blueollie

Figurehead Presidents?

Needless to say, Trump as POTUS disgusts me to no end. And at the outset I’ll say this: if Trump is the R nominee in 2020 (as I fully expect him to be) and Oprah is the D nominee, I will swallow some pink bismuth and vote for Oprah. Reason: nuclear codes; I see her as less likely to start a nuclear war than that unqualified, egocentric, walking-talking example of the Dunning-Kruger effect that we have in office right now.

But the very idea that it is a realistic possibility (albeit, I hope, an improbable one) that our country will choose two TV show hosts as the nominees for the highest office in the land makes me ill.

I think that this article sums it up for me:

Indeed, the magical thinking fueling the idea of Oprah in 2020 is a worrisome sign about the state of the Democratic Party. That Ms. Winfrey could probably beat those considered likely front-runners — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand — is testament to how demoralized and devoid of fresh political talent the post-Obama party has become.

In a way, the conversation on the left (and the anti-Trump right) around Ms. Winfrey is more troubling than the emotional immaturity and anti-intellectualism pulsing out of the red states that elected Mr. Trump. Those voters have long defined themselves in opposition to the intellectual seriousness Democrats purport to personify.

If liberals no longer pride themselves on being the adults in the room, the bulwark against the whims of the mob, our national descent into chaos will be complete. The Oprah bandwagon betrays the extent to which social causes and identities — and the tribal feelings they inspire — have come to eclipse anything resembling philosophical worldviews. American politics has become just another team sport, and if suiting up a heavy hitter like Ms. Winfrey is what it takes to get the championship ring, so be it.

The idea that the presidency should become just another prize for celebrities — even the ones with whose politics we imagine we agree — is dangerous in the extreme. If the first year of the Trump administration has made anything clear, it’s that experience, knowledge, education and political wisdom matter tremendously. Governing is something else entirely from campaigning. And perhaps, most important, celebrities do not make excellent heads of state. The presidency is not a reality show, or for that matter, a talk show.

Yep, I’ll say it: MY POLITICAL PARTY SUCKS. But the other one…OMG….

My own bias I have various biases (as do all humans) and one of mine is what I call a “competency bias”. I expect people in high offices to know what they are doing; just sharing my values and goals is not sufficient. Example: I’d agree with Jill Stein on many issues..probably more issues that I’d agree with Mitt Romney. But if those were the two nominees, I’d vote for Romney.

Via Paul Krugman:

Let’s be honest: This great nation has often been led by mediocre men, some of whom had unpleasant personalities. But they generally haven’t done too much damage, for two reasons.

First, second-rate presidents have often been surrounded by first-rate public servants. Look, for example, at a list of Treasury secretaries since the nation’s founding; while not everyone who held the office was another Alexander Hamilton, over all it’s a pretty impressive contingent — and it mattered.

There’s an ongoing debate over whether Ronald Reagan, who was given a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s five years after he left office, was already showing signs of cognitive deterioration during his second term. But with James Baker running Treasury and George Shultz running State, one didn’t have to worry about whether qualified people were making the big decisions.

Now, for me, the situation with Reagan was NOT ok; I want my POTUS to be mentally alert and fully aware of what is happening and able to make thoughtful decisions..to be in charge. Having an average figurehead who spouts the “correct slogans” is not enough for me.

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January 9, 2018 - Posted by | politics, politics/social, social/political |

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