The 2016 presidential candidates aren’t ready for the job
There are tons of entertaining shows on the TV these days—like the presidential election debate. Watching a row of pompous old men (and one woman) argue with each other and stutter patriotic slogans until they foam at the mouth–in other words, watching the second Republican presidential debate is hysterical. With the way they jeered at each other about who is scoring highest in the polls and who smoked marijuana in high school, it was CNN’s latest comedy show.
Here’s the punch line: one year from now, one of them could be running this country.
To be fair, there’s some silliness going on with the Democratic candidates too—they’re just not outrageous enough to make the prime time. The Republicans are the comedy stars of the century. Donald Trump, of course, was at the center of the debate. He touched on a number of issues, from taxes to conflict in the Middle East and the Iran nuclear deal to Mexican walls and those pesky autism-causing vaccines. If you squinted your eyes a certain way and tried not to think about what you were hearing, you might almost have thought that he had said something other than a stream of vague nationalistic noises.
What makes people like Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson and all the others want to run for political leadership positions? A better question might be, why doesn’t anyone slightly presidential want to be President? In spite of what political ads might say, these people are not leaders. The fact that Carson is running for President doesn’t suddenly make him qualified for the job, any more than applying for a job as a neurosurgeon would make a college freshman like me qualified to operate on someone’s brain. Similarly, just because you’re over 35 and born in the U.S.A. doesn’t mean a career as a world leader is meant for you. Out of the millions of Americans eligible to run, why is it that we’re stuck with people like Trump to lead our country? Where are the good candidates?
Let’s do some arithmetic: the U.S. can easily be thought of as one of the most powerful countries in the world—if not the single most powerful, whether in means of military power, cash and/or cultural influence. Add to this to the President of the United States, the head of the country, and you get a job that would put one lucky person among the most powerful figures on the planet. The question is, why are the only people who want the job all so horribly unsuited to have it? Are they actually amazing leaders in disguise? Maybe. Or maybe it’s that at the end of the day, politics is going out of style.
The geniuses and charismatic leaders aren’t wasting their time and money trying to nab political positions. They’re starting private companies and expanding their corporations across the globe. The leaders of the modern world aren’t Trump and Cruz; they’re Bill Gates, Elon Musk, the Koch brothers and the late Steve Jobs. Politics isn’t sexy; money is. The world is changing into a place that countries don’t rule; corporations do.
In a way, the election really is a reality show. Like any reality show, the people who call the shots are the ones standing behind the camera.