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The People Who Solve Problems

Why do we look to politicians to fix things they only ever make worse?

By Friendly Bear  |  February 3, 2021

by Friendly Bear

If a major calamity should ever strike America, we may be forced to pick a leader from scratch. Suppose that a giant meteorite should land squarely on Washington, DC, and it became necessary to pick someone with problem-solving skills to restore civilization.

Whom should we pick?

Well, friends, I have your answer! First, let's look at a few of our best problem solvers.

Truck drivers must each haul over 25 tons of food, building supplies, clothes, tires, puppy food, electronics, all that stuff you ordered online, and everything else we need or want. Think you're a skilled driver? Try backing 64 feet of truck tractor and semitrailer into a narrow passageway to the loading dock of a major grocery store to keep 10,000 tummies full.

Air ambulance flight nurses perform pretty much every emergency lifesaving technique, all while in a cramped space, as the pilot and copilot use every ounce of their skills to narrowly miss power lines, buildings, mountains, and other low level hazards. It would be difficult enough to save a life this way stationary on the ground, but in an air ambulance space is at a premium and the helicopter must transport the patient with all possible haste. The result leaves the air ambulance flight nurse in a pitching, heaving cabin not much larger than a coffin made for two. My hat's off to them.

The mechanics who maintain essential vehicles restoring power after a hurricane. It's big truck mechanic work, but under a lot of pressure, in awful conditions. Electrical power is never needed so much as it is when everything else is going wrong, and these technicians give results not excuses.

Divers who maintain sewer treatment facilities. Sealed up in "dry suits" (hopefully without a leak), they descend into zero visibility stinking sludge to solve problems by feel. 

Firefighters solve problems besides fires. They respond to car crashes and other accidents where they use their rescue skills not only to save lives, but to minimize injuries. Carefully recovering victims, they gently handle the suffering so as to cause no further harm.

Corrupt or do-nothing Senators and Representatives do not solve problems. If one of them survives the giant meteorite, quickly throw some more debris on them and move on.

Old-fashioned engineers solve problems. More than once they've figured out how to get a wounded spacecraft back to orbit and safely on the ground.

Elevator repair technicians definitely solve problems. So do farmers, on a daily basis, too.

"Talking heads" on cable news shows definitely don't solve problems. Neither do self-impressed CEOs and "ivory tower" academics. Maybe you could lure them into the path of the giant meteorite. It's worth a try.

Some lawyers are problem solvers. They blend a knowledge of the law, tireless pursuit of facts, and good people skills, to defend even penniless clients facing the wrath of a merciless system.

The lawyers who write silly, needlessly complex laws and "agreements" are problem creators. If a law leaves a full Federal Appeals Court disagreeing and scratching their heads, it might be a little too tough for the rest of us to understand. 

Now I present a regular solver of enormous problems: the lifelong big rig tow truck driver. When a tractor-semi plunges into a ravine or dangles precariously from a bridge, these are the pros who solve the problem. I've watched them choreograph a ballet of two, or even three, massive wreckers to recover a tractor-semi standing on its nose on a steep hillside. The job gets done without mistakes or injury.

Statistically, most may be men, but I've met equally skilled women big rig tow truck drivers.

Yessiree, if you need a new President under dire circumstances, go to the nearest truck stop's coffee aisle. When a tired, grumpy, big rig wrecker driving curmudgeon staggers to the coffee pot, looking like Santa Claus after a three-day drinking binge, that is the problem solver you need.

In a pinch, shove the politicians aside, tell the obnoxious and pampered Hollywood crowd to "Hush!", run the whiney cable news show host off, with a whip if you must, and find the nearest Middle America, everyday problem solver from "flyover country" to be the leader to restore America.

You will thank yourself - and the giant meteorite.