The gravest and most dire concerns regarding the possible ascendency of Donald Trump, an egotistical, thoroughly unsuitable candidate, to the Presidency of the United States (and as such, the leader of the free world) was only exceeded by the tragic and alarming results of his success. The quick decline of America as an evolving avatar of Republican Democracy, had the speed and pathos of Classical Greek Tragedy, and left many ardent citizens in a state of confusion and utter despair.
If there were possible, a worrisome observation, even worse than the fact of the election of this unusual character to the Presidency of the United States, it was the dismaying and shocking realization that, incredibly, millions of fellow Americans, necessarily, voted for him.
We have quite often referred to the sage advice of Thomas Jefferson that, for a Democracy to function successfully, it requires a literate and informed populace. The subject Presidential election demonstrated unequivocally, that our country proved deficient in voters of the Jeffersonian caliber.
The inadequate number of usefully qualified citizen-voters, predictably, resulted in the current travesty to the American tradition. We were left with a completely unsuitable and unstable individual in office, a cabinet composed of people with obvious conflicts of interest, officials who are at the very top of our Security apparatus who are under indictment for treason, officials who are principally and illegally concerned with their aggregation of profits, (including the President himself who is clearly violative of the emoluments proscription of the U.S. Constitution), an Oval Office serving as a family mom and pop retail establishment, the creation of an atmosphere of disrespect for law and ethical conduct, a President who is embarrassingly ignorant regarding international, as well as national affairs, and sadly, so much more. It is frightening to realize that this impulsive orange primate has his tweeting fingers on the nuclear trigger.
What can be done? We would like to hazard a proposed solution, at least, for future implementation.
It is obvious that any program to assess the qualifications of the individual voter would be unconstitutional, under our “one man, one vote,” Republican form of Democracy. Moreover, sad experience with the subject of voter qualification, has demonstrated that it has been used for unscrupulous purposes, typically for the implementation of bigotry. This is not a recommended solution.
We would, however, suggest that a process of official vetting and qualification of candidates be undertaken, prior to the convening of any Presidential primary. A recollection of the last Republican primary, except for a few contestants, was a disappointing clown show of obvious incompetents; which, predictably, resulted in the selection of an incompetent clown nominee (ultimately, chief executive). Certainly, it must be possible to convene an objective, knowledgeable screening committee, composed, perhaps, of past Presidents, political scientists or other qualified people, to function as a protective filter to disqualify manifestly incapable aspirants to our high office.