I am voting for Michael Douglas

My favorite go-to ‘chick flick’ is The American President. When I am working on a project and need background noise, I will turn it on. I know the lines, I laugh in the same places and I feel deeply when the characters’ humanness shows up. Last night after a busy day of coaching I sat down, accessed my saved movies and clicked it on. Then I realized it was “Super Tuesday”. How timely…

What I find disconcerting about our current election year:

  • We won’t ‘own up’ to the man we are voting for. Am I the only one that is in awe that everything we read about Donald Trump focuses on how much we don’t like him, how inappropriate he is, his lack of depth, his extreme views…yet the collective ‘we’ are coming out in droves to vote for him? I read the other day how we would be an ‘international laughing stock’ if he were to become president. Who hasn’t heard someone in a conversation talk about moving to Canada if he were elected. How can it be that, again the collective ‘we’, won’t stand up and say they are voting for him?


  • We are unable to reconcile issues that came up in Hillary Clinton’s past political positions. As of this morning, it appears that Hillary Clinton is leading significantly over Bernie Sanders. Being a gender specialist, I of course appreciate having a female strongly ‘showing up’ in the presidential race. I actually thought Carly Fiorina could have been a significant contender but timing and opportunity wasn’t in her favor. However there continue to be issues that haven’t been ‘reconciled’ concerning Clinton’s ability to be perceived as honest. Benghazi, emails…these are just two of the skeletons that keep popping out of the closet. Where it felt even ickier for me was when presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked in an interview if she could promise to be honest in the future. Her response (although summarized) was a resounding… I’ll try. Part of me wanted her to lie to me and promise to always be honest.


Why I’m voting for The American President, Michael Douglas:

  • The way he walks, his mannerisms, his word choice, his ‘situational attention’ seems presidential to me. Relaxed when he needs to be, intense when needed… but always thoughtful that he represents an important office – leading an amazing country. Michael makes me feel patriotic.


  • In the movie the opposition is engaged in character assassination and he decides not to engage in rebuttal, much to the chagrin of his advisors. I didn’t agree how he approached this (as the movie writers were hoping I would feel) but I could stand behind him. The resolution of the movie actually happens as he makes a stand and does the right thing. There are other themes weaved throughout where the viewers could side either way with his views, but overall I agreed with his leadership. Michael makes me feel trust.


  • There is a scene where he orders a military strike on a compound in another country. Strategically he calculates an ‘proportionate’ response and the order is to hit the target at night when the least amount of civilians/people would be impacted. When his advisors encourage him to use it as a political opportunity, citing that what he did was very presidential, he responds with a response empathetic to the fact that he had just ordered the death of an unsuspecting night janitor… ending his short oration with “You have just seen the least presidential thing I do.” I understand that military action is necessary and many times preferable to other alternatives, but I want my president to still be considering the collateral impact. I trust Michael’s decisions.


  • As he walks through the Whitehouse he takes the time to say hello, he appears respectful. There was a gardener pruning the bushes and he takes the time to look to his assistant to be able to acknowledge him by name. He is just nice, respectful and…well nice. Michael makes me like him.


  • There are times in the movie where Michael is what I can imagine as presidential – brutally honest. He shut down his advisors with just a word and commanded the respect of the office. He took a stand and said it. He has a vision. He appeared strong and in charge. Michael made me want to vote for him.


Don’t judge me. I know it is a movie. I haven’t lost my understanding of reality or the ability to differ between fiction and non-fiction. But I contend there is a continuum. There is an ‘ideal’ for who makes a great leader, what those qualities are and how great leaders ‘show up’ for those that choose to follow them. The leaders I stand behind are those that I connect with, that I feel have my best interests in mind, that I still talk about as I train and coach future leaders.

And I find this election year ‘disconcerting’. In a time where so many are talking about opting out of voting as their ‘stand’ against their own discontent, I have vowed to remain engaged. I will watch and listen to find who I can stand behind and, in all good conscious, support as president. I haven’t made my decision yet…and until then, it is still Michael Douglas for president for me.

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