Let's Groom The Next President
In an ideal society, Election Day should be the date when we choose between candidates. It should not matter whether they call themselves Whigs or Tories, Labor or Conservative, Democrat or Republican.
We have never had that ideal a society. Parties count as they have ever since our Founding Fathers came up with Federalists under Alexander Hamilton and Republicans under James Madison. (Interestingly, Madison's Republicans eventually evolved into today's Democrats.)
The two principal parties in America have become as huge and as bloated as the government itself. "Behemoth" and "Leviathan" come to mind to describe either party. And, although there have been occasions when an independent has won an election (Joe Lieberman is one example,) most attempts to buck the system result in splitting the vote and allowing the opposition to slide into victory. That is regrettable but nonetheless a fact.
I recall a friend who stood up for his conscience and voted for Libertarian Ron Paul in the last presidential election. That was tantamount to a vote for Barack Obama - the last thing my friend intended.
Another friend was convinced that neither the Republican nor the Democrat in 1992 warranted his vote; he cast his ballot for Ross Perot. Perot won 19 percent of the popular vote but did not win any electoral votes. Many feel he tipped the scale toward Bill Clinton. More proof of the power of the major political parties.
The key to winning most elections is money. Millions of dollars are needed to buy the broadcast time or space in newspapers that get your message across. Therein lies the muscle behind Republicans and Democrats. Each is a giant money-gathering machine. For a third party to upend them is nearly impossible. This has led to eliminating some very fine people from public office, but it remains the aforementioned regrettable fact.
What then can be done to oust the bad guys and put in the good guys? The tea party has demonstrated that moving from the grassroots to center stage can still be done. As such, the tea party movement is one to contend with. It has proved that "we the people" still have a strong voice and that, when roused, tea partiers can be a major force in elections.
The danger with this knowledge is that it can lead to thinking that the tea party should field its own candidates This could prove to be a major mistake. Think of the consequences of the Ross Perot syndrome.
A far better approach would be for the libertarians, conservatives and tea partiers to take control of the powerful Republican Party and help it defeat the totally out-of-control Democrats. That they are totally out of control is evidenced by their rush toward the abyss of ruin with power-mad ploys aimed at running our lives.
Face it: The current administration came into office with no experience in running anything. And thus far, their efforts have borne no fruit of recovery. These finger-pointers have done little to overcome unemployment in the private sector (gargantuan hiring in government does not count), have demeaned this nation in the eyes of the world and plunged us into a mountain of unsustainable debt. We must halt them before it is too late.
More and more, the litmus paper of politics forecasts a Republican sweep in November. If that happens, it is only the beginning. We must begin now to find and groom and promote the next president of the United States.
Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past and try to start a dynasty or nominate someone because it's that person's turn. We need a real leader - a true American with integrity and honor and a genuine acceptance of responsibility. A daunting assignment, but doable. Leaders are out there. They come in many colors and genders, religions and sizes, but they are findable.
Forty-four days until we vote the good guys in and the bad guys out. Just don't split the ticket.
Allan Jefferys, a former New York theater critic and newsman, lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com.
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