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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Of best chances redux

"We're not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief."
--CJ, in the comments to
Of best chances

The people who don't want Barack Obama to be President of the United States are united in their message: He has done nothing, he has proven nothing, and his inspirational kumbaya speeches are just a clever throwback to forty-some years ago. These same people will have you believe that their candidate is better suited to solve the problems of our nation because they will fight, fight, fight against the opposing party, against the terrorists, against the people who seek to destroy our way of life, moral fiber, and old ladies. Obama, they say, lacks the experience necessary to be the leader of the free world.

It's a pretty strong argument. So strong, I'm not going to spend a great deal of time trying to fight against it. It stands to reason, if I hire the most experienced babysitter to look after my kid for four hours, I should hire the most experienced person to babysit my nation for four years. Right?

Well, maybe. When I go looking for a babysitter (or, if you think I'm being too glib, extend the argument to anything for which you hire based on experience), I have a wide variety of people who have actually been babysitters before from which to choose. When I'm electing a President, the pool isn't very big. In fact, unless I want to re-conscript Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush, I've got nobody I can put in office who has the kind of experience everybody is looking for.

The simple fact is, the training ground for being a President really doesn't exist. The closest anybody comes to being prepared for the Presidency is being Vice President. I'm not saying that any of the remaining candidates aren't prepared for the job. I'm simply arguing that when it comes time to take the oath, anyone elected will be entering uncharted personal waters. That's why they have advisers, a Cabinet, and a system of checks and balances.

But, the Governors! Think about their experience. That's what Proto said in his comment. "Governors usually make better executives than senators or congress folk," he wrote. Historically, he may have an argument. I'm not goingg to fight on that. If we're to go with Governors this time, though, it's Huckabee or Romney. I do hope you'll pardon me if I discount both candidacies out of hand. I could spend a few hundred words explaining how those gents are not aligned with my way of thinking, but I think most of you know me well enough to know I ain't gonna be voting for either of them. What's more, I've known enough Governors in my day (Mel Carnahan, Kirk Fordice, Ronnie Musgrove, Jim Hodges, and Mark Sanford to name the ones with whom I spent the most time) to know that, while good men and decent leaders, they are no more qualified to run the nation than Governor George Bush was.

With experience being a non-factor in my decision, I am forced to look to policy, leadership skills, and personality. As I wrote in the previous post, no one candidate combines all three to my satisfaction. I can't imagine, unless one of my best friends decided to run for office, that I'll ever find anyone who is the perfect candidate.

And so, I look for inspiration. I look for a message that meshes with what I hope for the country. I look for someone who has vowed from the outset to do his best to unite a very divided country and work toward a greater good on which we can all agree.

CJ wrote, "We're not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief."

I, for one, hope to. If Obama can inspire a guy this jaded and cynical, he stands a good chance of inspiring a nation.

It may sound like a lot of feel-good, smile-on-your-brothers, hippie drivel, but I want to live in an inspired country. In inspiration, hope springs.

And in hope, there is often peace.

I'll take that any day.

Labels: , ,

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree.


G-Rob

4:36 PM  
Blogger Daddy said...

Me too.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Uncle Ted said...

LOL @ your new header photo with nametag...

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on. I don't understand all the carping about Obama not having "experience." Maybe what we need is not someone with "experience" (and I agree with your comment about there not really being much of a training ground for the presidency anyway) but someone who is extremely smart and who can bring people together. We've had years of "experienced" Presidents. Maybe it's time for some fresh perspective instead. Obama has my vote, too.

8:18 PM  
Blogger BamBam said...

The funny thing about American politics to an outsider is, the appearance that a lack of choices is by far better than an electoral procedure.

We used to have that issue here provincially. Federally, it was always a no-brainer. Vote for who you hated the least. But provincially! Provincially we entered a new era with the introduction of new parties and new platforms.

Why was this key? Because adding other thoughts to the mix, makes all parties consider the impact of their decisions. More thought = better decisions. Better decisions = better government. Better government = hopeful nation. Hopeful nation = happy nation.

Now I'm far from suggesting 38 parties run a Presidential candidate in every election. I just think that American politics would greatly benefit from something other than a choice of two colours and two smiling faces.

Whatever the results, I pray our nations grow happier, stronger and richer from them. Lord knows the Asian continent is hoping for the worst.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Zippy said...

CJ wrote, "We're not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief."

Well, yes and no. An awful lot of a president's power comes from their ability to get others to follow their lead, and in a telegenic world, that often means having the gift of inspirational speaking. Reagan had it. Clinton had it. Carter didn't. Nixon didn't.

Is it everything? Certainly not. But for many potential voters, those who don't really look beyond their front door for how a given candidate will impact the nation, someone who can give a hell of a stump speech can, and often will have an edge.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad, you are assuming the country wants to be united. On what seems to be the main issues, I don't think it will ever be truely united. Pro-Chioce/Pro-life Nope. Keep the Tax cuts/do away with the tax cuts, not really. Spend less or raise taxes to balance the budget, nope (except both parties seem to think that creating programs without a real thought of what it cost is OK), National Health care/private health care, nope (by the way how are we going to pay for this when we can't pay for the medicare that is killing most states budgets?). Iraq, nope. Gay Marriage, nope. Privatization of social security/keep it like it is (good luck to our generation), nope. The economy, how do you fix a problem that starts with it's citizens. If we didn't live on credit like our government, buy houses we can't afford etc. would there be a problem? Maybe maybe not, because how would the economy continue to grow at the crazy rate if we all lived within our means? Our schools? You can throw all the money in the world at a problem that starts in the home. If the child does not have a strong foundation at home they will not typically do well at school. I listen to Obama and think it's nice to say, now how are you going to do it? I have not heard anything substantial on the how. I have a heard a lot of the what, but not a lot on the how. Of course I don't hear a lot of the how from most of the others either. It's great to have some ideas, but I would love to for someone to actually start putting some personal responsiblity on us the citizens and not on the government. Aaron

10:01 PM  
Blogger Maudie said...

Well said, Mr. O. I'm having the toughest time deciding who's name I'm going to put a mark next to on Tues. Obama is intellegent, articulate and charismatic. Not since Clinton (Bill, that is) first ran have I felt the kind of hope I feel when hearing Obama. The issue for me, however, is which one of the two has the best chance to win the general election?

Whoever ends up our nominee, though - it's certainly going to be one helluva a time between now and November!

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Andy H said...

Ron Paul anyone? :D

2:12 AM  

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