A few people here in Australia find it amusing that democrats and republicans, who are all supposed to be on the same “side” or same “team”, have a fight on their hands to become the democratic or republican nominee. Then the two winners will turn around and spend months fighting each other. If these candidates were children on a school ground, they’d be reprimanded for being mean, for not playing fair, or for calling each other names…behaviour we find unacceptable from children is suddenly the status quo from adults who are vying for the “most powerful job in the world”. I use the quotes because I don’t completely buy into that, though many would certainly disagree with me.
Politics aside, what makes the 2008 race so exciting is that we have a woman, a black man, a Mormon, a former POW with more public service than can be mentioned in one blog post, and a Jesus freak (less exciting than the rest, if you ask me) all in the thick of the race, and I think that’s something the United States, as a whole, should be proud of. Regardless of who you support or what side of the fence you are on, it is about time there was this kind of diversity in the race for president. Americans have a choice, a wide variety of choice, to select from. As a woman, I like seeing Hillary Clinton stepping up and facing the criticism, the media, the pressure that is on her right now. How dare people ask if she is too old, too weak or too emotional…because she is a WOMAN. No man has ever been called too old or too weak to be president. For the press to take unflattering pics of her and then criticize her appearance or her looks is just appalling.
The tragedy of it all, however, is that several characteristics which define the aforementioned candidates, could all be rolled into one person to make the “perfect candidate.” Obviously there is no such thing, as making 300,000,000 people happy will never happen. But that is where the middle ground comes in. Its getting all those nutters on the extremes to meet in the middle that is the challenge.
No matter who is eventually elected to office (another process Australians are dumbfounded about, but don’t ask me, I lived in the US for 11 years and still can’t find a reason to defend the method) , they’re going to have one mighty battle on their hands. The country’s deficit, the war, terrorism, the economy, immigration, education…there are so many issues facing the US that if I were elected to office, I wouldn’t know where to begin.
The last thing I’ll mention about the politicians is their catch phrases, and they all have them. Don’t stand up in a debate and speak to hear your own voice, throw a bunch of catch phrases at me, hurl a bunch of slander at your opponents and then think you’re going to get my vote. I want to know what you believe, I want to see you have consistency and conviction in your voting records. I want to know that you have a plan to make your country better for all demographics.
I think there should be more requirements for running for president, like a college application. Elect a committee, have candidates submit their resumes, videos and extra curricular activities. Conduct interviews and have a criteria for what it takes to be president. A good start would be # of years of service or experience. You can’t get in to college without 12 years of school, nor should you be eligible for president without a certain number of years of experience. And may the best (wo)man win.