American politics have abandoned me in a sea of disillusionment. I know what I want in a Presidential candidate. However, both parties have become so dysfunctional that any candidate for whom I would be excited to vote, can never win their primary. Instead I will once again be obligated to cast my only vote for one of three possible candidates. None of which, after the primaries, will be worthy.
Mythical candidate number one has paid their dues and is now to be crowned with “their Turn.” This candidate has built a substantial organization by selling their soul to special interest groups, donors, lobbyists and other politicians. These past givers of former favors are now hoping to reap the benefit of having a “friend” in the White House and so the coronation of “Turn” is bequeathed. Usually, any candidate that has pandered enough to be crowned “Winner of the Turn,” is no longer honest enough to pass the “moral” test. They have developed a proclivity for spinning, acquiring and swindling. It was the concession for advancing through the ranks of a long line of “Turn” grabbers.
Candidate two has talent and is a good ethical contender. This candidate has performed in stellar fashion in previous elected or possibly appointed positions. Some may even come from industry. They are grounded in a viable moral or ethical ideology which has guided them through the pitfalls of the political battlefield. By virtue of a dynamic beginning and based on their past record, they are able to work their way into the party’s primary. It is during the primaries that they are destroyed. In order to gain the coveted nomination, they are forced to accommodate special interest and fringe groups debating trivial points of nonsense ad nauseam. The debates lead to concessions and promises of trifling’s which forge inroads into what was once a principled and ethical leader. Such battles are fought on differing fronts until any candidate that is successful in gaining the goal of their party’s nomination has become a blathering flip-flopper or even worse a compromised, bought and broken candidate totally defeated by their own party through an asinine primary election. Democrats to the left, Republicans to the right. In the end they have made a myriad of campaign promises or political platform statements that they disagree with but have promised to uphold. They too have been bought.
Candidate three is familiar to us. This candidate is unknown precisely because they are inexperienced. Notwithstanding the inexperience, they successfully navigate the primary without seeming to bend because they really had no past history to tie them to. With the help of the media, they charge forward with eloquence and with the appeal of a new sports car. This candidate emerges into the national election precisely because they are entertaining. The reality though is that they are still inexperienced and basically unqualified.
What I want is someone with experience, who is qualified for the position but hasn’t sold their soul to industry or special interests. Someone with a sense of morality grounded in a viable ideology greater than themselves. Someone who believes and wants to uphold the constitution not as a hindrance to progress but someone who understands its nature and holds the principles set forth therein as being greater than their own position in history. Someone firm and steadfast in international adversity but not a hawk. Someone who puts America first but is quick to assist and take a prominent place in the international community. I want a candidate who appreciates and can represent the diverse population of this nation; with an empathy for all but a predilection to none. I want fiscal responsibility without war-mongery. I want empathy without indulgence. What I really want is a democracy that works. I want what I can not have, a moderate.
Samuel Waen Jensen