Of best chances redux
“We’re not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief.”
–CJ, in the comments to Of best chances
The people who don’t want Barack Obama to be President of the United States are united in their message: He has done nothing, he has proven nothing, and his inspirational kumbaya speeches are just a clever throwback to forty-some years ago. These same people will have you believe that their candidate is better suited to solve the problems of our nation because they will fight, fight, fight against the opposing party, against the terrorists, against the people who seek to destroy our way of life, moral fiber, and old ladies. Obama, they say, lacks the experience necessary to be the leader of the free world.
It’s a pretty strong argument. So strong, I’m not going to spend a great deal of time trying to fight against it. It stands to reason, if I hire the most experienced babysitter to look after my kid for four hours, I should hire the most experienced person to babysit my nation for four years. Right?
Well, maybe. When I go looking for a babysitter (or, if you think I’m being too glib, extend the argument to anything for which you hire based on experience), I have a wide variety of people who have actually been babysitters before from which to choose. When I’m electing a President, the pool isn’t very big. In fact, unless I want to re-conscript Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush, I’ve got nobody I can put in office who has the kind of experience everybody is looking for.
The simple fact is, the training ground for being a President really doesn’t exist. The closest anybody comes to being prepared for the Presidency is being Vice President. I’m not saying that any of the remaining candidates aren’t prepared for the job. I’m simply arguing that when it comes time to take the oath, anyone elected will be entering uncharted personal waters. That’s why they have advisers, a Cabinet, and a system of checks and balances.
But, the Governors! Think about their experience. That’s what Proto said in his comment. “Governors usually make better executives than senators or congress folk,” he wrote. Historically, he may have an argument. I’m not goingg to fight on that. If we’re to go with Governors this time, though, it’s Huckabee or Romney. I do hope you’ll pardon me if I discount both candidacies out of hand. I could spend a few hundred words explaining how those gents are not aligned with my way of thinking, but I think most of you know me well enough to know I ain’t gonna be voting for either of them. What’s more, I’ve known enough Governors in my day (Mel Carnahan, Kirk Fordice, Ronnie Musgrove, Jim Hodges, and Mark Sanford to name the ones with whom I spent the most time) to know that, while good men and decent leaders, they are no more qualified to run the nation than Governor George Bush was.
With experience being a non-factor in my decision, I am forced to look to policy, leadership skills, and personality. As I wrote in the previous post, no one candidate combines all three to my satisfaction. I can’t imagine, unless one of my best friends decided to run for office, that I’ll ever find anyone who is the perfect candidate.
And so, I look for inspiration. I look for a message that meshes with what I hope for the country. I look for someone who has vowed from the outset to do his best to unite a very divided country and work toward a greater good on which we can all agree.
CJ wrote, “We’re not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief.”
I, for one, hope to. If Obama can inspire a guy this jaded and cynical, he stands a good chance of inspiring a nation.
It may sound like a lot of feel-good, smile-on-your-brothers, hippie drivel, but I want to live in an inspired country. In inspiration, hope springs.
And in hope, there is often peace.
I’ll take that any day.