In my previous article, I discussed the aspects in which a commander-in-chief would benefit from a background in business. In this article, I evaluate a background more similar to the majority of our candidates; a background in politics.
Obviously, politicians are the prime candidates to run for president. Whether senator or Secretary of State, politicians are used to campaigning, the duties of elected officials, and interactions with other politicians in general. Unfortunately, politicians in this day and age are perceived as corrupt, untrustworthy, and generally disliked. For this reason, a majority of voters were not looking for career politicians to take the presidential role. The rise of “outsider” candidates like Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump clearly displayed deep dissatisfaction with the current political system and desire for big change. This is due to the fact that career politicians have a certain disconnect with their people, stemming from their long-term service as a representative with certain benefits unavailable to a majority of Americans. However, a good background in politics can certainly be useful prior to becoming the president of the United States.
Hillary Clinton is the most obvious politician in the 2016 presidential election. She not only was a senator, but also a First Lady, and a Secretary of State under the Obama Administration. On a resume, she appears ideal for the presidency. She has the background and experience to be an excellent president, or so her campaign would like to convince you. The fact is that experience without education and reflection is years wasted. Hillary Clinton wasted her years in politics, refusing to learn from mistakes and in some cases even repeating them. For example, in 2012, Clinton praised the new “democratic” government of Egypt, of which the president had previously ran as a candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood. Since then, the government has put journalists on trial and mistreated detainees, even to the death. Yet when Iran promised to create peace in their region with the removal of sanctions, Clinton believed them also allowing them to enrich uranium as they call for Israel’s demise. These events alone may constitute as sufficient proof that Clinton’s foreign policy hours were ill-spent. It is no use to the American people to elect someone experienced at doing the wrong thing. Bad habits die hard, so the saying goes.
What does a political background have to do with being a commander-in-chief? I would argue that politicians, who are accustomed to making speeches to stir a crowd, have qualities that could make them good presidents. A good president will inspire his troops to fight, rather than order them to do so. Additionally, a great president will also be able to understand and convince his generals and officers that his decision is the correct decision. Politicians tend to have a certain talent of persuading their constituents to follow them, and of course, vote for them. However, it is a waste of political talent to convince people to walk down the wrong path. Therefore, it is logical to expect more skills than eloquence in a politician running for president.
Helpfulness, while not a talent, is something that some politicians seem to lack in leaps and bounds. Hillary Clinton, with her obvious inability to connect with voters, offers a perfect example of a quite experienced politician who lacks the ability to do anything helpful for the nation. As Secretary of State, her email scandal and her handling of Benghazi put American lives in danger, and furthermore showed that her political experience only allowed her to escape unscathed, at the expense the American people.
When I try to list helpful politicians, I’m more often reminded of local politicians than statewide or national politicians. The politicians who are helpful are the ones who take the time to answer questions or listen to the complaints of their constituents. They ask their neighborhoods to think about improvements and are always open to new ideas, even if they only serve to make the politician think about an issue from a different perspective. Clinton does not strike me as helpful, or open to thinking about an issue from the point of view of a general, or a soldier. To be a great commander-in-chief, you have to understand those you command.
One candidate has both the experience and the helpful characteristic to be president. Evan McMullin, a candidate in a 3-way battle with Clinton and Trump to win Utah, has experience in the CIA, and volunteered for counterterrorist operations in human intelligence after 9/11. His little-known candidacy allowed him the initial “local politician” feel, and his experience in both the CIA and national security adviser makes him ideally thoughtful and experienced in foreign policy. Although it is unlikely that he will win any other states besides Utah, his candidacy brings hope that one day in the future, we will have helpful, experienced politicians to elect as commander-in-chief.
The presidency is the most difficult job in the nation, and all citizens, as opposed to a small local community, must choose the right person for the job. Therefore, it is wise to evaluate presidential candidates based on several criteria. Honesty and sincerity as well as experience and helpfulness are the best qualities when I look for any candidates. Neither Clinton nor Trump adequately meet these demands, and as such I believe Evan McMullin is the ideal choice for president. Although an unlikely candidate, he would fulfill presidential duties well, supported by a team of conservatives who are inspired to vote for him, rather than, as famed author Douglas Adams once referred to, voting for one lizard over another.
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