Sunday, March 02, 2008

All The President Midgets

Gerard Van der Leun posts this over at American Digest. My comments follow.

"In my email this evening, a retired top executive from a major multi-national corporation looks at the laboring of our political mountain that has, again, brought forth midgets. He is not amused.

What a dreadful situation. The whole process has perplexed me for years.

We often hear someone put forth the premise that the U.S. President is "the most powerful person in the world" (However arrogant that may be.). Yet we require very little of the actual candidates for the office.

No major corporation would hire most of the individuals that have run for the U.S. presidency in my lifetime - at least not before they became President.

On top of that, our political dialogue is not about the kind of person a candidate should be, and the basket of traits that a candidate should possess, but focuses on all manner of irrelevant crap.

How about an I.Q. estimate for starters?
How about their success "outside" the political sphere?
What about some basis for determining the moral character of the candidates not tied to idle gossip?
What is their global view? What is their knowledge of other other languages and cultures? How profound is their grasp of history? Of Geography? Economics? Technology?

What would seem to be a magnet for the best and brightest is instead something they avoid like the plague - for understandable reasons, of course.

Still, it drives me crazy. I would love to see a meaningful national debate on the qualities America should demand of it's leaders.

I guess our news organizations must not think it's very important."

The last sentence of the post is quite telling. What the news media declares "news worthy" is, in large part, the problem. The debates have devolved into media set-ups to either ambush candidates or, at the very least, provoke verbal combat between them with the moderators acting as a combination picador/matador.

But we can not lay all of the blame on the Fourth Estate. We are the consumers of media and citizens so it is our decision if we will let this continue. Does this process promote selection of the best and brightest? Based on recent results most everyone would agree that it does not. Therefore, perhaps we should consider a formal interview process, as the post mentions, where we could rationally consider a candidates qualifications or lack thereof, for the position. If we removed a great deal of the attendant media generated hoopla and gotcha politicking associated with running for office it might become more attractive to the types of candidates we want in office.

I believe we will continue to see a shift away from the main stream media to the new media during presidential campaigns, enabling the candidates to communicate more directly with the voters instead of through a MSM filter. The real question is are we, the voters, ready?

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