Sowell is exactly right. Truth is, we’re just not very good at selecting and electing Presidents. Our process is all wrong. There certainly is a particular skill set that Presidents need to have— and our electoral process doesn’t test for any of that. Instead, our tests are all about things that don’t really matter for the actual job of being President.
We’re far better at seeking out and selecting a new American Idol that we are at finding new Presidents. The “debates” (which aren’t really even debates) are useless. Presidents don’t need debate skills. What they need is the ability to listen to diverse opinions and differing advice— and recognize good advice when they hear it. Presidents don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of facts about the world or even it’s leaders. What they need is a gift for quickly assimilating new information in order to make sound decisions, perhaps on topics that they first learned about that morning.
The real day-to-day skills that make a President aren’t things that we come even close to in our selection process. I’m not sure what to do about it, but there’s got to be a better answer.
Part of the problem is the visual media. Ever since the 1960 Kennedy vs. Nixon debate, the criteria changed from substance to style. How does the candidate look and speak to the camera becomes important, not what they are saying.
All fine and good. I would add as a first requirement the ability to have all decisions strictly follow the language and intent of the United States Constitution.
Our Republic would have been much better served if our leaders did not undertake to "help the people" in the cause of solving "problems." We would have a more peaceful, ordered, and prosperous Republic.
I think we should give all of the candidates guns and they should shoot it out. Survival of the smartest and fittest.