Is there such thing as a perfect candidate? Somebody who could solve all of the world’s problems with the snap of a finger? Of course not.
But as November nears, the opportunity to choose the leader of the free world presents itself once again.
Love him or hate him, there is no denying the division that has been seen in this country since the election of President Donald Trump. A large turnout is expected for the 2020 race, and it feels as if there are infinite candidates on the ballot.
While there is no such thing as that candidate who can save the world, there is that candidate who can do the best job. It’s not their name that matters, it’s their qualities that do.
Some members of 990WBOB’s political team sat down to discuss what would make a perfect candidate.
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When thinking about my ideas of an ideal president, I'm not thinking of a specific party, creed, or gender. Rather, I focus on certain traits and life experiences that I think any man or woman will need in order to truly lead this nation.
I would like to see a President who has worked a front-line, retail or customer service job. In these jobs, that mostly all of us had growing up, we very often had to deal with cranky, irritated and sometimes just miserable people who thought they had the right to talk down to us because of our job. Usually, we would have to take the verbal barbs and not fight back. Having this background would ensure that one realizes that just because people are 'below' you in terms of job title or economic status, they are still human beings and must be treated as such.
My ideal president has also had a job in management. When we watch shows like Undercover Boss, we see CEO's that fail miserably at doing front-line tasks as mentioned above. While this is true, I feel that being in management also denotes taking a 'big picture' look at situations. Further, in recent years people who lead companies or organizations are almost vilified - as if they are modern day robber barons. A candidate with management experience would understand that leaders are not just sitting in conference rooms smoking cigars; very often they are up nights worried about making payroll, among other pressing needs that the public and the rank and file are not always privy to.
This ideal president would also have experienced at least a couple of months of involuntary unemployment. Waking up having a job, and going to bed with uncertainty of your next paycheck and how to provide for yourself and your family is something that has been experienced my millions of Americans, including myself. Someone who has been through this understands that people without jobs are not 'leeches', they are not drains on the system, they are human beings who need a hand up.
Bring me a candidate who has these life experiences and I will support them regardless of party, creed, gender, or any of the associated window dressings. Because they, truly, will have the experience necessary to become President of these United States.
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If you were to ask me to describe what my ideal President would be like, it would have to be an individual who has the same values and vision of what America is. Presidents swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States" but it goes much deeper than an oath. They must believe in the US Constitution. That it is our country’s founding document; an enduring covenant, not a flexible document.
They must believe that we are all created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and that the rights of the people, must be preserved for future generations. They must support equality under the law for all, because we are a country of laws and the rule of law must be followed, as well as appointing judges to apply those laws, not legislate from the bench.
They must believe in free markets, limited government and that the people, not the government, are the best stewards of our country’s God-given natural resources; that we are a government of the people, by the people, for the people. A President should understand the importance of a strong national defense, secure borders and keeping America safe and prosperous. America should come first while also implementing good foreign policy and trade with our allies and maintaining peace through strength.
Lastly, that ideal president wouldn’t just believe in the American Dream, they would work to make it available to every American by returning the power and control back to the people to make their own decisions about what’s best for themselves and their families.
Often, I am torn over what I find to be the most important virtues of a president. I find myself drawn to those who are charismatic — how the person appears, and not how the evidence stacks up for them. As incongruous as my values can be, I’ll try to distill it through some form of sense here.
Experience or intelligence: You don’t build a bridge without first obtaining the certification of an engineer. You don’t represent those on trial without first going to law school. And you certainly don’t head to the Oval Office without having the experience as a leader and intelligence to make the right decisions. Intelligence means thinking rationally, considering the facts in front of you and realizing the right answer. More importantly, it means knowing when you don’t know. Presidents have so much power, and must realize that they are experts in nothing. They must surround themselves in the experts who can help inform the correct decisions.
Bring unity: The country is the most divided it has been in recent memory, and the president must be able to bring unity. This can take many forms — a moderate, someone with charisma, etc. — but it is now a necessary virtue for the president of today.
Decisive: For this virtue, I think of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In fact, all of these virtues are based of FDR, who is, in my opinion, the greatest president America has ever seen. In FDR’s first 100 days, he changed the path of this nation in a decisive and effective manner, saying goodbye to the indecision of Herbert Hoover and ushering in a modern United States. Any president must be able to make these decisions, cognisant of the repercussions but not concentrated on them.
Of the people: This one is simple: You can’t govern the people, pretending to know what will help them, if you are not one of them. FDR may have failed this test to some extent — he was a Roosevelt, after all — but you can’t win them all.
To summarize: A president should be like FDR. To me, it’s that simple.
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It’s easy to say “I want this candidate because they’re the Democrat” or “I’m voting for this candidate because they’re the Republican on the ballot,” but it’s so much deeper than party affiliation.
At any level of leadership, I look for three things in a candidate. Somebody who can unite the people, somebody who is willing to listen, and somebody who understands that people can be lifted without lowering others.
Dysfunction and divide are inescapable truths of working with others. A good leader can make it clear that no matter what the issue is, we are all on the same team, and all trying to achieve the same goal; in this case maintaining a prosperous nation. While we might take a different road, the goal is to always wind up at the same place. A President needs to be able to remind us of that.
At the same time, while we’re always going to be somewhat divided, we won’t be able to understand the other side of the aisle or grow if we can’t communicate. Listening is at least half of any conversation. We don’t have to all always agree. That’s unrealistic. But we need to always give people who we disagree with a chance to explain themselves. Without doing so, the nation would never make any adaptations that work for everyone.
I think one of the biggest, generally unspoken issues in this country today is that we don’t focus on wanting to see all Americans thrive. Sure. We say we want them to. But do we really? I do. And I want to see it happen without bringing people down. Instead of trying to take away “privilege,” we should be trying to provide as many people with the same “privilege.” If somebody is better off, they shouldn’t be made out to be a villain. Our leader should want every person to be extremely successful, not for every person to be average. It’s impossible for everybody to be at a top level, but we shouldn’t drag those down who are.
Overall, I think everybody in America can agree on those three factors. All of the candidates would say that they seek to have all three qualities. It’s a matter of if the people of America will put in the work to find a candidate who actually stands for those three characteristics.
Covering ideal candidates, non ideal candidates, and everyone in between, 990WBOB is your home for election coverage in 2020. Tune in to all of our shows, and read all of our articles for updates on election season.
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