Are you qualified to be President of the United States of America? Chances are you can check all the boxes supplied in the Rulebook – Born Here; Lived Here Fourteen Years; Attained the Ripe Old Age of 35. How hard is that? You can even be self-educated and an itinerant country lawyer (See Abe Lincoln, e.g.). A lot of things have changed since way back then, but aside from the official qualifications, most people nowadays, at least up until the Presidential election of 2008, think you should be able to demonstrate that you have accomplished something in your life. At least something, for Pete’s sake.
Some of the current crop of Presidential candidates point to their accomplishments, some hold up the fact of who they are (“I’ve been a businessman all my life!”) Some point to what they believe in (baseball, hot dogs and Mom’s apple pie). For our purposes, that one holding up his hand over there saying “I am a constitutional conservative” deserves a fair amount of our attention, we think.
The country, and the world, have gotten a lot smaller in terms of interaction and complexity since 1860, and the multi-tasking requirements in order to get along and to comprehend and cope surely have multiplied since then. Perhaps not in terms of intelligence, formal education, speaking prowess or mastery of any one handful of skill sets, but perhaps in the ability to assemble and utilize information and people to do what’s in the best interests of the country. That may be as a business person, a former general, governor, senator or what-have-you. Most probably the ability to demonstrate a well-organized tool shed and display a perfectly-arranged flower garden aren’t going to cut the mustard, but who knows?
One thing we are beginning to understand is that the complexity of our modern circumstance has not only passed by, seemingly, the abilities of many of our candidates to be jacks-of-all-trades, but it has passed by print and broadcast media, organized political parties, educational and commercial venues as well. We are reduced to having the Chris Wallaces of the world assist us in the selection process by asking such questions as “Are you a flake?” and “Governor Perry is a real knuckle-dragger, isn’t he?” The print pundits aren’t much better. Of course the fund raisers and the special interests do what they always have done. No comment needed on that aspect.
For our part, we recognize that no one person in these days can know everything, speak expertly on everything, or indeed even recognize everything at first glance. There are just too many issues and too many players. But we would propose that there is no excuse for a candidate being given much of a platform these days if he or she is not at least, shall we say, well-rounded. When G.W. Bush was running, some idiot newsperson interviewing him thought he would ‘get Bush’ by asking the inane question”Who is the Vice-Premier of Turkmenistan”, or some such balderdash. On the other hand, it would behoove a credible candidate to know some generalities about the breakup of the Soviet Union and the fact that there are a plethora of new states in Eastern Europe and Asia, and of course Africa since colonialism ended there, without being required to spout off a complete list on a minute’s notice.
There are of course many other areas – economics, domestic issues, political and social and military and religious “givens” that moderately-educated people should be and are usually conversant in. The vetting process for these things perhaps needs to be somehow modernized. The ‘debate’ format the candidates inexplicably commit themselves to recently sure doesn’t do the trick. Perhaps some of the techniques and strategems used by the at- the- moment non-candidate Sarah Palin may come into vogue. We sure do believe that some outside-the-box thinking needs to take place, not only in candidate selection but, not surprisingly, since we are constitutional conservatives, in what we and the nation are willing to put up with in the way of accepting the premises that “our betters” have foisted upon us on what we are to think and react to……. and vote based upon…….and adhere to and obey.
Having read and thought about the issues raised and the mindsets presented and the stances taken by people in conservative venues like Unified Patriots, and often the stark, simple brilliance of common sense evaluation of situation and explanation of principle, we can’t help but think there are those among us who would make a good chief executive, a good Commander-in-chief, a good emblem for America on the geopolitical scene. Of course, odds are that probably if you are hanging out here you already have a calling, or already have commitments, or probably aren’t practically connected in such a way that you could enter presidential politics. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to offer. Your participation, whether here or in your community or your state or by your national associations, means that you care, and considering the quandry the country is in right now on the national stage, the country needs all the help it can get. Whether it’s by hitting the PC Activism button on the top of our home page and letting Cold Warrior or another knowledgeable pro give you some pointers on getting in on the ground floor, or by dashing off a dispatch sharing that inspiration you got about a new methodology for candidate selection or campaign strategy or institutional reform, or just by sharing something you may have picked up here with someone who is currently or someday might be in a position to use it, this is both an individual and a team sport.
Paraphrasing Emerson, you might be deep in the woods somplace, but if you’ve got a revolutionary idea for mouse control, send out some smoke signals and somebody will find you. If this sounds like a desperate plea, it is. We desperately need leaders and we desperately need people to make it possible for them to lead.
Oh, and by the way – for a handy list of issues and a playbill and scorecard of sorts to get your juices flowing, see here.
h/t: Vassar Bushmills