Presidential Candidates Should Have a Plan or Shut Up

I have been listening to campaign speeches by several presidential hopefuls both Democrats and Republicans. You know what impresses me the most? Nothing! Except for three, maybe four candidates, there was not much substance to the speeches. Although a few good ideas floated here and there, the speeches contained little more than the name calling and finger pointing Americans have come to expect from politicians. Of course, it is still very early, so that may change as the campaigns progress; I hope so.

The biggest disappointment was the lack of specifics in the speeches. Most of the presidential candidates spoke to the issues such as health care, education, and immigration, but for the most part, they only alluded to how they would address those issues. It was clear many of them still have much work to do on the details of their plans if they have a plan at all. At this point in the campaign, finger pointing and rabble rousing are still used too frequently to get a clear picture of what many of the candidates truly stand for or have to offer. A clear picture was certainly not forthcoming from the speeches I heard. Some of the speeches would have been fine if the candidates had been running for local office or state governor, but coming from presidential hopefuls, the content was below what should be expected of a legitimate candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.

Of course, a certain amount of finger pointing and pot stirring is to be expected. People expect politicians to throw mud and cash in on public emotions, but there comes a time when mud throwing and stirring the pot needs to end. For example, dissatisfaction with the current president should not be a candidate’s primary platform for running for the presidency. It certainly should not be enough to get the candidate elected. If it is, shame on the American political system and shame on the American people.

Most people I have spoken to are more interested in hearing how candidates plan to address the issues than they are listening to candidates badmouth each other and the office of the president. Most Americans are tired of political candidates pounding their chests and spouting generalizations such as, “When I’m elected, I will get rid of Obamacare!” or “Elect me, and I will get rid of Common Core!” or “A vote for me is a vote for tougher immigration laws and God fearing, English speaking citizens!” All of those may be on a candidate’s agenda, but what most Americans want to hear is how the candidate plans to do those things. They want the candidate to show them, not just tell them, how things will be better. There comes a time when a candidate needs to stop the rhetorical rah-rah and address the blueprints of how he will do the things he says he will do. He needs to put up or shut up!

I don’t care if a candidate doesn’t like Obama! That is old news! I am interested in America going forward, not looking back. The American people need to hear specifics about each candidate’s proposed policies and/or policy changes, so they can make an informed decision on who is most qualified to lead the nation. America needs candidates who focus on what they can do and not on what the outgoing president failed to do. The outgoing president’s days of relevancy are coming to an end, so the focus should not be on him. America needs leaders who run for political office on the strengths they bring to the table rather than run for office on the weaknesses or blunders of the guy they hope to replace.

For a candidate to have credibility as a potential president, he should possess a specific plan of action for campaign issues. If he wants to repeal The Affordable Care Act, he should be prepared to tell all Americans why and show them his plan to replace it. If a candidate wants to get rid of Common Core Standards or scrap the public school system, that is well and good, but he should be prepared to enlighten the people as to why and show them a better way of doing education. If a candidate is against illegal immigration, I get it, but please, tell me your step by step plan to resolve the issue. Don’t just beat me over the head with the problem!  I want the presidential candidates to get down to the nitty-gritty of how they can do the job of president better and shut up with generalizations that amount to little more than stirring up a pot of jaw flapping crap.

The presidential election is too important to be decided on a candidate’s dislike for the current president or his party affiliation. America needs a leader who believes in the spirit, diversity, and rights of all Americans. We need a leader who is capable of convincing both political parties to lay their party agendas aside and do what is best for the people of the United States of America. We need a president and congress who understand that working together is an expectation of the people. We need a president and congress who understand compromise is not always a dirty word, especially if it benefits the people. What America needs is a president with a plan to unite the nation. We need a president who backs his words with a plan of action and not just talk.

JL

©Jack Linton, September 12, 2015

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