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Major concern - Presidential election

by Mac McMullen / September 7, 2008 4:54 AM PDT

I have been unable to fully understand a major concern in the rhetoric of this election - if or not a candidate is qualified to be Commander in Chief.

Will get into that in a moment, but first, I don?t consider either candidate acceptable to be President. I have followed this campaign with honest interest, and am unable to generate any enthusiasm for either candidate.

I don?t feel alone in this respect. Overhearing conversations at other tables when out in public, I realize many others feel the same way.

Might be the first election where I won?t vote for either. Considering both to be unacceptable, and even though a ?vote against? is a wrong attitude in the first place, it is not possible in this instance. I can later righteously state ?I didn?t vote for him?.

My attention and votes this election will be concentrated on candidates standing for election to the US Congress. In my State we have some new faces, both sides, both houses, which is encouraging.

Back to the Commander in Chief argument. I?m assuming this entire argument is based upon presidential orders that would involve the employment of military force. I am not concerned in this respect, irrespective of any candidate in any election, in that there are no buttons on the desk of the president that will pull a trigger or fire a missile. There are too many channels for any ?executive order? to wade it?s way through before any hot metal is in the air.

Although there is an amount of politics involved in the appointment to persons in any of these positions, there comes a time in the life of every individual when ?right from wrong? is considered. At least I would hope.

First is the civilian Secretary of Defense. Then the military Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; then the civilian Secretaries of each of the Armed Forces; then the military Chiefs of the Air Force; of the Army; of the Navy, and of the Marine Corps. After this there is the military Commander of each of ten Combatant Commands. The military members of this Chain are career professionals, who weigh the risks of any endeavor during their planning of an operation. Someone along this Chain is going to be tagged the ?action officer?; the one individual who gives the final ?go? order.

After all of this, there is always the US Congress, some 535 members strong, some of whom are always willing to disagree with a President from the other party, and members on both sides who are always working to lessen the authority and power of the Executive Branch. Any precipitous order, or one that appears precipitous, will garner instant and strong attention.

In everyone?s mind is the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. False or non-verified intelligence ? False or exaggerated briefings and presentations ? The probability of a repeat of any of this in the future is very doubtful. I would hope there have been some historical lessons learned, on the part of everyone.

If all else fails, the hateful and meddling media is always looking and listening.

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"The worse form of government
by Angeline Booher / September 7, 2008 6:21 AM PDT

..... except for all the rest."

When young I used to think our leaders were a cut above the rest of us mortals, and our history books seemed to bear that out. Frankly, I wasn't thrilled when the beans were spilled about everybody from George Washington on.

However, it seems as if we always elected the right man for the times. Even if there wasn't an especially good administration along the way our country survived and the next one picked up the pieces.

At least I think a lot of the voters knew why there were 3 branches of our government and why this balance of power was important. And going to your point about the Department of Defense (once known as the Department of War), why the head of it is a civilian,

Somewhere along the way this seemed to have become less important to be taught, maybe because there is so much more kids have to learn.

IMO, you made excellent points about experience. Whoever sits in te Oval Office appoints his cabinet, and we expect those people to be knowledgeable re: the positions to which they are selected. No one person can be experienced in all skills required for the job.

There will be more veterans in Congress in the future than there are now. Some may have been in positions of command.

However, what I wish had not grown is the increasing loss of touch with how things are away from the Beltway.

I'm not naive enough to look for honesty. Politics is bending the facts to fit the purpose, telling part of the story,

But by listening very closely I think I can make a determination that will satisfy me.

I don't know on what else we can depend except our media. Sure, we have to sift through the wheat from the shaft, but like the consumer products we have found to be generally reliable, we learn on which ones to depend. Just my 2 cents.

Speakeasy Moderator

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Agree with what you said
by Steven Haninger / September 7, 2008 7:11 AM PDT

about the right person getting the position for the job that needs to be done. I'd have to think that many past presidents would get different reviews had they come around at a different time in our history than they did.
I've heard something similar to "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer". To me this means we need to be willing to listen with both ears and look with both eyes...no matter which ones please us most. And so, in order to use the media to obtain the most factual information, we may need to hear several accounts of the same story. It's surprising how different they can be from one to the other just as witnesses to the same event will offer different accounts of it.

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"Even though a ?vote against? is a wrong attitude... "
by EdHannigan / September 7, 2008 7:02 AM PDT

I almost always vote against the ones I want kept out of office. I think it is the more rational way to go. Rarely is there a candidate I feel is worth voting "for".

I've seen 'em come and I've seen 'em go. So far none of them has managed to wreck the country much, though God knows (sorry, Dan) they have all tried.

I am not worried.

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You most certainly are not alone.....
by C1ay / September 7, 2008 11:44 AM PDT
I don?t consider either candidate acceptable to be President. I have followed this campaign with honest interest, and am unable to generate any enthusiasm for either candidate.

I don?t feel alone in this respect. Overhearing conversations at other tables when out in public, I realize many others feel the same way.

If ever we needed the ability to call a misdeal this election would be a good example...
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