“The Court of St. James”
By Karen Cacy
December 2, 2015
It is very clear that part of the reason for Dr. Ben Carson’s success has to do with his non-politician citizen status during the nominating process. Outsiders are increasingly gaining ground in the national election as all voters wake up to the mess in Washington. It’s a mess for which both parties bear some responsibility.
“Crossing the aisle,” is the curative mantra. “If only,” the other side would be more agreeable. Then accommodation would result. The national media and the liberals would have us believe that, but for the intransigence of conservatives, progress would be made by the federal government.
Two presidents, oddly, both democrats, President Carter and President Obama, eschewed Washington, and all it entails. Supposedly intelligent men, both declared themselves the winners. They, and they alone, would give the cold shoulder to ‘that town.’
President Carter did so rather benignly, by refusing any and all social events past work hours. President Obama, as we know, is more proactive with his disdain, in his selective refusal to integrate himself into the town. There was the famous incident during an early legislative battle in which the White House did not even possess the phone numbers of some key legislators!
President Ronald Reagan and President John F. Kennedy, on the other hand, both understood the value of human relationships in getting the job done. They grasped the fact that Washington is rather like the ‘Court of St. James’ with its manners and mores. That the town runs on protocol and relationships. To deny this fact is to fail. Recall President Kennedy’s constant state dinners and events where he and his lovely wife brought America’s best and brightest under the same roof to enjoy fine meals, culture and camaraderie. Recall President Reagan’s close personal friendship with the democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. Diametrically opposed on their politics and views, still President Reagan was able to lift a glass of good scotch at the end of the work day with his unlikely friend.
President Ben Carson, ‘citizen president,’ will be a breath of fresh air for a stultified town and all its ironies and modern day rejections of the Constitution as a living, breathing document. Yet, he possesses the common sense and warm human values to do well in Washington, D.C.
It is not difficult to imagine, based on the polite and discrete way he’s engaged his political and media opponents thus far, that he will age well in tribal D.C., where manners and decorum are the order of the day. He will make friends. He won’t give up his positions, but he is emotionally equipped to work within that town’s exacting cadence.
While he will be an outsider initially, his lack of ad hominem attacks and wide-ranging intelligence, qualities he shares with Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, will allow him to engage official Washington, creating the personal ground work on which progress and clear communications can occur.
President Ben Carson, while at the ‘Court of St. James’ will embrace all its players. He and his lovely wife will invite them to the White House and dine with his so-called enemies. Without doubt, he’ll locate his own ‘Tip O’Neill’s’ to soften the atmosphere in Washington.
While at the ‘Court of St. James,’ count on President Ben Carson to apply all of his problem solving skills to bear as he makes new friends and allies, bringing a new civility to Washington.