If you are a resident of the United States of America, Joe Biden is your President–and mine. As was Donald Trump.
Now that we have handled that news flash, let’s talk about who I want to have as our President; not by name or party, but by qualifications and style.
That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode.
Yes, character does count. C’mon, this person is the leader of the Free World; how could it not? I get it that when I need a plumber, I simply want someone who can get the job done, like unplugging a drain or replacing a disposal. But a key part of the job for any president is to model good morals, character and behavior. We want teachers, cops and others to model good character; its got to be even more important with our president.
And I want a president who comes across as honest, sincere and persuasive–persuasive to all types of people and groups. If you want unity, it starts with people wanting to rally around a convincing leader of good character. Note that I did not say articulate; simply being articulate can morph into being slick all too quickly. Having the right policies, the right stances on the issues, is obviously important. But people remember only 25% of what you say, and 75% of how you say it.
Now let’s get to policies and issues:I want a president who is not all red, not all blue, but still not at all purple. Purple implies a simple compromise, like you want to spend $40 on our dinner date, and I want to spend $20, so we compromise at $30. That’s a meet in the middle compromise. I want someone who seeks and fulfills common goals, not compromise for the sake of compromise. Don’t most of us share the same common, bedrock goals? I don’t mean desires that many share like wanting this bill or that policy to pass (or others to lose). I mean the core, meaningful, underlying goals that most of us share. Find the common ground (yes, it exists), add facts (use the courtroom standards for admissible evidence here), then apply non agenda-based reasoning. It works. And if the discussion falls off track, go back to the common goals–the touchstone–to get back on track. Back to bedrock.
Let’s look at a few examples together:
Education Goal: Having the best pre-K thru 12 education with the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Note, this does not presuppose one and only one way to get there. None of these goals do. A good starting approach to achieve this goal might be to allow free access to fully funded traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools via vouchers. Allow parents to make the right decision for their children, and allow competition to deliver the best education product for the kids, parents and society.
Immigration Goal: The key to any comprehensive immigration plan is insisting on having secure borders; secure borders with a humane, and controlled, immigration policy. Including both those we want to admit, and those who truly need asylum. Anything less is nothing but a plan to have open borders. Open borders add the voters that some want, and the cheap labor desired by others. The logical end point to an open border policy is to cease being the United States as a sovereign nation, becoming the State of America in the United States of the World. With an unsecured border, every town is a border town and every state is a border state. And some people actually want that. I do not.
Poverty Goal: Getting people out of poverty and into comfort in a way they can sooner rather than later stay there on their own. And providing lifetime support for those who can’t provide for themselves.
Harmony and overall success Goal: Pause for the truth. Men and women are not the same. And races are different. And herein lies enormous power. We can lean on and benefit greatly from the various strengths of the races and genders, using those positives to shore up the accompanying weaknesses. Learn from each other. Depend on each other’s strengths. In this way, the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. 1 + 1 + 1 = 15–or more. But only in this way. If we defy part of the fundamental genius of God and nature and insist that all ethnicities and both genders are the same, the whole–all of us–can never be more than, well, a collection of people with much the same to offer. 1 + 1 + 1 = 3–at best.
Abortion/Pro Life/Pro Choice Goal: Given that all of us are truly pro life and pro choice in the original and powerful definitions of the concepts of life and choice, how then do we have an honest debate about this critical issue? If we can decide where we stand on the two following questions, I think we’ll have it:
- When does life begin?
- When is it appropriate for the state to sanction the taking of a life?
Tax and money Goal: Setting tax and other economic policies to maximize the national economy, lower the burden on individuals–and do it in a way that allows the government to do its defined job efficiently. It is not a question of generally preferring higher or lower taxes. The questions are more basic than that: 1. How much money is required to support the government in the tasks it does best, the things that government does uniquely well? 2. What is the lowest tax structure that delivers the required funds while being fair to those being taxed?
COVID-19 Goal: The goal needs to be restoring the economy, education and other needed infrastructures while preserving the physical health of the nation. Doesn’t the best implementation of that goal rest on consistent personal responsibility in taking care of one’s self and others by getting vaccinated, wearing masks when in close public contact, washing our hands like an ER doctor, and maintaining social distancing? Isn’t this the shortest and surest way to achieving this common goal? Sadly, we cannot leave these actions up to all individuals without the force of law any more than we can allow all people to self-enforce anti-smoking and traffic laws.
I want a president who can embrace and get voters and other politicians to embrace–and act on–these and other common goals. And if it is not asking too much, I want a president who cares more about his country than himself. Who is this person? Am I looking for a Unicorn?
Tell me what you believe. I and many others want to know.
As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.