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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to win a presidential election.

Not necessarily in this order, and not necessarily in this priority:

1) Understand that you aren't entitled to anything. Nothing. You have to earn it first. My trust, my respect and my vote. In that order.

2) Listen when people talk to you. Actually listen, don't just smile and nod. Maintain eye contact, and make actual conversation in response to actual questions.

3) Be yourself. Not who you think I want you to be. Yourself. Not everyone will like you for you. But everyone will respect a candidate who knows who he or she is and is true to that.

4) Have values and principles. Real ones. They may contradict mine, but that's ok. Don't surrender them under pressure but affirm and explain them. They can be nuanced. I am a smart person; I'll work with you.

5) Know the job. Not what you think it is, or what the media thinks it should be, but what it really is. That means read the Constitution. Be able to quote it. Carry a copy around with you. Call it what it is: the user's manual for the government.

6) Understand that the media are not now, nor will ever be, on your side. Ignore them and pay attention to real people. Real people make up their own minds, they don't let talking heads tell them what to think. Trust that.

7) Your appearance does matter. Dress in clothing you actually own and would actually wear. No botox. Ever. It makes your face look fake.

8) When asked, tell me what you really think on a subject, not what your handlers tell you will poll well. It's ok to pause before you answer. Not long ago, that was part of being thoughtful, and that's a good thing. Then answer directly and to the point.

9) Care. Visibly, actually, truly care about this country and the people living in it. Explain, fully, how you will make our lives better. Use details and examples.

10) Don't tell me you are doing any of the above things. Just do them.

I'll tell you what: The candidate who can actually check the boxes of this list will get my vote. I don't even care what party you belong to. Sadly, as of now, I think I won't have anyone to vote for in November 2016.