I should be elected President because I really, really want to be president is not a platform. However, in political races of every level, especially as the Tea Party has come on to the political scene there have been more and more of this type of candidate running for office.
Trump, Palin and Mr. “All bills should be three pages long” Cain are deeply concerning. If a person is not concerned they may not understand the process and the criteria of an effective and reality-based leader. Voters get caught up in slogans that they want to hear. In having someone say the things they are thinking. Validating their anger and fears whether they are justified to win. Some voters want that so much that they omit any substantive analysis in their voting decisions and they end up losing in the end when their great institutions turn into a three ringed circus.
It’s not that a person need be a political wonk to run. With a good staff, a candidate can have the fact checkers and those very informed in each arena of issues to advise the candidate. However, the pendulum need not swing to the other extreme either, where the candidate in question has not paid her dues or done the hands-on work needed to be properly prepared to take on more power, more responsibility and be able to make the best informed solutions oriented decisions.
It is easy to scream bumper sticker slogans from a podium, to put out zingy one-liners, yet there is an increasing public fatigue for that type of fluff rhetoric. People who are leaders in their specific fields of business or entertainment are not necessarily prepared for the intense scrutiny and important decisions that come before a high-ranking elected official.
Celebrities are made for entertainment. They are not given the weight of responsibility for a reason. They are free to say what they feel, be as outlandish as they like, and go to extremes, because it is understood they have no power. They have no ability to make what they say happen when it is deemed over-the-top and verging on crazy. Public officials don’t have that kind of luxury. Anything they do or say can be held against them and well it should because they are given the power to actually make things happen. Their words represent all in their constituency and sphere of influence.
Elections should not be a popularity contest. It used to be understood that a person running for President of the United States or any other important office was different from being voted as the next American Idol. It isn’t about who you would like to have a beer with. What matters most is can this person do the job. This is a job interview. How would this person handle the duties that are before them. The other thing that should be looked at more closely by Civil Citizens is who is the support system for this candidate, who advises them? Finally, if they do have a previous voting record take the time to see how they voted on key issues that matter the most to you. This is the real way to get to know what this person will do when in office.
American’s need to get involved and get smarter. We need a spinach candidate not cotton candy. They may not be as fun to watch and that is ok. America needs a leader not a reality star.