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How To Pick A President

Going through my various feeds and emails, I found this “essay” from Scott Berkun that I think anyone reading this blog (or any other who is attempting to attain mastership of being right!) will thoroughly enjoy.

A good first half of the posting is a brief history into the why’s of previous Presidential elections; then there’s the take-away:

The 30 minute prep for picking a good president

Here it is. In 30 minutes you too can have a solid grounding on what makes for a good president, and have everything necessary to make a choice truly in the best interest of the United States.

  1. Read the Constitution (10 minutes). It’s probably been years since you have, if you ever did. This is the engine the president helps run – how can you pick a president if you don’t understand what they’re running? Essential reading. Should be included in every ballot.
  2. Skim the Bill of Rights + Amendments (5 minutes). These are the rules the President and government are obligated to play by and protect. Also essential.
  3. Read the job specs for the Presidency (5 minutes). Written by former editor and chief of Time Magazine, outlines 30 attributes we should be looking for.
  4. Study the qualities that bear on presidential performance. Princeton professor Greenstein’s short, and excellent, essay.(5 minutes)
  5. Make a position and issue list. Half the list should include your top issues and concerns for the next year, and half should include issues and concerns you imagine over the next ten years.
  6. Make a scorecard. With the above, you’re now informed about the history of good presidency. Make your own list of ten attributes, and use it to score the candidates.

You’re now prepared to watch debates, listen to the news, and provide historic context and bullshit detection upon what’s said by both pundits and candidates alike.

Just think — you don’t have to do absolutely everything the author suggests to make even a reasonably good choice in any given election. Heck, if you just turn off the TV every time the [local] news comes on (or only watch, say, Fox News, CNN, or the other Acronymed Alphabet News(tm) for 30 minutes at a time), you’d fare far better than most folks out there.

Enjoy.

-Phil

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