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Monday, July 8, 2013

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- How would our founding fathers in today's electoral circus?

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We would all like to believe we select Presidents based on such attributes as experience, vision, and management skills, but unfortunately that has nothing to do with it anymore. Now, it is all about charisma, political correctness, and media spin. This means Madison Avenue has more to do with selling the candidates than we realize. It also means the cream doesn't always rise to the top.
I don't think most of our past Presidents could survive in today's electoral process, but you have to wonder how some of our more prominent Presidents would do today...

I think George Washington would probably do well. His sheer character alone would carry him well and thwart any attacks from the press. His credentials as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army were impeccable, even though he lost many battles. Nonetheless, it would be difficult for anyone to dig up any dirt on George.

Then of course there is Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and one of our most influential founding fathers. Despite his brilliance, he wouldn't last a minute in today's world. Most likely the press would paint him as an egotistical egghead with secret allegiances to other groups and organizations. Then of course there is the sex/slave issue. In other words, the press would likely eat Jefferson for lunch.

As much as we have great respect for Abraham Lincoln, he would also do poorly in today's electoral process. First, he would be depicted as a country bumpkin, rough around the edges, with radical inclinations. Even though he could spin a yarn, Lincoln lacks the charisma for the cameras. And this whole bit of "Honest Abe"...well, forget it. His words would be twisted by the press. Further, the mainstream media would besmirch his character, as they did with George W. Bush, because of his suspension of habeas corpus, and arresting and temporarily detaining thousands of suspected secessionists in the border states without trial.

I was always a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt's, a no-nonsense type of guy who accomplished a lot, but as a candidate today, forget it. Roosevelt would be painted as a hothead and advocate of the NRA. His dislike of wealthy businessmen and corruption would prevent him from building an adequate war chest for advertising. Plus the media would inevitably make fun of his voice (SNL and just about every comic would be doing unflattering impersonations of him).

The only other President who might have a shot at doing well in our political arena of today is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Regardless of how you felt about his politics, FDR had a way of stroking the press and getting adequate funding for his campaigns. His problem with polio though would become a major liability for him in today's world. Whereas the press kept this undercover years ago, the paparazzi today would be chasing after him to take pictures of his leg braces and wheelchairs.

I have come to the realization the American people will no longer tolerate men (or women) with experience and character, and instead accept glitz, facade, and political correctness. I remember Sam Rayburn, the legendary Speaker of the House from Texas, who made the following observation in one of his earliest runs for Congress; he said, "I will not deny that there are men in the district better qualified than I to go to Congress, but gentlemen, these men are not in the race."

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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