The job of president of the United States was meant to be a manager who would lead the executive branch to efficiently carry out the business of the nation’s government. It still is that, but it’s also become a symbol of the battle between competing claims to exercise a moral imperative: on one side, those who want government to enforce upon the rest of us their idea of the one right way Americans should live their lives, and on the other those who have a broader view of the meaning of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The situation is tedious, and divisive, and destructive of our ability to get along with those of our fellow citizens who have different opinions of the proper role of government in our lives. What’s worse is, the campaign for the job never stops—thank you, sir, may I have another!
Right now, five weeks before the election, is when we should be starting the campaign. That’s time enough to review information about the candidates, time for reflection…and after election day it would be time to go back to regular life, where if you choose to you could escape the obsession with the daily minutiae of politics. Time enough to make a reasoned decision, and move on.
The two major party candidates for president have their first side-by-side appearance tomorrow night (I’ll be surprised if they actually engage in debate), to talk about issues and make the case why we should give him the responsibility of managing—just for starters—our national defense; our response to global pandemics and natural disasters; our relationships with our allies and with our enemies; the delivery of our mail! Someone we can trust to look out for our country’s best interests, and to obey its laws.
So, I’ll watch the debate tomorrow and I’ll think, which of these guys do I want representing us…me…for the next four years? Will it be the guy who
- mismanaged the country’s response to a global pandemic which has (so far) taken the lives of more than 200,000 Americans?
- who thinks he’s very clever to avoid paying his fair share of the taxes the rest of us pay to fund government operations?
- who did that by running businesses that lost many millions and millions of dollars, despite his claim to be a terrific businessman and dealmaker? Who couldn’t avoid bankruptcy running casinos?!
- who is creditably accused—including by some of his own relatives—of trying to surreptitiously gain control of the family fortune from his senile father to avoid personal bankruptcy?
- the guy who was impeached for trying to bribe a foreign leader to fabricate damaging information about a political opponent? (Shouldn’t impeachment be higher on the list?)
- and who then took revenge against a career Army officer who told the truth?
- who is a religious bigot?
- who is now planting the “evidence” he can use to challenge his own election outcome?
- who has so appalled and alienated a significant number of the members of the party he took over, including many who worked in his administration until they just couldn’t take it any more, that they’re fighting to make the Republican Party great again?
- who lies to us…constantly, about…about everything? Who cannot be trusted, not by his fellow citizens or by the rest of the world?
(There are plenty more where those came from.)
No, it will not be that guy.
You get to make your own choice, and you’re pretty smart, and there are five weeks left to think it over…before you get to make a secret choice, and no one will ever know who you voted for unless you tell them. Just sayin’…