Dr. Ellen K. Rudolph Blog Gamesmanship in Presidential Election Politics – Dr. Ellen's Blog

Gamesmanship in Presidential Election Politics

Posted on 2016-08-18 By

I wish sometimes that I weren’t so well-read in American politics. Presidential elections are the worst, and I am neither fascinated nor enamored by what we Americans must endure during our excruciatingly long presidential campaign seasons.

What we suffer is a regrettable mix of PROMISES PROMISES and wealth-generation for a select few.

In my ideal world I would limit presidential campaigns to a period of six months. If candidates cannot appeal to the people within that time-frame, then they may as well stuff it. I would also cap campaign donations to $10 dollars each and nix PACS entirely.

The gamesmanship in Presidential election politics demeans the office of the Presidency.

The pressing question should not be who is the better or most favored politician but who is the most able leader?

It should not be who already knows every fact and facet in foreign and domestic affairs, but who is the most astute of the lot who can quickly learn what he or she needs to learn in the course of their Presidency.

Americans are extremely tired of lawyer politicians and career politicians.

American voters are also not as ignorant as politicians would have them be. Today especially, voters are looking for real answers; not the same ole same ole political answers but visionary ideas about the things that will make America strong and safe, and a force for good both at home and abroad.

Having  a  specific foreign policy is far less important to most American voters than mindful, calm and mature leadership in a presidential candidate who is a highly skillful communicator, who inspires the American public with their thoughtfulness and who behaves admirably in their own lives.

Is that too much to ask of a future leader of the free world?

We all know by now that Congress doesn’t care what we think. The question we must ask ourselves of Presidential candidates is do THEY care what we, the people think. And what is the evidence for that?

Promises Mean Nothing

Even a bold statement like “I WILL DO THAT!” is critically dependent on all the other politicians that Americans elect to both houses of Congress.

Nevertheless, the American electorate at large seems to respond to empty promises, which only tells me that their votes are emotionally, not factually based. A candidate’s life-long track record offers the most important and compelling evidence for what kind of a leader they will be of the free world.

Have you ever watched those televised “man in the street” interviews? Jay Leno often used to do them, and now John Stossel regularly does them.

Most of these folks being interviewed don’t know the names of anyone in our country in important leadership positions, but they sure know who Johnny Depp is and Matt Damon.

George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Zac Efron, Charlie Hunnam, Gerard Butler are star personalities that I wouldn’t recognize even if I crashed into them and knocked them down on a bustling sidewalk in New York City, or in Hollywood. But the man in the street knows them!

Although they can’t name the sitting Vice President of the United States, or tell us who Benjamin Netanyahu is, or even tell us why we celebrate the 4th of July, they might recognize a photograph of Queen Elizabeth but probably not one of Margaret Thatcher, or Putin or George Washington.

Most also cannot name a single Congressman from their home state. Nor do they know the name of the first person to famously step down on the surface of the moon.

Even worse: they don’t know how many stars are in the flag of the United States, or how many states make up the United States.  Many cannot even identify the Capital of the United States.

As for why we celebrate the 4th of July, they haven’t a clue. Independence Day, huh?? what?

Regarding the typical Man-in-the-Street responses:

1- Does this reflect the quality of education in our schools? (yes)
2- Does this reflect how knowledgeable people are in general? (yes)
3- Does this reflect how little people care about politics? (yes)
4- Does this reflect how little people know about our Constitution? (yes)

Does this reflect how you think?
(God knows…but I certainly hope not)