Imagine you want to pick the absolute best quarterback in the NFL right now. There is going to be a lot of debate, but you are going to start by picking the top 5 or so candidates and then working through a variety of stats and opinions, figuring out a process which is probably going to involve some sort of consensus or vote, and ultimately you can award that title.
No matter what, not everyone will agree with the final pick. You would have people who, for a variety of reasons, thought one of the other guys was a better choice. But there is one thing that no one would be able to deny: whoever that pick is, that guy is so much better at being a quarterback than the average person, if you tried to mock up the comparison – put actual, average people onto a field with two NFL teams and let them have a go for even a single down – some of those average people would be killed. Like, actually killed.
My point is this: despite the fact that most wouldn’t agree on who the absolute number one pick should be, the process to even get in the running – to become a quarterback in the NFL – selects the best. And everyone would agree that all 5 are incredible players. These guys aren’t just a little better than the rest of us, they are so superior at what they do, it’s hard to wrap your head around it.
Think about that selection process for a minute. How does someone become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL? Of course, you are going to have to excel at playing football from the beginning. And you have to want to play. And then you play and train, train and play, work harder than the next guy, strengthen your weaknesses, exploit your talents. You have to impress the scouts, pass the tests. You have to prove yourself on the field, over and over again. Just to get into the NFL – any position, any team – is incredibly difficult. To rise up to that level… well, it’s only a handful in 350,000,000.
When I say we need to change our election process to improve how we select our leaders – and in particular, our President – this is really what I mean. Imagine a similar system, where the top 5 in the running are so much better at the job than the average person that you can’t fathom having to step into their shoes for even a single play. Imagine an election where there was debate about who the number one person was, but at the end of the day, we all agreed that all of the candidates would be exceptional.
Our current election process doesn’t do that. Not even close. And THAT is what we need to fix.
Look, if you want to be a top quarterback, every step of the way, you have to deliver the goods. You can be boisterous or humble, have nicknames or wear certain clothes, sell your story how you like to get your foot in the door, but if you can’t get on the field and get the job done, you are going home. If you are an NFL team owner, and your success depends upon the performance of that team, the quarterback being the linchpin, you don’t mess about with the way you make your choices.
How we chose our President? I believe that choice is more important.
Yes, we established free elections by the people, a revolutionary concept. Two hundred years ago. We moved on from picking kings with blood (either having it, or spilling it). Bravo. And that’s it? We can think of no other way to improve the system? No tweaks to the selection process to assure we have nothing but the best?
I don’t think I am the best person to be President of the United States, and I don’t want anyone to ever try to say I made that claim. But I think I could suit up, get on the field, and out maneuver the vast majority of the people in the game today. And THAT is what I want to fix. These people should be so good at what they do, that the thought of me – a doctor with no political experience at all – me, actually being put into a debate with the front runners for the highest office in the land, that image should be fodder for an SNL skit. Well, bring it on. I can look around my sleepy little city and name a half a dozen people that could run circles around these folks. It’s as if we have a professional football league with people that never had to actually play to get their spot on the team.
If you are enjoying watching the game the way it is today, by all means, have at it. I personally can’t stand to turn on the news and watch a single play. I cringe whenever I catch a bit of whatever ridiculous statement came off whatever social media outlet that particular leader has chosen to augment whatever it is they are pretending to do. I have more important things to actually do.
I am not the best choice. But I seem to be the only one that wants to put pros on the field.