We Can Do Better

As it stands currently, the 2024 presidential race is shaping up to a choice between two would-be felons. On the one hand you have former President Donald Trump (R) who has been charged with mostly technical violations relating to election laws and handling of presidential papers. On the other hand you have current President Joe Biden (D) who while not yet charged with a felony is knee-deep in the criminal conduct of his son Hunter Biden. On a personal level, Mr. Trump is a megalomaniac braying in the wind and bullying those with whom he disagrees. On the other hand Mr. Biden is a demonstrable liar – a liar about what he has done and a liar about denials of what he has been accused of doing. They are both disgusting human beings and dismal representative of the United States to the rest of the world.

Surely we can do better. And by “better” I don’t mean some loser running as a third party candidate who, at best, will be a spoiler because (s)he cannot get elected under the requirements of the United States Constitution. (For those of you forced to endure a teachers union led education in the Portland Public Schools, the Constitution uses a method of requiring candidates to win a majority of the Electoral College votes, not a majority of the nationwide popular vote.)

We can do better by choosing Nikki Haley (R-SC) – former Governor of South Carolina and former Ambassador to the United Nations. I do not say this because “it’s time for a woman” – I find is deeply offensive to suggest that someone should hold a public office based on their gender or ethnicity. I also do not say this in criticism of other Republican contenders – well, unless Sen. Ted Cruz decides to throw his empty hat in the ring.

After four years of bluster and bombast followed by over two years of incompetence, deceit, corruption, and economic instability, it is time to return to electing someone who epitomizes leadership on an international and domestic scale. Ms. Haley has served in the business world on both a local and national basis. First in her family business at the local level and then President of the Association of Women Business Owners – thus a background in the day to day struggles and logistics of maintaining a business. She served in the South Carolina Legislature – thus a background in the dynamics of negotiating and debating needed changes in the law. She served two terms as Governor of South Carolina and, when coupled with her time in the legislature, understands the formation and passage of a balanced budget. Two terms as governor gave her executive experience in managing a complex bureaucracy. And finally she served as Ambassador to the United Nations which put her as America’s advocate/negotiator before most of the nations of the world. It is in this latter role she gained notoriety for standing up to the world’s bullies and calling out the hypocrisy of the United Nations itself; as well as working cooperatively with other nations to construct workable solutions to international problems.

On a personal level she is married and has two children. Her husband is an officer in the South Carolina National Guard and has been deployed to Afghanistan and is now currently deployed to Africa for the next year. Ms. Haley knows the trials and tribulations of “those who also serve” as spouses of deployed warriors.

It would be easier to say Ms. Haley is the complete package but sometimes you have to remind people of her resume.

I have not met Ms. Haley and thus rely on friends who have. She is described by them as gentle, kind, tactful and soft spoken. She is also described as bold, hard nosed, unflinching and incisive in her advocacy. You can be both and we should all aspire to be so.

The point here is that we can do better than what is staring us in the face. We should not have to be embarrassed by our leaders. Rather we should have leaders that are reflective of what we hope to portray to the world: Independence, Opportunity, Innovation, Strength, Tolerance and Generosity.

We need not accept corruption, incompetence, deceit, conceit and dissembling. We can do better and we can start by demanding proof of character before electing. We can start by supporting Ms. Haley and demanding accountability for others we select as our leaders in government.