President Obama’s State of the Union address about transcending our “tribalism” and working together for good goals as Americans gave me great hope, even though I don’t agree with every position that he or any other political figure advocates. I share the desire of the American people to send a message to the political establishment, because Super Pacs and lobbyists for special interest groups hold too much sway over both political parties.
But electing business CEO’s, religious leaders or younger contenders who are relative newcomers to the political scene is not the answer. I say this although I am pro-business, an outspoken advocate of religious freedom and my own Christian faith in particular. I am also passionate about human development in our own country and in third world countries, protecting the environment, fighting disease and ending violence. But good governing involves representing all competing constituents as fairly and equally as is actually doable. Fairness and freedom involve not usurping too many rights of one group in order to accommodate another group. Good government requires not only worthy values and goals, but methods that work and that are economically sustainable over time. As in any other profession, experience makes people better at what they do.
Presently, the two people running as Republicans who are most qualified to lead the country are the two bringing up the rear. Jeb Bush and John Kasich speak softly, and don’t resort to name-calling. I wish that they were stronger environmentalists, but other than that, they have good ideas about national security, global diplomacy, and mostly good track records as governors. The Clintons have done a good job of working with billionaires to address global goals of protecting the environment, ending starvation, poverty and disease. As establishment politicians, they have usually been closer to the center than Hillary is now. We need a more moderate Democratic candidate to balance the ticket and to give Hillary permission to moderate her position again. Then we Independents would have two good options from which to choose, whereas now we have none.