What our Candidates Should Want in us.

I highly suggest reading
What We Want in a President by LAWRENCE B. LINDSEY. Strictly an Op-ed, but wow, I was impressed! (Some might say that is a very easy task.) Nevertheless, he covers the idea about what Americans should expect from a President and our responsibility to understand the candidate's strengths and weaknesses.

Since he mentioned Fred Thompson, I will get my plug in.

Or consider the comments of a friend of mine and active fund-raiser about Fred Thompson, who is my choice. My friend agreed that Mr. Thompson was smart and well informed and had good judgment. But he felt that Republicans should definitely not nominate him because he was temperamentally unsuited to the campaign trail. Mr. Thompson probably would rather discuss the nuances of issues than shake hands or write thank-you notes to donors, two skills very important to the running.Polls now suggest my friend may be right. If so, all it means is that the process of selecting a president has little to do with the skills needed for the job. [1]

Quite. This does not display a weakness in the candidate, but a weakness in ourselves. We have spent most of our lifetimes being groomed by the MSM to faithfully trust their judgement on the candidate that best suits the needs of the country. Beyond Thompson, how do polls, media plugs, 30 second campaign ads, or 60 second op-eds on stage really gauge what a candidate is about. You and I have a responsibility to research these people and understand their backgrounds. This does not mean tirelessly pounding website after website or story after story. It means look at what they are saying, take time to judge their promises versus their past. An hour of research, every couple of days, done by an interested voter can actually change the course of this country for the better.

Our job as voters should be to select someone who will (1) know what he or she doesn't know, (2) get up to speed quickly, and (3) avoid making serious mistakes in the meantime. [1]

That is alot to ask of another human being. But when that human being is asking to lead the free world they better be up to the task. Although, it is their responsibility to "prove" it, it is our responsibility to find out if that proof is real or media generated.

Mr. Lindsey uses three criteria that I feel are a good place to start.

First, has the candidate faced a crisis or overcome a major setback in his or her life?

Second, has the candidate had a variety of life experiences? The presidency is a job for a generalist.

Third, can the candidate tell the difference between a foreign enemy and a political opponent? [1]

These are a great measurement of their personal characteristics. It should not stop there, a voter needs to look at the information about the political history of the candidate and couple that with their personal characteristics.

A certain degree of ruthlessness is a necessary attribute for any successful CEO or president. But our liberty, which is ultimately our nation's greatest resource, requires that a president restrain this trait when acting domestically. [1]

While being an admirer of Burke, I really appreciated the above mentioned comment the most. Burke understood that their must be a balance between the liberty of the individual and the authority of the state. As a conservative with self admitted Libertarian leanings, I want a candidate who matches this quality with actions not words.

We should seek an individual who is ruthless about protecting us against others, but acts with charity toward all and malice toward none at home: a tall order. But this trait comes out on the campaign trail, and in the past job performances of the candidates. We should opt for candidates who are ruthless in debating real public policy issues but steer away from attacking the personal traits of their opponents. [1]

Hallelujah! Take Mr. Lindsey's advice to heart. It is high time that we should critique ourselves and how we go about judging our candidates. Understand the person who you want to be your President. Know their strengths, weaknesses, their past, and try to understand them. No one is expecting perfection, that is unrealisitc. But if their Presidency is an abysmall failure, is it really their fault? Afterall, it was us who elected them.




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