After watching an interview of one of our presidential candidates on TV news last night, it occurred to me that I wished I could have been asking the questions. That got me to thinking about the process by which we select that person who will guide our country for the next four years. No one could deny that it’s an important choice, and that our vote should be guided by reason. But how did we come up with this system we have?
Speeches are great. Lawyers give them all the time, but usually the audience is small, six or twelve jurors and a few others…or maybe just a judge. However, the issues are focused and directed to just those whom the attorneys can see. In presidential elections, speeches have always been part of the mix. I remember pictures of candidates speaking (did they have to yell?) from the back of trains to crowds at the station.
So, how do we get our information about the Presidential candidates? Also, what is it we need to know? Do we want a chief executive who is the best debater? Does it matter what he (or she) looks like? Do we need a great legislator, or a successful businessperson, or a wonderful physician? How do those skills transfer to being a great president?
Times have changed. Most voters get their information from television. Now it’s not speeches but sound bites and interviews and sound bites. The ads are getting far more obnoxious, and the interviews? Well, like I said, my questions often don’t get asked. I conclude that we need to know what the candidates have accomplished, and how did they do it.
How about picking a lawyer? How do we do that? Speeches? I’ve never seen anyone in a courtroom when I’m speaking who’s there to decide if I should be their attorney. Television? Once again, when I see the ads for lawyers, I realize that I can’t ask the questions I want. But here’s where picking a lawyer is similar to picking a president: we need to know what the lawyer has accomplished, and how. But here’s what’s different: you can’t pick up the phone and call a candidate. You can pick up a phone and call a lawyer.
That’s what I’d suggest. You can ask your questions. Find out what the lawyer has accomplished, and how.
We’re at (317) 569-1335.
© Terry Noffsinger
December 4, 2015