I did not vote for President Obama in 2008 or in 2012. Most of my friends and family members know this. Some did vote for him, we’re still friends, and I still love those family members. In the earlier election, I voted for Senator John McCain, although he was not my choice. In that election and in 2012, I supported Governor Mitt Romney.
I’ve voted in every presidential election since 1964, and Governor Romney was and remains my favorite presidential candidate. Why? Among other reason, because he’s honest and competent, and importantly, he’s a leader who cares about our country and longs for a better world. I sincerely hope he runs again in 2016, but I sense he will not. He says his time has passed, that he had his chance. He feels that he has been defined by the campaigning process, and he hopes that someone else who has not been tainted by an unsuccessful bid should run. I believe he wants what is best for our country.
Ronald Reagan sought the presidency three times before winning the office in 1980. Five past presidents won the office after being nominated by their parties and defeated in earlier elections. Many others ran multiple times with and without success. Several past presidents lost local, state, and national elections before becoming president, most notably Abraham Lincoln. Hillary Clinton was unsuccessful in her bid in 2008, and she’s apparently planning to run in 2016. So, it shouldn’t matter.
This is a difficult time for our country and for the world. I’ve suggested that it has been a period of learning for us as a nation. The hardest lessons usually leave the greatest mark.
In my previous post, I wrote about the Crazies and their irrationality. I admitted that both major political parties have their Crazies. This intense period of global unrest might have taught us some important lessons that will guide our voting decisions in the future, and I hope that is true. The Presidency of the United States is the most important elected office in the entire world. Who we elect is crucial to the future of our country and to all nations. We need a person with unique abilities and vision, a competent leader who can discern the right course when confronted with seemingly impossible options, and then can rally the nation to that objective; someone who can explain why, as well as what we must do. We need a president who listens to experts on all sides of an issue and carefully considers their guidance without concern for the direction the political winds are blowing. We intend to elect leaders, not followers. We don’t need a president who waits to see what is popular among the influential constituents before deciding what to do. That is following. Actually, it’s worse than that. Following raw or uninformed public opinion is a road to certain failure of disastrous proportions. Several hundred million preoccupied citizens with families and jobs and all sorts of other pressures and distractions cannot possibly know what the president and the army of talented advisors know. An effective leader creates public opinion through rigorous analysis, strength of character, and clarity of communications.
We don’t yet know all the men and women who may decide to run for President in 2016. I hope there is an honest and competent leader among the candidates. Someone who can earn our respect and our votes.