Growing up in Holdenville, Oklahoma turned out to be one of my life's greatest blessings. Never mind that it was the Great Depression. I was taught values and lessons that serve me to this day. I was surrounded by family. And I had a great group of friends.
We called ourselves the Kelker Street Gang. There was my cousin Billy Bob Reed. He and his mom, my Aunt Ethel, lived next door to us along with my grandmother. Both women were widows. Next to Billy Bob's house lived Bobby Lee, Roy, and J.B. Loftis. Those three were something else.
Gertie Loftis liked to say, "One of my boys could grow up to be President of the United States." That always made me laugh. But after watching the current presidential race, Gertie Loftis may have had a point: Pretty much anyone can run and be elected President.
We've turned our presidential selection process into a reality TV show. Hell, it's worse than reality TV. Why? Because this reality TV show is about the selecting the leader of the Free World.
Those who know me know I'm a change advocate. You don't change, you become predictable. And predictability leads to failure.
Do I have "the plan?" No. But I do have a "big idea." Certainly we can do better than what we're doing. We now have a presidential election process that penalizes success and accomplishment and rewards those without battle scars from business or politics. You don't have a record of achievement? Well, then the media shies from tough scrutiny.
My big idea for 2016 is to put together a bipartisan screening committee that vets presidential candidates like we do anyone else applying for a job and recommends the best candidates possible. We have people running for president now who don't even have experience running a lemonade stand. Qualifications that the committee would factor in include:
- Leadership experience
- Team-building skills
- A rock-solid plan for their administration
Right now we have a process that emphasizes accusation and innuendo. Fact-checking is done... after the fact. And just like reality TV, there is too much of an emphasis on the inconsequential and the irrelevant. Such a vetting process could alleviate much of that.
Let's have some bold thinking here. We are the greatest nation to ever grace this Earth. We have tough challenges and issues to confront. We need a process that insures we bring the best talent to the table and let's the people decide.
There are efforts to bring more accountability to our nation's failed and out-of-control leadership in Washington. Perhaps there are lessons to be learned there, and from the Convention of the States movement that would utilize Article V of the U.S. Constitution. The goal would be to propose amendments to the Constitution that would put limits on federal spending and our debt spree, put limits on the reach of our regulatory system and the courts.
Everyone knows that the system in Washington is broken. Now that you've heard my idea, I'm challenging you to come up with something better. What have you got?