I can't think of any prior Democratic or Republican candidate who would have been a very good president. All you have to do is observe what kind of citizen they have been since losing their election to understand my point. None has really put his ass on the line to defend his country. They've only made feeble attempts at best, even though there has never been a greater need for true heroism and patriotism.
Every elected official, prior to taking office, must take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. That is the only oath they take. That is their sacred obligation. If they don't have the will or the courage to meet that challenge, then they are not what we need or should be looking for in a president. In fact, we should not allow any public official to stay in office if they fail that test.
In addition to having the courage to live up to their oath of office, we should also be looking for people who have the wisdom and the character to lead the nation out of the abyss we're in. Where are they? All we see are only shadows of what we really need.
Too many candidates and elected officials have consciously or unconsciously placed or transferred their loyalty to their party or their constituent base. You say, 'well their loyalty should be to their constituent base!' No it should not. Their loyalty should be to the Constitution, and --assuming they have any --to their honor, and their own accumulated wisdom.
The way we elect our representatives now teaches us the wrong lessons. It teaches us not to be honorable citizens and it discourages honorable candidates from running for office.
The way Democracy is supposed to work is that citizens are supposed to have a choice between the best candidates available. But our system has evolved into one that does not encourage the best candidates to run, nor does it allow them to win if they do run. Our best potential candidates never get a chance to be heard and too many citizens wouldn't vote for them anyway, because they don't believe those people could ever win.
Today the system is fixed. Two political parties conspire to shut out all legitimate opposition. Most of us don't really vote for the person we would like to see be president. We vote against the person we think would be the worst of two choices. Most people won't vote for a third party candidate because they consider it a wasted vote.
There is a procedure that would fix this malady. It's called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). But neither political party will support it because that would destroy their two party monopoly. They don't really believe in democracy... at least not if it threatens their jobs.
That leaves us with only one other option: to be willing to vote for the best candidate even thought we know the worst candidate will win. And it means being willing to do that time and again until either the minority party puts up the best candidate, (which inevitably will be the one who will also promise to fight for IRV once they are elected), or until enough citizens (who are truly voting their conscience) muster enough votes to elect the person of their choice.
So saving America is problematic. It requires the transformation of the electorate; and the transformation of the electorate requires the steadfast courage and commitment of a critical mass of true patriots. How many true patriots do we need? Just enough to lose an election ... in fact, just enough to lose every election until most citizens begin to see the light and become willing to vote for what they really want.
Just imagine the wrath that will reign down on such patriots before that kind of transformation will take place ... but that's what it's going to take to create the transformation I'm talking about.
Eventually, most citizens will come to realize that if they want to win ... if they want to save their country ... they will have to adopt the strategy they have long since abandoned ... the strategy of voting for the best qualified person for the job ... not the second best ... not an illusion ... not a rationalization ... but the best person, the best leader America can produce... no matter what his or her party is, or even if he or she doesn't have a party.
Here's the link to my answer to George, the responder who took issue with my op-ed piece above and whose email address came back address unknown when I tried to answer him: www.gpln.com/answertogeorge.htm