In 2016 we will very likely elect a President with outstanding personal qualities and skills. But only if many candidates compete and the media does not cause an early reduction in their numbers.
Research has shown that the larger and more diverse a jury is, the more valid will be the conclusion the jury reaches. And . . . if a consumer is given a large number of products to choose from, that person in short order will almost always choose the product which has the best combined price, quality and service.
Choosing among candidates for public office is no different. More choices will result in a better final choice. Even when choosing a President.
It has always been a puzzle to me that in our nation of 320 million Americans only a hundred or so run for the office every four years. And of these only several dozen run seriously. And less than half of these several dozen will be given any media attention.
I was one of those in 2008 and 2012 who was a serious, if unknown and unfunded candidate who although it may seem improbable, in my humble opinion one would see that my background is quite similar to known candidates in values, education, decision making skill and toughness. As also would that of many, many, other Americans who might try. Yet in the year-long campaign only two candidates were allowed to share the stage with known candidates. One candidate, Gary Johnson, a former Governor of New Mexico, was allowed to have one debate appearance midway during the campaign. And I was the other candidate who on Caucus Day on the final day of the Iowa campaign was allowed to share the stage with Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann, with them giving a five minute speech.
In some respects the desire by the media to eliminate candidates is understandable. Because of the cost involved. So winnowing the field as quickly as possible is their goal. As one reporter told me “it would be impossible to cover 30 candidates”
Yet many candidates must be presented to have a choice among many. I contend that there are tens of thousands of individuals who would perform very well as President. To encourage many of these to run, a process is needed which is more user friendly, which requires less money and where it becomes easier to become known. With a better process perhaps many candidates would become available who had little in the way of funding but who had nevertheless experienced many hardships and indignities and as such could better represent the massive number of Americans who experience them every day. In this regard, the good news is that with social media and the technology of today a larger number and wider choice of candidates should be possible and increasingly likely.
Irrespective of the availability of candidates the overall outlook in 2016 does favor conservatives. After two terms with the same party in office, voters usually go for the opposite party. After almost two terms of Nixon we elected Carter. After two terms of Reagan plus the Bush term (which was an extension of Reagan because of the ending of the cold war) we elected Clinton. After Clinton’s two terms we elected Bush. After Bush’s two terms we elected Obama. To two terms.
In addition the President we elect is usually a significant contrast to the President currently holding the office. . . After the perceived scandals of Watergate and Richard Nixon we elected Jimmy Carter who was perceived to be morally pure. After an incompetent Carter on the economy and national security we elected Ronald Reagan who was perceived and turned out to be very competent on both the economy and national security. After Clinton’s moral scandals we elected the morally pure Bush the younger. After George W. Bush, a straight talking, hard worker who began foreign wars, we elected a prevaricating, and rather indolent and weak Obama who promised to get us out of wars to very recent bad effect.
Given this pattern, if we are provided with many good candidates, it is my belief that the next president we elect will be a Republican who is direct, honest, hardworking, and very strong on national security. And voters will require that that person to be extremely tough because they know that when he or she takes office many difficult changes will be required to be made. To reiterate, because today’s President is so lacking in positive personal qualities, voters in 2016 in contrast will elect a President whose personal qualities will be outstanding!