Saturday, 8 November 2008
With the demise of the Bush Administration and the last, flickering hopes of yet another 4 years of insipid Republican rule all but extinguished by Barack Obama's electoral win, it is perhaps time to fathom out what exactly should be the minimum criteria for selection, given the sheer degree of ineptness exhibited by the Republicans and their inept candidates.
This may sound appalling to some, and ludicrous to most, but the selection for presidential tickets has been quite erroneous to say the least; to that end, I would perhaps draw lessons from the latest election and maybe, just maybe, the party concerned (Hint: It ain't the Democrats.) can produce decent, viable candidates, regardless the political affiliation (moderates, conservative, liberal or otherwise), race and religion (or lack of).
The Health of the Candidate: The Sick, The Infirmed and the Elderly Need Not Apply
As President of the United States of America, the billet of being the most powerful man on the planet (some would dispute that), the pressure that entails can become overbearing, unless you are of the simian variety who happens to initiate wars on a wing and a prayer.
Barring such buffoonery, any nominee standing for elections must have at least met the standard minimum health requirements to hold office. When your body is not functioning normally, chances are, you are not going to think straight, and if something does happen to you while you happen to be the President of the United States of America, your country will be thrown into a sea of turmoil, albeit for a short period of time if your vice-President is savvy enough to ride out the tough ride.
On that note, no 72 yr-old retiree who has a long history of cancer, or any form of critical, terminal disease, on his resume should be chosen for such a critical post; when the Grim Reaper's sickle is constantly hanging over the President's fate, the health of the economy cannot be too far away from yet another wild ride.
Know Your Own Party Mantra
In the mostly inscrutable world of petty politics, there are a few outright, cardinal sins, some of which should never be committed at any cost (unless, of course, you want to lose your elections and drag your whole party down to the dumpster).
When Sarah Palin was asked in an interview to state her opinions with regards to the Bush Doctrine, she was just as clueless as the next virgin nun is with regards to sex: This is the ultimate cardinal sin, quite akin to blaspheming the Holy Spirit (of which there is no recourse to Salvation), and one would be hard-pressed to find any straight answer to such ignorance. It is as if the car salesman is selling you the product without actually knowing anything about the features and ergonomics of his purported machine.
Knowing your own party mantra is the basest, minimalist requirement, in my view, and if a candidate is clueless with regards to the party he or she is running for then he or she should be automatically disqualified for running for Presidency, or any kind of political office for that party for the matter.
Know The Roles & Responsibilities of The Post You Are Nominated For
This, again, is another basic requirement for nomination, and indeed, for every man on the street: If you are applying for a job, then you should jolly know the scope of work that entails the position you are applying for.
In this latest elections, Palin admitted, rather too candidly, that she had absolutely no clue (Jeez, this is getting to be quite a drag!) with regards to the Vice-Presidency.
In the words of Sarah Palin:
"As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."
Ah, yes, she works REALLY HARD (Mc Cain should know...), but that's beside the point: Not only was she caught dead dissing the job she was nominated for, as well as showing scant regard for the VP post in the process, she was all-too-candid in telling the whole world that she doesn't know what the Vice-President does everyday: Playing nanny to an elderly President who is but a heartbeat away from his failed pacemaker? Or giving head to the White House honcho when no one else (except the Secret Service) is prying?
To be nominated for the Presidential ticket is a once-in-a-lifetime honor for a select few; to display such abject indifference and ignorance to a second-in-command post of the most powerful presidency in the world (for now) is really repungent and downright immoral. If you do not want the job, or don't bother to check out the job obligations that comes along with the title, past the buck to someone else who is more capable than you.
Know Your Geography
Contrary to popular belief, a Presidential nominee does not have to know everything under the Sun: You can excuse the nominee from knowing the intricacies of the diesel engine, or understanding the fundamentals of skydiving, but a Presidential nominee should at least understand a fair bit of current affairs, and most importantly, geography.
Describing Afghanistan as "America's neighbour" projects the sort of stupidity and hermit mentality that tarnishes the image of the nominee to the point of no return.
Pronounce Nuclear, "Nuclear"
This sounds really, really stupid, in my view, but we all know that the George Bush era has had its slip-ups and hiccups when it comes to juggling with words and linguistic tongue twisters (including Bush's hilarious "your left hand now knows what your right hand is doing" jibe and then simultaneously raising the wrong hands while uttering the tongue twister), and Palin and Mc Cain have carried forth this proud tradition, with Mc Cain's spectacular, glowing report of the American economy ("The Fundamentals of the American Economy are strong") being the last straw that broke the Republican camel's back.
Add to that, Sarah's preference to pronounce nuclear as "nu-cu-lar": While village vernaculars and colloquial language can be tolerated for various election topics, one would venture that folksy language with regards to MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) weapons does add a touch of chill to the hearts of voters: Do you want to hand over the "nu-cu-lar" buttons of the US of A to someone who can't even pronounce "nuclear" right?
Nominate Suitable Candidates, Not Animals From the Zoo
It is imperative that any country, besides America, has a herculean task at hand with regards to putting up leaders for elections: There should be a required standard requirement for people who apply for such a prestigious and pivotal post.
I doubt anyone of us would want a surgeon who can't tell the difference between a liver and a bladder to operate on us: Such a move would be deemed suicidal by the average sane Joe (that may or may not include Joe the Plumber or the six-pack Joes), but why should Americans settle for a half-assed President who is as clueless with regards to his or her job as the disgruntled begger selling pencils from a cup, wondering why the hell he is doing there instead of living in the posh condominium in the first place?
Judging by the quality of the candidates being bantered about by a certain right wing party, it wouldn't be too far from the foreseeable future when we finally will witness the first non-homo sapiens for the Presidential tickets:
"Presenting the Republican heavyweight for the Presidential ticket, weighing in at 2000kg, measuring 3 m in height, Dumbo the Elephant!!!!"
The Standard Requirement for Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates