Just One Time

Author’s note: Most of my observations deal with the food service industry. This article does not. Since the government and various agencies do impact our industry in many ways, I think that how the elective process is conducted is important. Its results affect all of us. Thus, the following comments. by Fred Sampson

In a few months the 2016 campaign for U.S. president will begin—whether or not you are prepared or even want to think about it. Why am I bringing this to your attention? Because I want to remind you about what we recently went through during the campaign of 2014 while it is still somewhat fresh in your mind.

My comments are not aimed at either political party or their candidates, but rather at the manner in which campaigns are conducted. It is in this spirit that I’m offering this “political fantasy.” I’m totally aware of the fact that it won’t or can’t happen, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. Wouldn’t you just one time like to witness and participate in a civil and intelligent campaign? After all, we are electing the most powerful leader in the free world! Suppose one of the candidates would begin his or her campaign with the following statement.

“Good evening. My name is Tom/Jane Smith, and I’m seeking the office of the president of the United States. I get a lump in my throat just saying that. I’m in awe of many of those who have traveled this same road and served with distinction and honor. Should I be successful in this quest, I pray that I can emulate their contributions to this great country.

“As you know, my opponent, Bill/Mary Jones, is also seeking this high honor, and let me at the outset say he/she is eminently qualified to be president. Does it surprise you to hear me say that? Well, that is the type of campaign I will run. I will not dwell on the negatives, not only because they demean both of us but because they are, in my opinion, an insult to you, the voters. I will lay out my hopes and aspirations, the direction that today’s world requires we take in order to maintain our security and prosperity, while always keeping in mind that our greatest special interest group is you, the people … all of you.

NYSRA February 2019 728×90

“I will make every attempt to appoint individuals of solid character to assist me in fine-tuning those programs that are serving the people well, and develop with Congress those programs that the times and circumstances require. I’m mindful that our system of government works better when the executive and legislative branches form the type of partnership that our founding fathers visualized, maybe not always agreeing, but always treating each other with respect and understanding. I promise you I will make every effort to bring back civility to the halls of government.

“In closing, let me say I want to be your president, and I know my opponent feels that he/she can do a better job. If he/she doesn’t, they should not be running. I repeat, I will stay the course. Let us have debates that, as Mr. Webster once said, ‘are discussions of opposing reason’ and not a joint press conference. In the final analysis, it is your decision, and I have every reason to believe that whomever you choose will do his or her best and have your support as he or she takes on this awesome task of serving as president of the United States. Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.”

On a more serious note, we must find a way of having more of our eligible voters exercise that right. The 2014 midterm election had the smallest turnout since 1954. We have had four wars since that time, and thousands have fought to make sure we can vote. Let’s not let them down.

Comments may be sent to fredgsampson@juno.com.

Fred G. Sampson
Fred G. Sampson is the retired President Emeritus of the New York State Restaurant Association. He began working with NYSRA in 1961. Within the next four years the NYSRA more than tripled its membership and expanded from one regional chapter to eight. Sampson played roles in representing restaurants on issues including paid sick leave, minimum wage, liquor laws, a state-wide alcohol training program and insurance plans. Comments may be sent to fredgsampson@juno.com