Occasionally I am asked if I ever considered running for political office. My response: "I did once, but I took two aspirin, lay down for a while and the feeling went away."
Besides not wanting to accept a pay cut, why would I want to put myself through the agony of exposing the smallest misdeed and bad decision to political opponents and a ravenous media who could turn my public image into something no family member would recognize? Not to mention the amount of money I would have to raise that would go up exponentially the higher the office sought. With each donated dollar a little piece of my soul, character and integrity must ultimately be exchanged. Why else do people donate if they don't expect something in return? Might that something somehow dilute whatever virtues I am perceived to possess?
What I have just described are major reasons why people who might be smart and capable enough to run for office decline the "honor." Who looks forward to having one's sins exposed by the media and gloating opponents who seek to destroy a fellow candidate, rather than beat him (or her) on the field of ideas? If I were to run I would issue a press release on every sin I can remember having committed, because for the media and the other party (and sometimes with candidates in one's own party) it isn't about what one has done, as much as what one is hiding.
Looking at today's remaining field of presidential candidates reminds me of a quote from
We certainly can, but the signs offer little reason for optimism.
On one side in this presidential contest we have a tired old warhorse,
On the Republican side there is
There is Sen.
There must be a better way to nominate and elect a president. The Constitution provides little guidance. There is nothing in it about parties, conventions, or length of campaigns.
Why must we endure nonstop politicking? As soon as one election ends, people start positioning themselves for the next one. Much of this is due to the voracious media, especially cable news. This fixation on politicians as saviors doesn't benefit the country.
Can academia, or think tanks, put together a plan which points to a better way to get good people in office at lower cost and less time commitment? Would politicians of both parties accept it? It is obscene that it takes
We can do better, but will we? We had better, or face the likelihood of even worse political choices in the future.
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.