The Perfect Candidate

Michael Prell
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Posted: Feb 15, 2012 12:07 PM
The Perfect Candidate

Are you happy with the remaining Republican candidates?

Or the current occupant of the White House?

Or Congress?

If your answer is “no,” don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority.

Polls show that none of the Republican candidates can crack 50% support in a head-to-head contest with President Obama. That is not to say the President is doing much better: he can’t crack 50% either. And Congress? They have a 12% approval rating and an 81.7% disapproval rating.

So, in this all-important election, who is the “right” candidate?

The answer is: none of them.

The truth is: none of them ever have been. There is not, nor has there ever been, any such thing as the perfect or “right” candidate. Even President Obama, who swept into office astride a unicorn of “hope” powered by the breathless hot air of media sycophants, has crashed back to earth and revealed himself to be nothing like what he had promised.

So, given that there are no perfect or “right” candidates, what are voters to do?

Do more than vote.

In 1975, Milton Friedman said: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

In other words: our job is to make it politically painful for any of these less-than-perfect politicians to do the wrong thing, and to make it politically profitable for them do the right thing, namely: to stand up for America’s founding principles and to defend the Constitution.

Who, in America, is currently performing this critical task? The media? Hardly. The vast majority of media outlets in America celebrate, rebrand, and provide political cover for perhaps the greatest series of government power-grabs, money-grabs and assaults on the Constitution since America was founded. When the government spends more, with the stroke of a pen, than all of America’s children will earn in their lifetimes – the President calls it “fairness,” and the media calls it “compassionate” while branding those who call for fiscal restraint as “irresponsible” and “heartless.”

The American people are left to wonder: who will stand up to these imperfect politicians and force them to honor the oaths they swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States– or replace them with those who will honor their oaths?

If you are looking for that strong, perfect and “right” candidate among the bruised and battered remnants of the Republican race – keep looking. There is no such thing as a perfect or “right” candidate. If we didn’t know that before they spent millions beating each other up with brutal attack ads, we certainly know it now.

So where are we to look? To paraphrase Milton Friedman: look in the mirror.

It is up to you to elect the best possible candidates – with the full knowledge that none of them are perfect. Then, you must be ready to do the hard work, each and every day, to reward them for doing good, and to punish them for doing bad.

Call it the “carrot & stick” approach. Feed the politician a carrot and encourage them to do the right thing – and if they fail to do the right thing, “stick” the carrot where it will cause them the most pain.