Too many Americans are not engaged in the political process. There are a variety of reasons why, but I think the largest is that they don’t like their choices of candidates. All too often, it is a matter of choosing “the lesser of two evils.”
We all have this idea of a perfect candidate that will come out of the shadows and save our country. Someone we can proudly support that hasn’t done anything wrong in their life and has made all the right moves. Their 2.1 children are perfect and well behaved. We will be able to count on them to not make any mistakes or saying anything foolish.They have years of experience building consensus with disparate parties. They have left every place better than they found it. They will vote exactly like we want on every bill and have perfect judgement and omnipotent wisdom to find the right solution. They are independently wealthy from some altruistic profession that allows them to bypass the need to even speak with special interests.
When that person comes along -- THAT is when we will get involved in politics.
First, that person doesn’t exist. If they did, they wouldn’t be the perfect candidate for the person within 100 feet of you -- much less the entire country.
Second, if they DID exist, would the perfect candidate want to even get involved in the current mess? All they see is the bickering of two parties that are trying to convince the country of how evil the other party is. Furthermore, is the public doing anything about this? Who are they electing? After all, the public has the power to define the system and choose the people they want, right?
I suspect the perfect candidate is watching us -- the voters. Because of their success and stature, they have much to lose. He or she is paying attention to how we are behaving and who we are supporting -- and how vocal we are about it.
OR perhaps we are silent. Completely silent. Letting the people with the biggest bullhorn choose for us. Right now, they are hesitant. They see voters choosing partisan candidates that are beholden to one of two political parties. They don’t see a willingness of voters to break away from the political duopoly we have.If YOU were the perfect candidate, would YOU run for office? Have the voters shown they are choosing reasonable people – supporting them, both financially and MOST importantly, being vocal about it.
The perfect candidate is probably a savvy businessperson. They are looking for market interest in the “product.” We have shown them limited willingness to “buy” a less partisan candidate -- so why would they go about trying to sell one? Instead, they are diligently working on their business, or organization while spending the appropriate time with their loved ones. They are having reasonable conversations with their peers about real problems they face and finding common sense solutions.
Often times, their progress is measured in incremental chunks. Working each day toward improving whatever project(s) they are on. They have a vision of what they would like to achieve, but realize reality might alter their course. They know progress is incremental.
So we keep waiting on the sidelines. Waiting. Perhaps the perfect candidate will make their first mistake and decide to run in the current system. OR, we could start making little changes bit by bit and help create the proper environment -- one that doesn’t need the perfect candidate to come along and save us.