It seems to me….
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy.
Where is the requirement requiring political leadership, especially at the U.S. Federal level, to consistently be perceived as at least somewhat objectionable if not outright obnoxious? In the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner bears a resemblance to a combination of bartender and used car salesman. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi comes across about as warm as a cross between a porcupine and a dead fish. Neither seems the type of person to be entrusted with the welfare of our country.
The Senate is not much better. It is questionable how Vice-President Joe Biden ever was elected to office as it is difficult to ever take him seriously; he comes across almost as a joke. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has always placed political ideology ahead of national interests as he clearly demonstrated with his statement “… [making Obama a one-term President is] my single most important political goal along with every active Republican in the country.” immediately following President Obama’s election as President – he has consistently opposed every proposal put forth by either the Democrats or President Obama regardless of merit. Minority Leader Harry Reid is totally without personality. All are a bad joke on our country and none of them deserve election to an additional term in office much less leadership positions.
President Obama is the only one with a personality sufficiently interesting to want to sit down with and share a beer.
It is not fair to only criticize Congressional leadership as many members of both the House and Senate seem egocentric and as appealing as a blowfish (and frequently with about as much intelligence). Unfortunately, many of them consider themselves eminently qualified to be president.
Of course, intelligence has not been a high priority for recent Republican presidential candidates. George W. Bush is a good example: one of our least intelligent presidents twice defeated considerably more qualified and intelligent opponents.
The 2016 U.S. presidential elections most likely will again provide voters with the option of selecting not who they favor but rather who they consider least objectionable. Hillary Clinton might have been my favored candidate twenty-four years ago instead of her husband, Bill, if she had been the candidate – but not now. While she definitely will be the most qualified candidate regardless of who the Republicans nominate, she now seems old and tired. After this many years of having the Clintons constantly in the news, it is time for someone else. The only other Democrat with sufficient popularity to possibly win the party nomination probably is Elizabeth Warren who does not yet have adequate experience to win election. Bernie Sanders might challenge Hillary for the nomination but was elected to the Senate as an independent and as a self-proclaimed Socialist, probably is unelectable.
If there is a dearth of desirable Democratic candidates, Republican prospects are even more bleak. Though there are only several declared Republican candidates at this time, it is obvious many more intend to eventually join the fray: the single overriding trait shared by most is resemblance to a clown rather than as a responsible leader of our country. It is still much too early to identify possible leaders. Hopefully, someone much more centrist and acceptable to the general public will emerge from the pack to take up their party’s gauntlet.
Which party should have the best prospect of winning? Unfortunately, it apparently is not totally dependent upon what candidate is selected or how much is spent on the campaign. Income growth immediately prior to the election[i] has been the primary determinant in recent elections. Everything else being equal, if the economy continues its current rate of improvement through the election, the party now in power – the Democrats – have the best chance of winning. If there is a major stock market correction[ii], the advantage goes to the Republicans.
Regardless, the coming election will be the most expensive in our nation’s history. There are so many areas where money spent on campaign financing could be could be more appropriately used; it is unfortunate so much is wasted on repetitious negative television commercials and computer-generated robocalls. The campaign “season” has begun and many people will once again only answer their phones with reluctant trepidation (while determining which politician will definitely NOT receive their vote).
Voting preferences represent the rational pursuit of self-serving individual interests. It probably is impossible to make “government by the people” actually be a “government for the people”. But we always can hope….
That’s what I think, what about you?
[i] Krugman, Paul. Economics and Elections, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/opinion/paul-krugman-economics-and-elections.html?_r=0, 6 April 2015.
[ii] Bornmann, Lewis. Running With The Bulls, WordPress, https://lewbornmann.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/running-with-the-bulls/, 29 March 2015.