Is America ready for …?

17 years ago

To the editor:
An often asked question this political season has been “Is America ready for a Black or woman president?” These questions implicitly assume or suggest that America is racist and/or sexist. Although there are certainly some in our midst who qualify for these labels, the vast majority, I believe, are not. More useful questions of a similar vein lie unasked and are much more germane to our population’s and our political situation’s interests and needs.     Those questions include: “Is America ready for a president who will select their appointed advisors and officials totally upon their proven professional qualifications and track records rather than on their friendships, their campaign contributions, or their previous political connections?” “Is America ready for a president who, when evidence of wrongdoing, unethical behavior, or lying occurs, will freely release all relevant information to responsible investigative agencies without stalling or obstructing such investigation?” “Is America ready for a president who can and will speak clearly to Congress and the American people without deception, obfuscation, evasion, demonizing others or their ideas, or exaggeration?” “Is America ready for a president who will deny special interest groups their desires when it is against the national interest?” “Is America ready for a president who will constructively approach our international neighbors and former allies and friends and do what is in our interest that is needed to repair damage done in the past so we can work harmoniously together to solve regional and global problems?” and “Is America ready for a president who will only send our military to places that truly threaten our nation?”
It might seem hard to believe or understand, but there are many in our midst who will object to one or more of these presidential qualities. Those individuals and groups who benefit from special legislative and executive favors arranged for them by lobbyists will not be pleased by these qualities. Ultra partisan officials and constituents of some office holders will strongly resist some of these qualities. Ideologues in our midst will cringe at my suggestions for presidential qualifications. And non voters will, by their abdication of their citizenship obligation, give objectors a stronger voice.
We citizens control who runs for office. We have the power to exert our will if we choose to. The old saying “We get the government we deserve” is right. We control our own fate.

Ken Petress
Presque Isle