Saturday, October 27, 2007

Choosing a president

Someone asked me recently: Who do you think would make the best candidate for President? Of all the candidates out their right now running, which one is the best?

I said, “Let’s look at it this way? In the last decade, who were the best presidents? And, what single quality did those people have that made them a good president?”

She smiled, looked at me, and said, “Okay, I’m listening.”

“Well, would you agree with me that Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Kennedy and Ronald Reagan are the presidents, and that what quality they all shared was a good voice: they were all great communicators.”


“Because of that great skill at communicating, they were all able to sell their ideas to congress, and, most important, to the people. Ronald Reagan is a very good example, because he was a conservative and congress was mostly liberal. Yet, he managed to pass his conservative agenda through that congress. And because of that, he was dubbed by the media as, “The Great Communicator.”

“You say conservative, did you mean republican. Ronald Reagan was a republican and he had to deal with a democratic congress.”

“No, but you bring up a good point. The second most important quality I look for in deciding who will make a good president is whether they are an idea person or a party person.”

“Okay, so what’s the difference?”

“A political person, and you’d have to agree with me most presidents have been --”

“Go on.”

“A political person is a person… president… who will do anything he needs to do to get votes for, not only himself, but for his party. If that means supporting a conservative idea, then he will do that. If that means supporting a liberal idea, then he will do that. He, thus, is a political party president. He is either a republican or a democrat.”

“So, what’s an idea president?”

“An idea president is one who has an idea, a core set of beliefs, and no matter what party he is a member of, he will stick by his principals; stick by his ideas. Ronald Reagan is a perfect example of an idea president. He was a Kennedy conservative in the 60s, and he was a Kennedy conservative when he was a democratic governor of California. But, when the democratic party started supporting a more liberal agenda, he switched to the republican party because the democratic party no longer supported his views.

“You remember what he said.”

“That the democratic party left him. He didn’t leave the democratic party.”

“That’s right. And now you know why, because Ronald Reagan was a conservative. He didn’t change, the political parties did.”

“So, give me an example of a political president.”

“Well, that’s easy. George Bush is a political president, and so was Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Bill into law not because he personally thought it was a good idea, but because he thought it would garnish more conservative support for the democratic party and for himself when he was running for president in 2004.”

“So, you think that’s why George Bush supports the Immigration Bill, even though conservatives are against it? That’s why he called for going into Iraq, because he thought it would garnish him a stronghold on the conservative voter. That’s why he calls for conservative judges to the bench.”

“Close. I think you are correct on all accounts except for the judges. I really think Bush is a core Christian, and he would change to the democratic party if it supported his views on religion. I truly think Bush appoints conservative judges because they are Originalists, or rule by the Constitution, and not their opinion. Other than that, you are right on.”

“So, who makes the better president.”

“What do you think?”

“Obviously, the good communicator who is also an idea person. However, when he is running as president, he must run by his core values. He must stick to those ideas no matter what, or he will not win.”

“What do you mean?”

“Reagan and Al Gore are good examples. Reagan ran for President as a true conservative when he ran in 1976 when he lost in the primaries to Gerald R. Ford. Even though he lost, he stuck to the same values when he ran again in 1980, and he won in a landslide. Al Gore was another idea man. He was a liberal environmentalist to the core. But, when he ran for president, he didn’t run as an environmentalist. He ran as a democrat. Doing this, I think, was his major flaw.

“So, you think if Gore runs in 2008 that he would win if he ran as an environmentalist?”

“It wouldn’t guarantee it, but it would more closely sure up his base. People know him as an environmentalist, and he should run as such. You have to remember, Reagan run because he stuck to his ideas, he was a successful president because he stuck to his ideas. Gore lost because he didn’t.”

“So, who will you vote for?”

“I’m still researching, and, considering I won’t vote for myself, I will vote for, first of all, the person who most closely represents my ideas. I, too, have core ideas that are important to me. Which one of these candidates best represents my ideas.? Which one will select Originalist judges, which one will make sure taxes are not too much of a burden on the American people? Which one will veto frivolous spending bills?

“Then, when I limit my decision down to one or two, I will determine which one is the best pubic speaker, which one do I think has the best chance to convince the American people that his ideas are best for America.

“We may not find any one candidate of whom supports every idea that we hold in the core of our hearts, but which of these candidates is really, truly capable of defending America in the face of an Islamic terrorist threat. Who can convince not only you and me and Congress, but the rest of the world of what we need to do…

“Or, which of these candidates will be the next Teddy, FDR, Kennedy or Reagan? “

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