Rod St. Aubyn: America's Choice
The 2016 Presidential Election promises to be interesting. Americans are already being exposed to possible choices each with their own strengths and weaknesses. My personal hope is that Americans will use their intellect and brains rather than choosing a candidate with the best slogan or personal appeal.
In my own opinion, in 2008 Americans selected their president disregarding experience and instead made their decisions based on campaign promises for “hope and change.” Instead of choosing a candidate with extensive business experience, executive experience, or foreign relations experience, the American people decided to put their hopes in someone with limited legislative experience, advocacy as a community organizer, and someone who would become the first minority as the most powerful man in the free world. Though debatable, America’s stature on the world stage has been at one of the lowest points in this country’s history. Other world powers question our commitment to dealing with the world’s problems such as terrorism and the global economy.
Though considered the Democratic front runner, Hillary Clinton has been besieged with issues long before her formal candidacy. Questions about Benghazi, her private email accounts and missing emails, and now issues with the Clinton Foundation are all lingering with the public. Many of these issues have prompted others to enter the race. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a self-described democratic socialist, has thrown his hat in the ring for the Democratic nomination. Now former Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, has decided that he wants the Democratic nomination. With a lot of baggage as Governor including the high crime rate in his state, high tax rates, and a failed health insurance exchange that was one of the first to begin with high accolades and encouragement from President Obama, O’Malley will face criticism. What is interesting is that O’Malley was previously a strong supporter for Hillary Clinton. I wouldn’t be surprised that others may also enter the race if Hillary Clinton’s problems multiply. Former Sen. Jim Webb and Former Gov. Lincoln Chaffee are considering a run.
On the Republican side, it is probably easier to list those that are not announcing or at least considering a run for the nomination. Touting their executive experience Gov. Scott Walker, former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. George Pataki, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee have all announced or are considering a run for the nomination on the Republican side. With legislative experience Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Marco Rubio, and former Sen. Rick Santorum are in the mix. Running with their own business or medical experience is Carly Fiorina and Dr. Ben Carson.
Every Republican and Democratic candidate or possible candidate each brings their own strengths and weaknesses based on their own experiences. It will be interesting to see who each party endorses. When it comes to the actual vote from Americans what trait or experience will be the most important? Will it be?
- Executive experience
- Social conservatism
- Business experience
- Fiscal conservatism
- Legislative experience
- Knowledge of foreign relations
Or will it be based on name recognition, popularity, or the best campaign slogan?
If you are a very pro-life and a fiscal conservative, but the selected candidate is not as fiscally conservative as you, what do you do?
I just hope this time the American voter puts some serious thought into it. America and the world desperately need a strong leader again who can work with all the players in Congress and the world leaders. It is America’s Choice.