Dan Carlin has got me thinking again. An older episode from his Common Sense podcast has me considering finding the right person to vote into the Oval Office. We hear that a lot – we just need to find the right person for the job, and they’ll be able to go up to Washington and fix everything, but I’m not so sure. And there’s a few reasons for that.
To start at Dan’s point, how do we know the “right person” we get is the right person? He talks about it at 11:12 in case you’re interested. With how voting has become in America and the whole first-past-the-post thing, we usually find ourselves voting for just two people in each presidential election, no matter how many other candidates are running or who else could be running. What this usually turns into is just voting for the person we think is the lesser of two evils.
The party’s themselves aren’t helping either. The Democratic National Committee have chosen their horse in the last presidential election and the one now, even if it’s against the popular choice. And Republicans are busy snuffing out anyone who tries to challenge Trump as the Right’s runner.
Maybe someone else is the right person, but they never had a chance at running. If we limit the pool to just two candidates every 4 years and the candidates are chosen by someone else, and we end up voting not for whom we want but for who will do the least damage, how do we hope to get the actual right person for the job?
Secondly, we’ve been voting in the “right person” in every election. Since the first election of this country, the people have voted on whom they thought was the right person – and this is where that has gotten us. Why would now be different? Why should we think that any candidate today is different from who got voted in yesterday?
Lastly, even if we get the “right person”, could they do anything once they get up there? Washington has become so clogged up the past few decades, it hardly seems the gears can turn anymore. Corruption, bureaucracy and tribalism have seen to that. And forget it if the President is in a different party than Congress. Let’s say Hillary was the right person in 2016 – with a Republican House and Senate, how much could she have done?
Relatively, Congress from days past at least understood compromise was required in order to pass legislation. Sacrifice a little to gain a lot for the people. But when was the last time you saw that compromise from our current Congress? And don’t get me wrong, I think the deadlocks are caused many times more by Republicans, but regardless, if a piston doesn’t move the whole engine won’t run right. I think you can say that even if we got the perfect candidate in there, the current government is so shot, it wouldn’t matter.
And all of this makes me wonder if we are able to vote in enough of the right people to fix what we’re in at all? Or is the system so fundamentally broken, it doesn’t matter how many of those people there are? With the way I’m leaning right now, it’s the latter. I’m curious to know what you think though.
We’ve seen Trump display how one person can really muck up the whole system if they want to – can one person correct the course all on their own? What if they can’t? Where does that leave us? I think if we travel down the wrong road for just a while, the right person can help turn it around somehow. But what happens when we get beyond that point? And is it reasonable to say the US has gotten beyond that point? Sometimes I think so.
So what’s it going to take to turn this bus around?