Tuesday, April 07, 2015

There Are 300 Million of Us

America has produced hundreds of professional athletes who could compete for the title "world's best." Scores of professional actors who win Oscars. Dozens of scientists who win Nobel prizes (including economists, even though their Nobel prize is kind of a fake one). Countless CEOs of top-level international corporations. And yet every four years we have a presidential election that brings out the best candidates and we are left to say, "Really? THESE are the best?"

There are over 300 million Americans, yet we're asked to believe that drunks, libertines, and those perpetually given to malaprops and other "hot mic" victimizations, THESE are the best we have on offer. And now, to narrow things down even further, some believe a qualified presidential candidate need either be a Bush or a Clinton. (Although, showing a broadness of mind, Hillary Clinton qualifies through marriage alone.)

People pine for another Reagan, but I don't know what's more shocking: that we haven't had one in public life in over a quarter of a century, or that even when we had one, we only had one. Why are Reagans so incredibly hard to find?

Now we have both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz running for president. It's too soon to determine if either would make a good president, but I'm pleased that we have at least two candidates whose gut reaction to a proposed government program is to question it, not embrace it.

Two is a good start. After a quarter-century wait, two is almost an embarrassment of riches.

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