Normally, I’m not that political, but the upcoming Presidential election promises to be the most exciting one in decades, and maybe the most important one. I’m sick and tired of the old Democrats versus the Republicans, or the Blue states against the Red states. Why must we live in a politically polarized society with one half winning and the other half steaming with disappointment? I’m not suggesting a third party solution – I think third parties should be outlawed since they only spoil the elections. No, what I’d like is if each side would promote a candidate that stands in the middle of politics, so in the 2008 election a majority of citizens of each party could feel happy with either side winning. In other words, I’m a Democrat, but for 2008, I’d be happy with a Republican if he or she was closer in spirit with my needs and wants.
The trouble is members of each party tend to pick candidates that kiss up to their personal beliefs and special interests and if a candidate professes to be against any of their cherished ideals, even in one instance, those candidates immediately become unworthy, if not reviled. What core presidential qualities are there that a large majority of Americans can support? The latest issue of Time Magazine has an article; Bloomberg and Schwarzenegger: The New Action Heroes has me thinking positive about two Republicans. Why? Both of these men are appealing politicians because they are successful in politics, life and business. They both have very high voter approval ratings, they are visionary and they get things done. It makes me wonder if a core presidential quality shouldn’t be a success in life before trying to be a success in politics. Should only people with a minimal 9 figures in their savings account run? I don’t know. It’s something to consider.
Which shows better experience: a successful governor, mayor, CEO or senator? It’s a shame that Arnold can’t run since he’s had so much success with such a large state and population. Does a lifetime of working in Washington, DC really prepare a person to run the country? Or does running a major industry show more management skill? The key quality I’d like to see in the next President is success. I want him or her to make the U.S. a success in the eyes of Americans and the eyes of the people around the world. Now that’s a lot to wish for. Is it even possible?
I’m afraid billions of world citizens see the U.S. as a rich bully. I wished they saw us as promoters of prosperity, as worldly traders and business people, and not as self-appointed cops of democracy. I think if the next President focused more on mutually beneficial trade and proper stewardship of the Earth we might turn that around. We need to morph the unilateral war on terrorism into a universal fight for worldly stability. The terrorists we seek to destroy are really just rogue individuals – which I think needs to be pursued by international police work and not armies. I think the Muslim world needs to decide if it wants another crusade before we start one. Getting out of the Arab world both militarily and economically is going to be a major skill requirement for the next President. Anyone who casts his vote in November 2008 based on gay rights or abortion will be penny-wise and pound-foolish. And I’m not saying those issues aren’t important, no matter which side you take, but I’m more worried about a global war or worldwide ecological catastrophes.
Of course, do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few? Conservatives are worried about the rights of the rich and unborn, and liberals are worried about the rights of the poor and gays. Can any Presidential candidate promote the needs of the rich and poor, and protect the unborn and gay? Are there any Solomons running in 2008?
Conservatives hated Clinton because of his personal conduct and his support for liberal causes, but the Clinton years were good in terms of improved opinions about the U.S. from world citizens. Clinton didn’t use a big stick to make U.S. policy and that helped. Those years were also helped by an economic boom and a computer communications revolution. President Bush’s efforts with AIDS in Africa are a very positive position for the U.S. If the U.S. could promote a boom in medicine, ecology and alternative energy we could turn world opinion around and make money creating a new economic industry. If the future president could promote those ideals and make the rich richer and the poor richer we might even bring Democrats and Republicans closer together. What we need is a President with business sense, technological vision and the willingness to find a political solution to make all countries more energy independent. We need a candidate that doesn’t see global warming as a gloom and doom issue, but as an economic opportunity to create a world-wide business boom in energy independence and conservation.
I wouldn’t mind a Republican like Patrick J. Buchanan, who is for reducing the size of the federal government and making the U.S. more isolationistic. However, I don’t want a Republican who I feel is promoting fundamental religion – we don’t need any Christian Ayatollahs. I do think we need a President who will be more interested in fiscal issues, but I wouldn’t mind a philosophical President who is interested in ethical and moral issues. An enlightened crime fighter would be a big plus. What I’d really like is a President that brings Americans closer together. We’ve had two Presidents now that have polarized the nation, and I find that depressing. I’m sick of hearing about partisan politics. Would it be too much to hope for a President that gets 60 percent of the popular vote?