I dunno about you but after 60 years of these things it gets kinda old. About the only thing interesting about it all is reflecting back on the advancements in communications technology since the Truman administration and how the parties have taken advantage of it all. Yeah, I know… this is democracy in action and this is what America is all about. You can’t really blame the candidates or
potential candidates for all this bombastic bravado. They all feel they can make a difference in leading the nation and they are doing their best to tell us what we want to hear in order to vote for them. Each one of them would defend unto death our hard won freedoms as much as any of us. But elections are not about comparing levels of patriotism. But elections are about promises that just can’t be fulfilled in the majority of cases yet we, the voting public, are willing to follow our favorite Pied Piper if it sounds good.
As seemingly intelligent (uh huh) voters let’s try using some common sense for a change. I am guessing we would want a president who can readily adapt to the changing political and economic issues as they pop up. After all, that’s part of his job. If some candidate is promising me to read his lips regarding no new taxes and in year three of his administration some major corporation or shinanigans on Wall St. creates a national financial crisis, I would prefer that the Prez has all options open the save America. I hope that he’s there to act in whatever way is needed to solve the problem.. even if the solution is not popular or not likely to get him re-elected; even if it means I have to do my part with increased taxes.
Ever wonder why so many Presidents (and politicians in general) are accused of not making good all their election promises? We have grown to accept that “deficiency” and blame the politicians themselves for being a lying bunch of SOB’s, yet the real culprits are the voters. If some candidate is promising to deliver the world to the middle class don’t we as voters have enough common sense to understand that there is no way on this green planet that any candidate can do that without the support of Congress, in the least? If the voting public votes for a republican president yet sends to Congress a democratic majority doesn’t common sense suggest that the Prez is not going to get a lot of things done his way?
It’s inherent with the election process that presidential candidates pick apart and criticize what the standing President has or has not done. Yet, doesn’t common sense suggest that the President just might have some greater insight, intel, and advice available because of the position he/she holds, in order to make the appropriate decisions? We are so ready to believe a candidate who spouts off, “This is the worst President in our lifetime.” Well… sorry… because national and international events can have long term affects only history will likely determine a president’s standing (ala Truman for example). A standing president may have done something unpopular at the time to warrant this sour opinion but common sense suggests only time will tell.
My whole point in this Boomer rant is to cast blame for the election process onto the voter and less upon the candidates as politicians. They are trying to win an election and they will say anything to win your vote. My suggestion… don’t push them to commit to things they obviously will not be empowered to deliver. For me the candidate who begins by saying “I will not…”, “I will never…” or “I promise…” is just telling me what he/she thinks I want to hear. I would much prefer… “I will do what it takes…” “I will make every effort…” or… “I promise to make it a priority…”.
“If I am elected I will bring our troops home.” My common sense suggests that the current and/or previous presidents probably wanted to do the same thing (who truly wants to keep a war going and watching people die?) but situations (political and economic) suggested it was not the time. What makes this candidate think he has all the answers when he simply does not have access to the same information sources as a sitting president? While it might save the lives of some of our soldiers on the surface, would doing that arbitrarily be in the best interest of the future of our country? I would prefer a president who can assess and seek political and strategic advisement before making such a decision.
Give me a presidential candidate who can demonstrate that he can… 1) Compromise when compromise is needed. 2) Lead and/or be decisive when leadership is needed. 3) Know the difference between the two. 3) Delegate in order to foster advice and counsel in order to make sound decisions… or the best decisions… given the urgency of the moment. 4) Don’t make election promises that simply can’t be kept… but lay out your goals for your vision of how the country should be run… if you have a Congess that will support you.
My opinion, fellow voters, is we should be voting for the best experience and personal management traits we’d like to see in a president, followed by his priorities for making his dream for the country come true. Anything else would make the election simply a crap shoot and we may as well just draw straws.