Daily Archives: October 9, 2016

A Thoughtful Response

Jason Hopkins posted an insightful comment to yesterday’s post (Thanks, Jason).

Jason wrote:

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 don’t 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.

I phrase political things carefully because we already have enough negativity. Our political system has worked, so far, even with incredibly inept politicians. There have been some skilled politicians, too, a small number of whom have actually worked for the common good.

Why are we seeing what we see today?

1. The skills to campaign and get elected are very different from the skills needed to do the job.

2. In the past, the political parties would formulate their platform, the party bosses would sequester themselves in the proverbial smoke-filled room, and select a candidate who would promote the party’s agenda. With the primary system, the agenda has lost its primacy.

3. Polls have a formidable impact on candidates and voters. The electoral college was intended to encourage candidates to focus on small states as well as large ones. Today, candidates focus on those that the pollsters have determined are “swing” states.

What is the appeal of each candidate? Clinton is perceived as more predictable, which appeals to the business world. She’s experienced. She’s an astute politician—after all she was elected senator from New York before she even lived there. Some will vote for her because they always vote Democrat; others will vote for her because she’s a woman. Possible theme song? Sorry, I’ve tried to come up with one, and the best I can do is adapt the Surfaris’s song to “Wipeout-you mean, like, with a cloth?”

Trump is the ultimate outsider with absolutely no regard for political correctness. He’s unpredictable. Some will vote for him to say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Some will vote for him because he’s NOT a woman. He cannot count on traditional Republicans. Possible theme song? Billy Joel’s “You may be right; I might be crazy, but it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

I wonder how the next four years will be documented in future history books.