On Drafting a President

Politics is a nasty business.  Would it be so if the combatants, er, candidates were dragged kicking and screaming, er, drafted into the process?  Might we be able to better evaluate a would-be boss, er, leader’s fitness for the office?  After all, aren’t there more desirable traits to have in the occupier of the Oval Office than a smooth or emotional delivery that convinces the majority of voters that one is the obvious pick for Master of the Universe President of the United States?

This past year, we flirted with finding out.  Many people know some of the basics of the story – but how many, I wonder, gave much thought to the inner man – the determination, studiousness, and strength of character that were necessary to make his story possible?  Three years ago, an unassuming – but incredibly successful – doctor was invited to speak at the National Prayer Breakfast.  This man rose from the rough streets of Detroit to become the finest pediatric neurosurgeon the world has ever seen.  He was once an underperforming elementary school student – the bottom of his class.  He was regularly derided for being stupid.  Despite these inauspicious beginnings, through parental motivation and self-determination, he turned his fortunes around and went on to win a rare and highly coveted internship at Johns Hopkins, possibly the finest medical facility in the world.  Not done improving himself, this young man went on to become the first doctor ever to separate conjoined (“Siamese”) twins who shared a brain – and save both lives.  This incredibly complex procedure required not only gifted hands, but vast knowledge put to use at a level of reasoning never before achieved by anyone.

Not only was this an incredible individual achievement, but it required the coordinated efforts of dozens of people under some of the most stressful, complex conditions imaginable.  Decisions resulted in life or death – the lives or death of children, whose parents waited in the wings with all their hopes and dreams for the future in the balance.  This doctor not only knew what he had to do; he knew what everyone else around him had to do and had the ability to bring teams of people together in difficult situations and lead them to success.

The collection of honorary doctorate degrees and other awards and recognitions that have been bestowed upon him is astounding.  The doctor, as you may already know, is Doctor Benjamin Carson – or simply Ben Carson, as this unassuming gentleman would have you call him.  His achievements, his demonstrated ability to make life-or-death decisions correctly thousands upon thousands of times, his ability to lead and coordinate others under difficult conditions all led viewers on national television to wonder why this man wasn’t hosting the National Prayer Breakfast instead of being a guest speaker there.  Clearly, he would be an inspirational leader – one who could heal a nation ailing from racial unrest and other social ills.  Clearly, his credentials could inspire the disadvantaged to seek out their strengths and build upon them, rather than accept a lot in life which brings them no real reward.  Clearly, he could revive the American spirit, for he has demonstrated over and over and over again that he is a true leader – one who could be trusted to research any problem and bring together whatever people necessary to get the job done.

Naturally, people inquired of the good doctor if he would consider running for president.  No, he wasn’t interested, came his reply.  In an ultimately successful effort to change his mind, private parties ran media advertising and a web site for the sole purpose of convincing Carson to run.  Millions of dollars were donated through this “grass roots” effort.  Soon, he was a darling of people who wanted a wise, accomplished Washington outsider for president.  Alas, when other candidates (who were openly desirous of power) and fearful media (media whose fortunes are made through the litany of crises endemic in an overgrown, overreaching government) saw that this unassuming man was fast becoming a favorite, the attacks came.  His lack of political knowledge was assailed (without considerations for how quickly he could master what he needed to know (which he ultimately did).  His autobiography was picked apart and incorrect details (which mattered not a whit in the story) were assailed by the media.  Voters began to doubt his wisdom.  Worse, they began to doubt his integrity.  This, for the one candidate who probably had the greatest measure of both wisdom and integrity of all people being considered for president.  Of course, these aren’t the qualities of most use to those who own the mainstream media – and quite irrelevant to those who coveted the support that he had.  As for the media and Carson’s self-aggrandizing competitors – mission accomplished.

Here was an opportunity to take a man of extraordinary accomplishment, character, love for his fellow human beings, drive to succeed – a man who agreed to put his personal goals aside and focus on restoring America in spirit and economic health – and make him president.  But the majority of voters, seemingly not quite understanding the qualities of the man that is Dr. Ben Carson, turned away from him in favor of less unassuming candidates – the ones who have been asking for the job of president while demeaning any and all who pose a threat to their becoming it.  Many profess to like fighters – but how many bothered to consider how many fights Dr. Carson had to win in his many successes?  Life’s most important fights aren’t won through bullying, they are won through understanding the problems before us, analyzing possible courses of action and their effects, then working to implement the ones that seem to lead to the most desirable outcome.  The fights Ben Carson has won are more like the fights a president would face.  Instead, we look for candidates who are good at fighting each other in the public eye – the ones who have mastered the adolescent comparisons of anatomy and dishonest accusations of dishonesty.  Obviously, we are not ready to select from drafted candidates.  Most people will just vote for the candidate who wants the job most – not necessarily the one most fit for it.





On Drafting a President — 1 Comment

  1. I think it’s a shame that more people didn’t support Ben Carson. He’s a great man and would make a great President. Maybe all those establishment types who don’t like Trump or Cruz can get together for Carson if they have a brokered convention. Ben would beat Hillary. Easily.

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