For what seems like the past two years this country has been considering who to choose for the next president of the United States. I saw my first roadside sign featuring a potential candidate long before most people had decided to even to run for the office.(No, they did'nt make the final cut) I knew then that it would be a long, long, LONG campaign. I also knew, considering the political temperament over the past few years that things would likely get ugly.
And that is what I just don't understand. Why are people so vicious in their attacks on the current president, as well as the potential presidential candidates? While I don't agree with everything our current president has done, I still believe he deserves our respect. He was elected twice, as was his predecessor, who I had far greater issues with. It surprised me that this former president could seem to do no wrong, despite having scandal, after investigation, after legal proceedings after impeachment. At times his private life made public would make any tabloid editor drool with happy anticipation. Yet despite my personal dislike for all of that, I still believe that he deserved the respect for the office he held. During Mr. Clinton's tenure some positive things were done that he deserves credit for, he did and still does have an amazing gift for public speaking, and is a natural diplomat. Of course he made as well as all who have gone before him some very poor decisions.
Why in the race for the "big seat" is everyone so polarized? If some say that they are for one candidate, or express, as I have admiration for something a candidate has said, even though they are not my voting choice, do some immediately decide that I am either a complete political idiot, or someone out of touch with reality. Therefore I tend to avoid most politically minded conversations for the potential argument that could ensue.
The current president has made both good and some very bad decisions, yet he has received none of the respect that usually goes with the office. While he's not the most eloquent of speakers, but he sure can handle a press conference. In comparison to his immediate predecessor, the sitting president's private life is rather boring. He sometimes makes decisions that seem short-sighted and often goes against his advisers when making decisions. Sometimes he's proven wrong in those choices, but he is also often right. Somehow the right decisions get no attention from his critics, only the wrong ones. Mr. Bush has had to make unpopular decisions and quite difficult ones as some of the situations faced were unprecedented. Of course every president since Washington has found themselves thus, and so will whomever we elect in November.
We can "If I was president, I'd do this" all day long, but for what end? We elected them to make those hard decisions so we don't have to. And of course when making hard decisions, one is likely to upset someone along the way. that is why they are called H-A-R-D decisions, because of the potential, often unknown consequences.
One would hope that people would stop listening to the nastiness, the half truths, the innuendos, the slanted polling, the talking heads in the media and simply look at each candidate and the merits of what they hope to bring to the table. By looking at their views on important issues, their voting record, if they have held legislative office, what they have written, business decisions they have made, and lastly and least importantly personal lifestyle choices.
Maybe if we didn't have a plethora of pundits on every media station trying to tell us how to think the decision of choosing the president would be easier. Of course it would be nice if Congress would enact a law limiting all the campaign hullabaloo that gets worse and worse every year,. But then I remember that they take regular dips into that murky campaigning pool themselves. And I guess that some journalism graduates are thankful for the job that reporting on the circus that is politics allows. I just wish this circus would at least have a decent high wire act.