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SHOULDN'T MY PRESIDENT BE SMARTER THAN I AM?
September 28, 2008
 
Surely that is not too much to ask.

I don't want Joe (or Jane) Average as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world. It is not a job for Joe Average. I want a formidable intelligence in the White House, and one very cool head. I want the very best we can find, not the one most like me. If I wanted a president just like me, I would run myself.

All four major party candidates are Christians. I am a Christian, too. My president doesn't have to be one, though. My president doesn't need to be religious at all -- he just needs to protect religious freedom. The idiotic rumor-mongering about one candidate being a secret Muslim takes my breath away. You can't be a secret Muslim: what makes someone a Muslim is the very fact of asserting that identity. A person who does not assert Muslim identity is simply not one. And there is no reason why a Muslim could not be a good president anyway. Anybody who thinks Islam corners the market on religious violence needs to reread the psalms.

Here in Florence, we watched the presidential debate hours after it took place. People gathered to watch it together. It was an encouraging one, in my view -- it stayed pretty squarely with the issues, and I appreciated the respect that showed us. Last time we were asked with which candidate we'd rather drink a beer. I won't be drinking a beer with the President of the United States, so whether or not I think I'd enjoy doing so is irrelevant to my choice. I will, however, be living with and paying for the choices he makes. That's where my care should lie.

We agreed that the ridiculous length of the 2008 presidential campaign is immoral. What good could have been done with the millions that have been raised and spent in this way? How much actual governance -- as opposed to political posturing -- could have happened? Some very smart people work on these campaigns. Wouldn't it have been better for some of those minds to occupy themselves with better things?

Six weeks. Eight, maybe -- that's how long these things should be, no longer. We should take this process in hand and change it. Then we could turn our attention to acting like what we always insist that our politicians say we are: the greatest nation in the world.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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