland is much more complex than that and it is possibly the habit of not giving credit where credit is due that has enabled them to sneak past sensible folk and wrest control from the rest of the world of certain situations they have no business controlling.

I’m not going to take your time up with stories of the lady on the bus who decided to tell us all that in two days she was going to be 93 and the bus breaking out in applause. Nor am I going to go on about the general level of communication, helpfulness, friendliness and openness that now exists in NY. Believe me 9/11 has changed America. It has humbled her peoples – except for the yahoos running the joint of course – and they are whom we now need to focus on.

America is like the overly exuberant toddler that the proud parents bring to the wedding. However lovable it might be, it will most likely wreak havoc. Yes the US is a separate country than the one in which we pick up our post but as the last few years have shown us as long as the UK insists on this ‘special friendship’ – it is almost as important to the residents of Cleveland, England as Cleveland, Ohio who the next President is going to be.

In November 2008 the US is going to go the polls to see who is going to replace the current Banjo Bob (a Morag-ism used to describe grinning fools in positions of power) and the race is already proving a more interesting one than any before. We have a handsome, young Mormon (handsome and young very important to US voters – think JFK). We have a man with a wife who has cancer (Yanks love a tale with emotional overtones). A woman who held her head high while her husband’s peccadilloes were paraded in front of a nation (think cigars and dry-cleaning) – oh and whose aforementioned husband just happened to be president. Then there’s A Black Man (well there’s just not any more that needs to be said there, at least not until you’ve sat down and had a cool drink). And this is just the beginning.

On Thursday night, in South Carolina, at Rep. Jim Clyburn’s Annual Fishfry (you couldn’t make that up could you) – the Democrats are going to have their first debate. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Christopher Dodd, Joseph Biden, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel are going to strut their stuff.

Don’t waste too much time worrying about who the others are – for now concentrate on the first three. But keep one very important axiom in mind in this race – The Ten Times Rule, important in every walk of life – but even more so in politics.

Listen carefully: ‘If one is different to the majority in any way – be it gender, religion, ethnicity – one will ALWAYS need to be Ten Times better than the nearest’. How does this apply in politics? Hillary and Barack would have to be 10 xs more clever, 10 xs more bloody-minded. Have 10 xs more support; be surrounded by 10 xs more loyal and powerful lieutenants. They would have to be 10 xs more lovable. Ten times more strong to take what will be hurled at them. Their noses will have to be 10 xs cleaner. They will need to have 10 xs more people willing to get up off their backsides to go out and vote for them. And last, but most important – they’ll need to be 10 steps closer to God because only he could get either of them into the White House.

So the moral of the story? If you think that either of these two people can tick ALL the boxes on The Ten Times checklist, then relax and go back to trying to figure what the hell is going on on East Enders (?) But if, like me, you think hmmmmmm…… then you might want to keep an eye on this election. Much of what we are struggling with now on these shores, is a direct result of our relationship with who is president on those shores so while we may think it isn’t really any of our business – sadly it sort of is. They’ll be getting rid of the granddaddy of the Banjo Bob’s – let’s just hope they don’t replace him with another………….

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4 responses to “The Ten Times Rule and Banjo Bob

  1. Really good to see you back, Morag. I’m guessing it wasn’t Yeltsin’s send-off you went for…

    Do you really think Hilary’s and Barack’s (not to mention Condi’s) chances are so poor? Have voters’ attitudes in the US still so far to change?

  2. Well I for one would take extreme issue with Condi in the chair but that has nothing to do with race or ethnicity it has to do with ‘creeps me out’ factor. It is difficult to comment on voters in the US because you are talking about such a vast number of people with far-ranging attitudes. Yanks tend to be less of Party People and more of ‘do I like this person’ People. At least that applies to ‘people like us’. Now as far as the Christian Far Right – who control most of what goes on in America – they’re still in beyond the Dark Ages. And their big bugbear is anything to do with marriage/sex and that knobbles most of the candidates on both sides. Funnily enough from their point of view the closest thing to an acceptable candidate would be the Mormon fella and if they can ‘get over’ the Mormon business then he might be the dark horse in this race. Anyway we can’t exactly throw stones (living in our own glass house) as we’ve only had one woman boss and no ethnics at all. Though I have to say that I’m not all for women and ethnics just for the heck of it which is why I like Hillary – I think she would honestly deserve it – but we’ll see….

  3. dolbyn

    Am no great follower of US politics, though one of my fun memories is sitting in florida with friends eating pizza and heckling the tv during bush/kerry presedential debates.

    I had not heard of the ten times rule though now that you’ve stated it i can understand it – i keep meaning to read tsu sans art of war which am told contains similer perls, but to return to the subject of politics ( totally unrelated to war of course) ….

    My instinct is that hillary will get in, or at the very least be on the ticket.

    I am no great fan, i’ve never met the woman and do not know her but she seems to want power and those are the very people i think that should be kept away from power. In that sense she reminds me of condi – for all her smiles , she knows what she wants and shes prepared to get it. Then again maybe that power and focus is what america needs as oposed to a man with a family name using a countries outrage to fuel a global distraction.

    Which brings me to my honest belief – its all about the name. Parts of america i love ( boston ) parts i am not so keen on ( NYC ) – maybe i just need the right guide – but one thing i found everywhere , just as is the case in the UK was a reasonable levcel of ignorance – “what does it matter to me”, when on a tour of a gator farm in florida i was struck that there are quite a few that while they may have tv , more likely radio, they dont really care what happens outside their county/district. yes the war captures american pride and personal awareness of lost local marines but really it seems to me that many americans only really care that they have their grits each morning and beer each evening.

    I believe that many WILL vote next year, because they will feel they ought to, and in the moment when they are in the voting booth i think it will come down to one simple question. Which name sounds the most presidential, which name do i recognize. And in that sence i think it will be clinton , for the very same reasons as bush and kenedy.

    Now i think is actually the time for preident wannabees for 2012 elections (?) to start their work, to get publicity , to be known, to insidate themselves into american folklore and culture or failinbg all of that, to go to the courts and change the names on their birth certificates.

  4. Good info! Hope to come back again soon!

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