So… how did we get here?
The United States, self-billed as the greatest country in the world, is lead by Donald Trump, a man whose shown no interest in public service but instead largely used his time to-date for his own self-interest.
I don’t blame Donald Trump for his presidency.
I blame us.
In fact, in Tuning In I help readers understand the simple, yet unstoppable, strategy Trump’s campaign used to win the White House. It’s kind of brilliant in it’s simplicity and Democrats seem completely mystified by it.
Bigger than Trump, I think every voter is equally responsible for leading us to the point where a C-list reality TV show celebrity got elected President of the United States. We’re not even talking about A-list reality TV celebrities like Jeff Probst, Kim Kardashian, or Chip & Joanna Gaines. We’re talking the host of The Apprentice, a show only your grandparents have watched in the last 7-8 years. We could have just as easily elected Pat Sajak. (Pat, if you’re reading this… think about it.)
So how did we get here?
I think every American needs to ask themselves this question: Why is it that no one good is running for President of the United States?
Reflect for yourself. Why didn’t Colin Powell run in 2008 against Barack Obama? Instead voters were left with a choice between a young guy with ideas and everyone’s weird uncle John McCain and his truly insane friend Sarah Palin.
Think further back… in 2000, why did we get Al “the bore” Gore against George “we feel bad we didn’t re-elect your dad” W. Bush?
Do you remember that Mitt Romney was the GOP’s choice in 2012? I mean, at least he’d held an office before, unlike Trump who hadn’t been elected as much as HOA president in one of his own buildings…
Finally, think about the 2016 slate on both viable parties…
The Democrats offered up:
- Hillary Clinton, on paper she was qualified, but few were truly excited about her which was totally offset by an entire network in FoxNews that rose to power by hating she and her husband. Her biggest individual claim to fame, politically speaking, seemed to be losing to Barack Obama in 2008.
- Bernie Sanders who literally had one speech. It was a good speech. But man, you need to change it up a bit from time-to-time.
The Republicans offered up:
- Donald Trump, whose biggest political qualifications seemed to be purveying in conspiracy theories and getting made fun of at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
- Marco Rubio, whom Josh Lyman pulled out of Casting Central to play the 2016 reprisal of Matthew Santos in The West Wing.
- And about 12 other current or former Republican governors with no discernible difference. On stage they looked like the last 12 dudes to get picked on the church basketball league.
With eight years to prepare the Democrats top choice was their #2 choice in 2008? Really? No one better emerged? Joe Biden could have been President but he said no.
With eight years to prepare no one better emerged from the Republican party than a guy with a cheesy storyline pitting middle managers against one another? Paul Ryan could have been President but he said no.
Instead, we’re stuck with a guy who didn’t ever really think he’d win and doesn’t seem all that interest in the actual job of being President against a person so hated that FoxNews was the #1 rated news network for a decade.
And it begs the question: What’s wrong with that job? Why does no one seem to want it?
Literally, we had no good options for 2016
Voters weren’t really left with options. In 2016, we each walked into the voting booth with the same that feeling that you walk into Chili’s: “Which type of ‘meh’ should I select today?”
We had no intellectually honest alternative to Obama in 2012 or 2008.
No one better emerged than Gore & Bush in 2000. A former VP and the son of a former President… we really didn’t try too hard, did we?
Why. Won’t. The. Best. Candidates. Run. For. President?
- Why don’t our best and brightest aspire to be president?
- Why don’t people who look really qualified and popular run?
- Why aren’t our best military minds going into politics?
- Why aren’t inventors?
- Why aren’t thought leaders?
- Why do emerging politicians stop themselves from moving up the ranks?
I think it speaks to two fundamental problems with our system right now:
- The election cycle is too long. Not very many highly driven people really want to campaign for nearly 2 years for an opportunity at a 4-year job. If we shortened this down to 6 months I think better people would run.
- The scrutiny is inhumane. It takes a certain type of person to be willing to put your family and yourself under that microscope. If I were President my family would live at Camp David.
Readers: Leave me a comment. I’d like to know why you think we’re getting such poor choices at the top political job in our nation.