McCain, Obama Should Think of the Man, the Boy and the Donkey

Both Barack Obama and John McCain seem to be suffering from the misapprehension that you can please all of the people all of the time. They are constantly apologizing for one thing or another, tacking back and forth trying to be on both sides of every issue. Apparently, wherever they went to school, no one made them read Aesop’s fables.

Here’s a fable I would advise them to read.

A man and his son were going to market with their donkey. As they walked by its side, a passerby pointed at them and started laughing.

“You fools,” the passerby said. “What is a donkey for, if not to ride?”

The man thought about it and decided to let the boy ride the donkey. But as they went on their way, they passed a group of men, and a member of the group said, “Look at that lazy kid, letting his father walk while he rides.”

Sensitive to this criticism, the man told the boy to get down, and climbed on the donkey himself.

They hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, and one of the women said, “Shame on that lout, letting his poor little son walk while he rides.”

As you can imagine, the man didn’t know what to do to please everybody, so he decided both he and his son would ride the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and passersby began to shout and point at them. The man asked what they were shouting at, and they said, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor little donkey?”

The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole with the donkey to their shoulders. As they continued on their journey, carrying the donkey, they attracted derision from everyone they passed.

If the two American presidential candidates don’t watch out, they could become objects of ridicule instead of inspiration. Politicians have to remember that some people are going to vote against them no matter what they do. My advice is to be who they are, hold fast to their convictions and let the votes fall where they may. We may not all vote for them, but we will respect them – those of us with any sense, anyway.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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