Our leaders could do with a dose of Sister Mac.
I went to Roman Catholic schools in Syracuse and the Midwest. Like all the Catholic schools, we had a Sister Mac. She dealt in simple absolutes. This is a sin. This is not. This is the truth. This is not. This is a lie. This is not. This is avoidance. This is direct.
Once she lined up 25 boys from my class. As each one stepped before her she asked “Did you see Morgan and Wetzel fighting on the playground?”
“Did you try to stop them?”
Well, Sister, I… Smack across the face. “Next. Did you try to stop…?” Sister, they were… Smack! I would have, but… Smack! When I got there they were… Smack! I didn’t know how…” Smack!
She and her palm of steel are long gone. But over the years I have yearned for her to miraculously appear. When Bill Clinton told the nation “I did not have sex with…” Smack! “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.” Smack! Smack!
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a Sister Mac at press conferences? “Mr. President, did you or your assistants….?” Well, the real question should be whether I… Smack!
“Sir, did you know about…?” These questions are irrelevant to the issue. As I’ve said before, the issue is… Smack!
Can you imagine Sister Mac at some of these congressional hearings?
“Did you or anyone in your department have knowledge of…?” As the congressman must be aware, long standing government policies allow for… Smack!
And millions of viewers would love to see Sister Mac on the TV shows where the spinmeisters do their thing. You know, the James Carvilles and Karl Roves. And the spokespeople for various companies and organizations.
“Do you think he lied to the public about…?” Look, you have to understand that when a public figure like… Smackety smack, smack, smack!
We need a Sister Mac to counter the spin and lies and deceit that gush from Washington. From politicians at all levels, really. They resort to it because they are trained to use it.
They are taught to avoid answering questions directly. They are taught to change the subject. This, so they can move the conversation to topics they prefer. Or so they can move away from a question which they just don’t want to answer. Some of them do this so smoothly viewers barely notice.
Yes, our leaders have grown practiced and polished with spin. And many have acquired the habit of spinning anything that comes their way.
“Do you think the Yanks will win the Series?” You know, these two teams are evenly matched… Smack. With a bat.
Some of the rarest commodities in the world of political leaders are such things as truth, directness, yes and no. These guys don’t deal with them. Or on the occasions when they do, they don’t mean it. Or they lie. And they try to weasel out of it later. “My statement was taken out of context.” “Those comments are inoperative.”
Maybe some day the high-tech wizards will create a Sister Mac for TV and computer screens. She would appear on screen when any leader spoke. And she would be programmed to detect bull tweedy. At the first sounds of any we would see her hand snake toward the leader’s face, to deliver
From Tom...as in Morgan.