Jason Hopkins posted an insightful comment to yesterday’s post (Thanks, Jason).
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.
Thanks, Steve, for finally blogging on the election. Jason and yourself make some valid points insofar as the distinction between the personal nature and the professional qualities, background and histories of the candidates who will have responsibility and authority for our country as president.
I grappled with my support for Donald Trump, because I didn’t like his personality and I didn’t respect his character–and, in fact, I didn’t think he was a “good man.” At the same time, I thought the same about myself for many years–with respect to my divorce, I didn’t believe I was a good dad because I was always working and not always home with and for the family, and ultimately left clinical medicine (which I believed was turning my back on God’s gift to me), Yet, one day in these days of older age–I saw my two daughters in their marriages, with their families, and fulfilled as professionals, and it was like they “redeemed” me as dad and even as man. Perhaps the same may be true of Donald Trump.
At the RNC, for example, Ivanka Trump spoke to her dad’s and family’s philosophy on work: “Competence is easy to spot; incompetence is impossible to hide. When times get tough, there is a Natural Law of Compensation to rise not only out of poverty but to prosperity–God gives us the strength to arrive earlier, stay later, worker smarter, dig deeper, believe harder, get stronger, become better, and be more awake–and there is no doubt we will rise not only out of impoverishment but to prosperity.”
These thoughts and words go right along with Donald Trump’s vision for our country–how he wants to serve it and how he sees it becoming great again. He said in a speech to the Black Leadership Council: “We should all ‘aspire’ to ‘inspire’ others to believe and trust we can reverse our country’s division, not because I think I have all the answers, but because WE believe we have the one answer that matters most: We want and can work with the grain of human nature, will and spirit that helps people to help themselves–and others. This is the way to restore that self-reliance and self-confidence which are the basis of personal responsibility and national success.”
Steve, this ONE vision alone is worthy of great consideration. Yes, it’s a goal. But we all have to BELIEVE something to be true–BEFORE we KNOW it is true.