Who would ever want to be President? It opens your entire life to the ultimate scrutiny. Your family must endure the hurt of personal attacks. You have to make decisions that can truly affect million of lives. If you do something well you rarely get the credit. When anything goes wrong you always get the blame. You have to give up your ideals to become what the party accepts. You have to compromise goals and beliefs to keep your base happy. You have to try to please and entire country (not to mention the rest of the world). You may be asked to give the approval to shoot down a civilian airplane. You have to be ready to send soldiers to war –and quite possibly to their death.
Who is truly qualified to hold this office? Whose past is error or sin free and able to withstand the vetting? Who is morally qualified to make life and death decisions? As November 2nd approaches, these questions swirl through my mind. I came across a blog the other day of a Christian man stating that he believes that it is wrong to vote at all because whomever you vote for will inevitably the Commander in Chief (he doesn’t believe in a military because he doesn’t think Jesus would). Others don’t vote because they don’t believe their vote really counts. Some abstain because they just don’t care. Many people that I have met stay away from the voting booth to avoid getting jury duty (a widely believed urban legend). Still others say they won’t subscribe to the concept of the ‘lesser of two evils’.
Is it right to choose the most important job in the world from two choices? My brother has been preaching the benefits of a run-off voting system. In this system you would number your choices. If you voted for Nader and he wasn’t going to win your vote would go to the second person on your list –this way smaller parties would have a chance and your vote would never ‘be wasted’. It does seem that this may be the only solution to our current two-party system. I can’t see the powers that be ever letting it happen.
Another thing that I often think about is how we REALLY know who we are voting for. In ‘All’s Fair’ by Mary Matilin & James Carville they both talk about Ross Perot extensively. They both say that neither party took his candidacy seriously because everyone that really knew him was aware that he was a certified nutcase –and apparently that was obvious to anyone who had met him more than once. The
I would love to be a part of the political system and it wouldn’t be for personal gain. I would love to effect change. I would love to have people call for help and actually be able to make a difference. Is this how all politicians start out --and then the system changes them? Do you need to lie to get ahead -- sell your soul to ascend? You need a lot of money to run for anything, and to get that money I am sure you have to compromise many of the principals that prompted you to enter the race in the first place. If I ever decided to throw my hat in the ring I would obviously be running as a Republican –the problem with that would be that much GOP money comes from the NRA... and I believe strongly in gun-control. This would leave me in a moral dilemma. Would I take the money knowing I was going against what I feel is important and justify it with the fact that if I ' got in' I could do good in other places? Does the end justify the means?
The Presidency is appealing to many for the power that it bestows, but at the end of the day I believe that the cons surely outweigh the pros. I had trouble making the decision to put my dog to sleep as he suffered from a brain tumor. Who am I to end a life? I have trouble saying no to any and all who come to my door asking for a check to one good cause or another –Clean Air Council, SPCA, College for Inter-City Children…etc. Who am I to limit someone’s potential? As the election approaches and foibles and missteps are exposed…I think that we are lucky that anyone chooses to run and that we have people who are willing to expose themselves to the expectations and the inspection. Regardless of what I think of each candidate’s policies –they are both brave men just to embark on this undertaking. I am rarely able to make decisions that please the four people in my family…let alone the entire world…
May the best man win.