Election 2016

Actually, this year’s elections tend to reflect the norm, not the outlier.

There was a movement to make George Washington king, which he refused. He even appeared personally before the Continental Congress to return his commission as general, with the intention of returning to Mount Vernon and his role as a planter. Instead, he was unanimously elected president, re-elected for a second term, after which he refused to serve, setting the precedent for a two term limit (except for Franklin Delano Roosevelt—after which the Constitution addressed the issue.

John Adams was Washington’s Vice-President, since the candidate in second place took that position. When Washington retired from politics, John Adams was elected, with Thomas Jefferson as his opponent and therefore vice president. In the fourth national election, Jefferson successfully opposed Adams. It was ugly—Adams was referred to as “His Rotundancy” due to his weight. On the other hand, pastors warned their congregations to bury their Bibles in their gardens lest Thomas Jefferson confiscate them. Then there was the whole Sally Hemmings thing.

President William Henry Harrison died less than a month before he died, to be replaced by John Tyler-the only President of the United States to be labeled a traitor and an enemy of the state when he remained with his native Virginia during the Civil War.

So today we have a family member of a former president (a la Adams, Roosevelt, and Bush) and a total outsider. Weirdly, the original concept was for regular citizens to lay down their civilian work, go to Washington, DC to represent their community, then return home (if not to Mount Vernon, then to wherever they call home).

Movies like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in which a regular guy gets elected to Congress, or Dave where a regular guy who looks JUST LIKE THE PRESIDENT (who happens to be in a coma) depict certain results, but then movies depict time travel, black holes, aliens, and wizards with magical powers.

I reserve (public) judgement. But I will ask this question; “Which candidate would you select as a partner in a venture (business, social, or whatever)?” Or, put another way, if these individuals were not candidates, but just regular people, who would you invite to be a long term guest at your home?

One response to “Election 2016

  1. The problem with that argument is that we are selecting them for a business partnership or a long term stay at home, we are selecting them to be President. I’d love to have Michael Jordan as a long term guest at my home but he’d make an awful President. I dont think either Hillary or Trump will be a good President, but we have to decide which one of them will do the best job at it.

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