We are only to March of 2012, and I’m already over the 2012 election year. And the presidential election hasn’t even truly begun.
Nevertheless, signs that it’s an election year are endless, everywhere, and frankly annoying—whether it’s bumper stickers, news coverage, or the absolute worst of them all—the campaign commercials. All of which I find to be quite uninformative. Especially considering that the majority of campaigning involves constantly putting down the other opponent and trying to get as many people/demographics to vote for you.
Remember when John Kerry in 2004 said “I just go for Buckeye football, that’s where I’m coming from,” while campaigning in Michigan. Seriously? Did he forget he was in Michigan and was supposed to say “I just go for Michigan football”? I’m pretty sure that was the intention—to court both fan bases. Which right then disqualifies him as a serious candidate in my book. You can’t root for both Michigan and Ohio State in football—it’s not possible. And is probably considered a mortal sin in some households—at least in the states of Michigan and Ohio.
Clearly, this is an example that candidates simply want to get as many votes as possible and will say whatever is necessary to do so. Heaven forbid they actually talk about their ideas and plans or develop a unified platform for what they would do as president for this country. No, instead let’s talk about the height of trees or cars or lakes or campaign play lists or how evil, incompetent, and dastardly the other candidate is (just YouTube any political commercial ever).
Sorry trash talking the competition does not make me like you anymore. Or respect you for that matter.
I’m more interested in hearing what you will do as president. What ideas do you have for this country? How will you address the current problems facing this country? Why should I entrust you with the leadership of this country? Why should I respect you? Why should people be willing to die for you?
Then again talk is cheap. How many people in politics actually do what they say they will do?
Which is why I think we should just throw all potential presidential candidates into an arena and have them duke it out Hunger Games style. Last one alive gets to be president—because clearly they really want the job if they are willing to fight to the death for it. And whoever wins is clearly more cunning and resourceful than the other candidates.
Just kidding. Kind of.
That’s a bit too barbaric—even if it would eliminate the endless campaigning, negativity, and the apparent need to divide the American people into two antagonistic camps: Democrats and Republicans.
So instead I propose this. Instead of campaigning, why don’t we have a competition for who becomes president?
There would be no political parties, no campaigning, no debates, and as such no need for campaign donations.
A candidate just enters his/her name, and he/she gets a chance to prove why he/she should be president.
That’s right: prove.
Each candidate would be given (with no prior notice or hints) three situations or tasks and would be judged on how well they can assess and handle the situation—sort of like a case interview or the Triwizard tournament now that I think about it.
One would deal with a domestic issue. The second would deal with a foreign affairs issue.
And the third would involve Air Force One, a group of Radek loyalists, hostages, and the candidate.
Just kidding. Not really.
This third task could be reworked—but Harrison Ford’s James Marshall was one badass (albeit fictional) president in Air Force One. (And who doesn’t want a badass president?)
During each task, the candidate would be judged on his problem solving ability—not that of his aides or advisors or campaign contributors.
He would have to prove that he is resourceful and can be a leader on issues that actually matter to Americans—you know like the economy or the national debt. And not just blame others.
He would have to show how he can handle the pressures of being president in the foreign arena.
Hopefully, the tasks would be a good barometer to see how this candidate would act as president.
Because does anybody really know how they are going to act until they are in the situation? So let’s put them in the situation.
Let’s see them prove their worthiness to be president and not just base it on a contest of who is the lesser evil.
Let’s get rid of party loyalties and judge a candidate for the qualities that actually matter in a president. You know the ability to think, to problem solve, to come up with innovative solutions, to bring people together rather than divide them, to lead.
You could probably even make it a blind competition in that the voters don’t really know anything about the candidate except how he handled the situations and how he was judged on it by impartial (if that exists) and also “blind” experts (I mean blind in the way the judges on The Voice are blind). The candidates could just be known by numbers.
Or we could continue with the current campaign and election system of voting for the lesser evil. Or you know seriously consider the Presidential Hunger Games.