Judging a president
There is a criterion, which may be different for everyone but mine includes, political knowledge and savvy, policies and overall worldly views, communication skills and intellectual leadership, respect for the office of the presidency and knowing how laws and government works in terms of political infrastructure. Having or creating and then maintaining worldly respect and being fully aware of political strategies. In addition, moral character, a deep knowledge of political history and American history overall. Someone who has the skills to read, interpret and understand laws, be willing to work with those in power who represent different views but to, more than anything else, have the best interests of all Americans at heart. In living outside of the USA, I have more than learned, but have been able to confirm and validate opinions that originated while living in the USA prior to relocating. I have understood Americans generally function on short-term thinking rather than long-term thinking. This, I believe, is a part of American DNA. Therefore, I think that short-term plans or strategies ands actions must be formed so that they are flexible enough to integrate into long-term plans and strategies, meaning that a short-term plan must be open ended to allow for such integration.
By short-term plans I mean that if you deregulate without long-term understanding and find yourself with a policy that due to its consequences can no longer be reversed then the short-term plan becomes harmful long-term and even if that does not hurt you personally, it eventually hurts someone and that is morally wrong.
I do think that there might be room for some De-regulations that might stimulate business and the economy, but they must be embedded into a policy of not sacrificing the future for the present. If you deregulate disallowing money to be spent on fighting pollution as an example therefore helping big business to save money and then hire more people you may satisfy the present but you may wind up killing people in the future and force government to spend even more later on in an attempt to reverse the negatives, ignorance, avoidance or self-satisfaction that shortsightedness might cause. As an example, if big business does not have to pay to exhibit labels on food products or bottles and so on that inform the public of its ingredients, then a company might indeed spend less and return money to its stockholders or hire more people or simply earn more profit. The question is, will it cause people to get sick or die or force big business or government later to spend even more to correct the problem? So, short-term thinking and deregulation needs to be smart, open enough to match eventual long-term plans and strategies and not be responsible for deaths, destruction, violation of liberties or more money spent in the future to correct short-term lack of insight. Culturally, America is generally all about money. It is a credit card society where the more debt you have, the better of a financial risk you are, which equates to healthy credit status. In that cultural equation, it is no wonder that not owing money, not having outstanding loans, not being in debt, makes you a risk and undeserving of financial support or credit. That is certainly illogical, but this is how America functions.
When one reviews a president, any president, one must also look at their values and the direction they believe they want to take a country in. Oddly enough, America is a country where people give to charities, truly come to one’s aid, contribute to organizations whose intentions are to positively make a difference regarding cures for diseases or helping people who lose their homes due to tragic situations and so on. So, it is truly odd that at the same time, Americans are greedy and see money as the main part of their value system. Marketing tactics, junk mail, overselling, scams and hacking, police departments and fire departments contacting the public for donations, generating high credit card debt, paying incredibly high prices to go to university, the inability to save enough to overcome an unforeseen bill of more than $400.00 etc. are all signs of how America functions. Politicians attacking countries that have greater public value systems that can offer better public programs where governments play a greater role, such as public health insurance, are dramatically defiled and labeled as either fascist or socialist and therefore, anti-American. Social democracies simply have a system that allow government, big business and the populace/citizenry to enter into an arrangement that establishes an understanding that helps people to have a balanced lifestyle without having to do things such as sell their homes to afford surgery, etc. The country benefits may offer a greater balance between work and private life values and lifestyle. If we look at crime, country debt, unemployment, GDP (based on population) income per capita, percentage of immigration, life expectancy, homicide rate (USA-almost 5% for every 100,000 people and Germany, less than 1%) and in many other categories, you find that a country such as Germany matches rather well regarding the USA although its population is one quarter that of the USA. There is a greater work-life balance in social democracies than in the USA, which is not to say that all countries do not have problems, they do but there are role models and aspects of other value systems that can be considered to improve the lives of the citizens of any country. In this light, if we look at president Obama we see that his values were part of an effort to modify some of the traditional American values and embed some values of other systems to create a better work-life balance. Therefore, Obama Health Care or gun deregulation were serious issues and in play politically. But because America is so money oriented and big business such as the pharmaceutical or oil industries or lobbyists, or the NRA play such a central role in how socially based-government programs are created, that prices remain high and Americans suffer because of it.
An examination of values, an understanding of culture, a rational and realistic understanding of facts such as scientific facts regarding global warming, a realization of how short-term policies such as fracking or deregulating business practices that can affect the health of the populace, although perhaps helping to hire more people short-term may also play a role in killing those very people or their family members down the line. Why is it that in a country where the driving speed limits are low there were 34,000 deaths in the USA compared to 3,500 in Germany where there are no speed limits on many of its highways; based on the most updated data.
The overall point is this: There is a value system in America that is often unhealthy, has a world view that is at odds with a great many of the countries in the world, that for whatever reasons, it has an aggressive and violent behaviorism, that often sees power as a tool to dominate, control, and demand how the world should be managed. This is not to say that America has not made great worldly contributions, because it has. But this is to say that one should truly engage in the history of America with open eyes and an open mind and see our behavior, actions, policies and attitudes to have a better understanding of who we are and how the rest of the world sees us. Reflection is healthy and a part of a learning process.
One should want a president that can learn, grow, change, understand the world, make decisions that take long-term and not only short-term thinking into consideration and makes decisions based on the consequences of those decisions. No president should engage in fear tactics or divide a nation. That is what antagonists and evil people do. That is what people who hate do. A president must obey the laws and offer leadership that can be respected, establish morality that can allow its people to respect, trust and follow its president into the future.