Monument Valley

Both my wife and I decided we needed to see some beauty So we headed to the Southwest. Specifically Arizona and Utah since, technically, Palm Desert is pretty southwestern looking if you’re from anywhere outside California.

We stayed in: Yuma, Sedona, Holbrook, Chinle, Oljato-Monument Valley, Moab, Lyman and, Rockville. These were places we stayed, visited, etc.

We saw stunning beauty. We met wonderful, kind people. And it struck us again, as it had on our trip last year through Death Valley and our early summer trip up the coast to Vancouver, cruise to Alaska and down through central Washington, Oregon, and Nevada with this realization:

Canyonlands National Park

Any person who thinks they are worthy of representing this country as its President, in Congress and the Senate need to first travel the entire country. By car. A compact rental with heater and a/c but no satellite radio. Only AM/FM. I’ll allow a Bluetooth connection for their smartphone. No “fixers” or assistants. They pack and unpack their own shit, buy their own gas and food. With. Their. Own. Money. No special interests allowed to finance this educational trip. They make their own reservations for motels, or an AirBnB but, nothing above three stars and sometimes they have to share a bathroom with strangers. So they get out and get lost. Just like us.

One room cabin, Lyman, UT

And I know as a Senator or Congress(wo)man, they only represent their specific state. But they need to see the big picture. How their decisions affect the whole. Their country and the world. It’s all connected

This requires them to really see this land. This land that is older, bigger and more important than they are now, or will ever be. The land was here before any of their ancestors were even born and it will be here long after these budding politicians are no longer a memory in anyone left on the planet. Not even dust. To feel small, insignificant in the grand scheme. And to realize that they, all of us actually, are stewards of this country, of this planet. Merely passing through.

Original White House. Canyon de Chelly, Chinle, AZ

Oh yeah, a couple more things: they need to have read and understood the Constitution and how the three sections of our government work. Possess empathy, have a small ego. Maybe take a High School Civics class and pass a test. Have a real college education. Have experience in government. Don’t lie. Every time they open their mouth.

Because being President, a member of Congress or the Senate isn’t an entry level position. We the People, are watching your ass.