Because of a scheduling conflict, I am writing this before the final results of the 2008 presidential election have been tallied. Still, I am a little cautious about what I am about to say. I can't help but think that now that the election is over we may well begin to see just who the puppet masters have been during the past two years of campaigning.
I firmly believe that no one rises to the pinnacle of elective office -- or to the point of being considered a candidate for such a post -- without the pushing, pulling, and outright behind-the-scenes controlling one would imagine while watching a good marionette production. But just who pulls those strings?
No matter who won the election, I am sure their respective puppeteers are chafing at the bit, as it were, to move to a totally new stage. This one, however, won't be about how many votes you can get or what makes you a better candidate or what you might promise the American people.
This stage will be for real.
The flailing marionette will be forced to stand face-to-face and toe-to-toe with other world leaders, sometimes in one accord to find a solution to a shared problem, and sometimes to stare down the ego of some tyrant hell-bent on nuking the world to preserve (?) his place in history.
No longer will the crowds of thousands cheer, tear and quiver at every word that proceeds from the puppet's mouth.
This stage is, indeed, for real.
When the marionette we've chosen gets tired of being pulled around, dangling from handlers hands that loom just out of sight like Pinocchio being forced to perform by the mean and vicious Stromboli, he'll say he's had enough. And by then, it will be too late.
Too late for bravery. Too late for truth. And too late to act unselfishly.
"Now we're all like foolish puppets,
who desiring to be kings,
all lie pitifully crippled,
after cutting our own strings."