Help wanted: American president
Are you going to vote on Nov. 3, 2020? Maybe you have already voted, and, if so, you have joined the other 15 million voters who have cast their ballots several weeks before Election Day. Regardless, if you plan to vote in-person at your local polling booth or choose to vote absentee, the important thing is that you do plan to vote.
Somewhere lost in the fray of a presidential-year election, lost in the national media’s overzealous coverage, lost in the endless predictions and polls, is the basic fact that this country still belongs to We The People, and Nov. 3 is hiring day. This is your chance to say who you want to work for you.
It’s a messy process, for sure, at least at the national level. I see more ads both on TV and in print in which candidates are telling me more what’s wrong with their opponent than what’s right with them. But, come Election Day, that’s the easy part. We get the final word, and that’s important, maybe the single most important part of being an American.
I took a peek at my ballot online to get more familiar with the candidates as I still plan to go to the polls on Election Day. Why, you might ask? It’s not that I don’t trust voting by mail. Rather, it just makes me feel good. I enjoy seeing the volunteers, standing in the booth, filling out my ballot, and dropping it in the box. I walk out with an “I Voted” sticker, and, well, I just feel good about it. It’s that simple.
A couple weeks ago, in my previous column, I expressed disgust with our two main presidential candidates, asking, “Is this the best we can do?” I also asked for you, the readers, to submit a name of anyone else you think would make a good president. I heard from many of you, but only one reader could actually name someone they thought would be a better candidate. That got me thinking maybe the process we are using is flawed.
We didn’t have a single Republican seriously challenge Donald Trump. Not one Republican in all of America thought they could do a better job and was willing to fight the establishment enough to be considered. We did have about 20 Democrats challenge each other and we ended up with Joe Biden, a nearly 50-year career politician that more than likely got the nod because of name recognition.
Maybe there is a better way for us to hire elected officials.
Maybe we could place an ad on Indeed, a job site. We could start with, “Wanted: president of the United States. The candidate will be expected to build on the opportunities in America while developing and implementing a strategy for increased economic growth, health care, national security, immigration, energy, environment, and foreign policy. Successful candidates must exhibit the ability to work across party lines and hire quality departments heads to oversee the country’s many agencies. The candidate must be able to unite the citizens in common goals and communicate with a high level of detail their vision for America.”
We could add that they should be able to balance a checkbook too.
Or we could place an ad on ZipRecruiter, which boasts that we can “get a quality candidate within the first day.” Or maybe we could use Monster Jobs, which says they can bring “employers and candidates together.” Wouldn’t it be more interesting to see who actually applies in that system, compared to the one we have now?
And we could use it for the many other positions candidates are asking us to fill. My Alpena County ballot is asking me to help hire a U.S. senator, a congressional representative, a sheriff, county clerk, township supervisor, treasurer, school board member, judges, and college trustees.
As important as casting a vote is, it shouldn’t end there.
Like any successful hire, the employee will need training and guidance if they are to be successful. Again, that is where you and I come in. So many times, we think it is over after the election, but we need to constantly communicate with the people we hired. We should call or email them, telling them how we feel about issues, and we should demand a response. Remember, they work for us, not the other way around.
Regardless of the process, it is the one we have, and, until we can do better, the important thing is that we exercise our right to vote.
It really is more than a privilege. It’s our duty, and, although many of my candidates may not win, at least I know I had a voice in the process.
Not voting will increase the power of my vote and I am not sure you want that to happen, so, please, take the time to get registered if not already, and vote.
Greg Awtry is the former publisher of the Scottsbluff (Neb.) Star-Herald and Nebraska’s York News-Times. He is now retired and living in Hubbard Lake. Greg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.