Tag Archives: election

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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God didn’t Entrust Chickens with Brains

Another election has come and gone, and as usual there were few surprises. As I watched the results on television, I pondered if anything would change, or would there be more of the same disappointment that has come to be associated with elected leadership. I wondered if the newly elected people had the political savvy and commitment to make a difference both locally and in Washington, but what I truly hoped and prayed for was that at least a few of them had common sense. Common sense in the political arena is a commodity that sometimes falls in short supply, so anyone elected with a little sound unbiased judgment would be a welcomed addition to the political scene. Granddaddy Floyd and my friend, Dr. Earl Jubilee Wilson (Dr. Juby as he preferred to be called) were men of common sense. They believed politicians were likely decent people with honorable convictions who were plagued by questionable politics, and as a result, their convictions and political actions did not always align with one another. Both men agreed that when it came to elections, all anyone could do was pray, and even then it did little good to have high hopes.

When it came to politics, Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby loved to share their opinions through observations they respectively called Rubber Monkeys and Precepts. Although Dr. Juby’s Precepts may have had a somewhat more scholarly footprint than Rubber Monkeys, the two were basically the same – observations or musings intended to provide insight or influence on a specific topic such as politics. Each man had an uncanny ability to sum up almost any topic in a few concise words that often gave a voice to what those around them were thinking or believed. Therefore, as I began writing this piece, I realized there was little I could add about elections or politics that they had not already said much more succinctly. For example, Granddaddy Floyd always said, “Instead of looking to politics for guidance and answers, we should be trusting in God and common sense for guidance and answers.” Dr. Juby echoed those sentiments when he said, “God didn’t entrust chickens with brains, and he didn’t waste common sense on politicians.” Not exactly rocket science, yet wise words spoken by men who loved God, family, and country.

The Political Rubber Monkeys and Precepts of Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby

  1. The road to getting elected in the South is through the pulpit.      Granddaddy Floyd
  2. If the truth offends you, you may be a politician. Lack of familiarity often offends.     Dr. Juby
  3. The average six year old often displays more common sense than the majority of elected officials. Many politicians would rather poop in the sand box than share with the other party.    Granddaddy Floyd
  4. Politics are filled with personal and party agendas; the agenda of the people is at best always on the back burner.  Dr. Juby
  5. Politicians spend ten percent of their time doing what they were elected to do and ninety percent of their time trying to figure out who they need to please next to get reelected or to be in line for a lucrative appointment.   Granddaddy Floyd
  6. Seems lately the party (Democratic or Republican) is a hell of a lot more important than the issues, what is right or wrong, or how we can fix America.   Dr. Juby
  7. Political victory in the South often boils down to the candidate who best beats the bushes in the name of Jesus, the second amendment, cornbread, and wrestling.   Granddaddy Floyd
  8. When you refuse to listen to or work with a man because he is labeled a Democrat or Republican, there is something seriously wrong with the system.  Dr. Juby
  9. I have never understood how it is the epitome of patriotism for young men to give their lives to ensure American freedoms such as free speech, but it is unpatriotic to use that blood stained freedom to speak freely against the loss of young lives in the name of wars run by politicians, old men and corporations.  Granddaddy Floyd
  10. The first thing I’d do if I was president is turn off the lights in Washington and send everyone home until such time they can agree to put their selfish agendas aside and play productively together.  Dr. Juby
  11. The politics of the South are often conceived and Baptized between the pews, on the steps, and in the parking lot of the church house.  Granddaddy Floyd
  12. When party platforms become sacred cows above compromise and the best interests of the people, the party system has outlived its usefulness to the people and should be abolished.   Dr. Juby

Truly these are the observations of wise men. Whether or not you agree with Granddaddy Floyd and Dr. Juby, their words ring with truth. Like the great American patriot, Patrick Henry, they were suspicious of politicians, especially those who ignored or compromised the rights and liberties of common men. Patriots such as Henry, envisioned elections as a protection and means to purge the political system from the hypocrisy of those elected officials who failed to embrace the common good of the people. Unfortunately, today’s elections rarely provide such protection. Today’s elections are more in tune with decaying party politics than the common good of the people. As a result instead of regularly purging our political system as the founders of this nation intended, votes are more likely to be cast for the party than for the common good of all people. Consequently, little ever changes from election to election, and parties grow stronger and stronger while moving further and further away from the people.

JL

©Jack Linton, November 9, 2014