Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Politics, Presidents, and Perspective

I've been on the outside for a while now, watching, listening, and observing.

I don't have any type of cable or TV reception at home, so I haven't seen a single thing about the upcoming Presidential election from that medium. What I've been doing is picking up bits and pieces from the internet, through various forms of social media, and I've been talking with and listening to those I work with, and those I come in contact with in my daily life. In other words, all the information I have has come from independent, individual sources.

What I've observed through the last 6 months or so gives me pause, it makes me wonder about the whole process of how we as a people view our leaders, and what I've seen is that there is a very personal bias for each individual when it comes to who they choose as "their" candidate for the presidency, usually on the basis of only one or a few of the "issues" that the candidates stand for.

People are literally all over the map. It seems they only focus on the one or two issues that they have a personal passion about, and more or less ignore the rest. Some will say they refuse to vote for the Republicans because of their opinions of women's rights, or their definitions of rape. Some say they won't vote for President Obama because he hasn't created any jobs, and they even post statistics, and depending on which side of the coin a person is on, the statistics seem to completely contradict one another. Others have stated that the military is behind one candidate over another, because of their promise to bring all of our soldiers home, and end any and all wars we are currently fighting, or will ever be fighting in the future.

Those are just a few of the examples of the "one issue" mindset I have observed in action.

While our "democratic" system of government allows for just sort of a scenario, and each individual can vote as he or she pleases, for whatever reason they choose, the reason I find this particularly dangerous is because there is a lot more to our government than the person who is President. I like to call him the "face in front of the camera", because in essence, that's what he (or she, at some point) really is. The real power of our government does not lie in any one individual's hands. It's our senators and congressmen who decide what becomes a law, and whether or not we as a country will go to war with another. The President has little real power when it comes to making decisions for the country as a whole. Everything is put before a vote, and those congressmen and senators choose, depending on which majority wins that vote, whether a bill is passed or if it fails.

I don't profess to be an expert of any type on politics, and I usually try to stay away from political arguments, just because of how individuals tend to handle it. It's a lot like discussing a person's religious beliefs, and, if you remember a post I wrote not too long ago, about religion, I believe that that's what most of our government is based on, religion. But here's the thing. We all have some type of religious beliefs, and talking about politics with someone seems to be very similar to talking to them about their religion; but, when we are considering our choice for the Presidency, what we are in essence doing is interviewing the potential candidates for a JOB, and I don't believe then that we should take that person's "resume", and pick out one thing, whether we like it or not, and run with it, and use that as our sole basis for who we choose to vote for. And yes, there is cause for not hiring someone based solely on one aspect of their resume, but in most cases, a potential employer will look at the entire resume, and weigh the pros and cons, because we all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Any and all of the candidates for the Presidency have them, no matter what their party affiliation, and in my opinion, I think we need to look at each of them in that way, and ask ourselves one question.

"Does this person have the ability and experience required to do the job as it is laid out?"

Now, you may be saying, "well, one guy's already had the job for a while, and he sucks at it." But does he really? Remember what I said about the senators and congressmen? How much of what has gone on in his time in office did he himself really have complete control over? The answer is, very little. Each person given the job of President inherits things from the previous holder of the position, and spends a lot of time trying to implement changes. Some of the changes happen, some don't, but it's not for their lack of trying.

What I'm getting at here is that I think we need to have a different perspective on how we look at politics. We need to stop focusing on one or two of the issues, and we need to look at the the qualifications and experience of the individual, and ask ourselves if they are a good candidate for the job.

So what's the President's job description? Click here to read what I think is a pretty good article describing exactly what a President is supposed to do. Then take THAT knowledge, and decide who you think can do that job most effectively.

It's politics, it's about our President, but, it takes a little perspective to find the right person.

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