Caveat: My comments here are my own perceptions, and not based on any research other than my own personal interpretation of events and news. Your mileage may differ.
The election process for President of the United States, it seems to me, has become a popularity contest instead of a vetting process for a specific job. Obama won the election, fair and square. I think, though, that a large percentage of the voters made their decision based on a number of factors which have no bearing on the job at which Obama must now excel.
Those factors probably included:
- Obama’s undeniably skillful oratory. He makes it sound great, without really conveying much real information.
- His relative youth and health (see Kennedy vs Nixon)
- His skin color. This is NOT a racist statement, but a sincere estimate of what I saw going on in the area where I live. There’s no denying that this played a part. To be fair, it also worked against him to some extent, but I think it helped him a lot more than it hurt him.
- His campaign promises. For instance, that lady that was filmed at an Obama rally that actually thinks that she won’t have to worry about making her mortgage payment, or putting gas in her car, once Obama got elected.
- The fact that Obama is not associated with the Bush administration. In other words, rule out McCain simply because he is a Republican.
- The fact that 90% of the news media heavily favored Obama in their reporting, programming, and presentation.
None of these factors have any bearing on how well Obama is likely to do at his new job. It would have been wiser to concentrate on his personal history, his political connections (to whom does he owe favors), and his actual voting record. There are major causes for concern in all of these areas as to his true intentions, and his practical experience and competence in governing.
So the people have elected Obama to arguably become the most powerful man in the world. Even though he won the election fair and square, I do not think he was vetted properly for the job, by the majority of the people who voted for him.
I have reason to believe this, based on his associations with radicals, based on his voting record, based on his lack of executive experience, and based on many of his stated views. I can’t help but think that no rational person who actually spent significant time studying the realities of these issues would have still voted for him. You, of course, may disagree.
I would truly fear to go under the knife of a surgeon who was selected for the job by this process.
In any case, he’s got the job. I most certainly hope that I am wrong in my estimations. It’s for sure that we will find out in the long run how well a job we the people did in our selection.
In the meantime, to prepare for the next major election, we should really push the schools (and parents) to teach critical thinking – i.e. don’t believe everything you see on TV. This is an area of education that is woefully inadequate in the United States. Note that I am NOT proposing any sort of political indoctrination (something Obama HAS been involved in); just critical thinking. How to think for yourself: possibly the most important skill in the world.