Top 10 Reasons why someone like me should run for office, be it presidential, senate, or congress but would never be successful at it.
1. I have an opinion and I may change it! I know the concept seems strange compared to what we are used to, but I would have my own opinions. I wouldn’t need a team of people telling me what to think or how to think. I would openly share my opinion but I would also listen to those with other opinions as long as the discussion stayed respectful of each other. There may be times I may alter my opinion slightly or altogether based on new information. It doesn’t make a person wishy-washy, it shows growth.
2. I understand the value of a dollar. I’m not rich. I have bills. I have debt. I know what it’s like to go to the grocery store and weigh out an item to determine if it’s a want or a need. Because of this, I know how to look at options and be able to think…how will this affect our country fiscally? What impact will it have? Will it put us further into debt or will it help us start climbing out?
3. I’ve made mistakes! Yes! I know it’s a concept we seem to think our politicians shouldn’t have, but they do. The difference is, they work hard to hide them. I talk about mine. I talk about growth from them. I talk about the knowledge I’ve gained. I have skeletons in my closet! GASP!
4. I would not spend MILLIONS on my campaign. How, as a society, do we not see that as a problem? We talk about the fiscal state of our country, of the needs of so many groups, yet think it’s OK to just pour millions and millions of dollars into campaigns??? Jeb Bush, by waiting to announce, had been out making money for his campaign, using the loophole…I’m not officially running yet, so give me as much money as you can! Yes, I know the presidential campaign is always costlier than Congress, but too much money is spent on all the major campaigns. With the use of social media, the paparazzi, the followers….you could run campaigns on a much smaller budget!
New York Times stated, “As the 2012 campaign gets under way, there have been a lot of numbers thrown around. Some analysts believe that President Obama, who raised and spent about $750 million in the 2008 campaign, will come close to $1 billion this time around — a figure that senior White House officials dispute.”
Think about how many people are running for the 2016 presidential spot already….and how much each of them is going to spend, couldn’t that money be used for better things?
5. I would vote for things the way I felt I should vote, not because a lobbyist bought my vote. Yes, it happens and more Americans should be aware of it. I’m going to explain it in a simpler fashion, so it’s easier for everyone to understand. I worked in the optical industry for years. I have worked for non Wal-Mart optical companies and for Wal-Mart optical. When I managed a small location with a private doctor, we had a contact lens representative come in once a month to see us. He barely talked about new product, but we (me and the optometrist) always went out to lunch with him to one of the nicest restaurants in the area. Guess which brand of contacts the doctor fit 90% of the time? Knowing what I know now, I can honestly say there are times another brand probably would have worked for the patient. The doctor liked the perks he was getting from the company (it wasn’t just lunch once a month).
Wal-Mart has a policy where you can not accept gifts from representatives. They can come in to talk about their products and what is new, what questions we have, etc. Because of this, we (the associates) had real knowledge of the products. We knew what was coming in the future. We understood the differences. The optometrist fit the best PRODUCT to the patient, not the BRAND. In addition, because the company didn’t have to work their “freebies” or “gift” expenses into their cost, they were able to sell the product to Wal-Mart at a lower price, which in turn, allows Wal-Mart to sell it lower. It’s a win for the consumer!
Now ask yourself, is my representative voting the best way he or she can for ME or because someone is giving them kickbacks to vote a particular way?
6. I would fight to change healthcare from the ground up, not the top down. I have said over and over again that our health care system is screwed up and needs to be changed. Sadly, because of how many lobbyists are in our politicians pockets, no one wants to make this change. There is no regulation on charges. My proposal, in a quick blip, is start with expenses and mark ups. Doctors and hospitals should be held accountable for what they are charging. Most people don’t even look at their hospital bills. They pay their portion and move on. I saw a $5 charge once for a bandage. This “bandage” was a band-aid! Are you kidding me, $5 for a band-aid? A mark up like that should be illegal. Think doctors charge too much? They do and it’s because of insurance. They have to charge the same amount regardless if you have insurance or not. Insurance company A says, hey, you charge $150 for that procedure, but we are only going to pay you $73.50 for it. The doctor, if they don’t agree to accept it, will lose 60% of his business, so he says ok. Other insurances, who don’t have as big of a negotiating power, have to pay $104 for the procedure. Someone without insurance gets charged the full $150. See the problem? If we can get a handle on the mark ups, leveraging costs, the insurance companies costs would go down, so insurance premiums would go down, putting more money in the worker’s pocket, Medicaid costs would go down two-fold; less cost to the taxpayer AND more people could afford insurance. How is it no one can see this? Oh yeah, they can, but the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies pay a lot of money to keep politicians from doing anything about it.
7. I would take the same approach to contracts and fight for more affordable government contracts. Why are we paying $50 for a nut and bolt that costs $1 to make? Too much money is thrown down the drain because it’s not their money. If we start challenging theses things at a local, city, and state level, costs would go down. Budgets would be fixed. I would challenge companies bidding for the job or the contract, WHY does it cost so much to do? Can it be done cheaper? What is the reason behind the costs? For example, in an article on Philly.com talking about the ADA compliant ramps in their sidewalks, it stated
“In the Philadelphia region, that will mean rebuilding more than 60,000 sidewalk curb cuts along state-maintained highways, at a cost of at least $300 million over 10 years, and thousands more on local streets. In Philadelphia, sidewalk ramps will get about half of the city’s road budget, officials say”
My mom walks with a walker and uses a motorized scooter, so I am all for ADA compliant sidewalks and businesses, my concern is how much they are going to spend over 10 years. Is anyone challenging them saying, hey, come on, why so much? Just because it’s a government job doesn’t mean they should be able to increase their margin of profit.
8. I’m not Republican or Democrat. I am pro guns. I am pro marriage for any two consenting, legal adults. I am a Christian but not a fan of most organized religions. I believe too many people are on Medicaid for the wrong reasons and it needs to be changed (not gone away, just fixed). I don’t believe in just throwing more and more money at a problem without working towards a solution. See! In one number, I’ve angered so many. It’s why no one would vote for me.
9. I would be aware of the money I was spending. I would challenge accountability of politicians. When they are spending taxpayers dollars, there should be limits. Anything over those limits should have to come out of their pocket. When they are traveling for business, it shouldn’t be the most expensive. It should be reasonable, depending on where they are going and why. While there are times for splurges with any business or company, there should be rules and regulations around the spending and they should make sense.
10. Last reason….I don’t look the part of a politician. I don’t have the right background. I don’t have the right degrees. I don’t have the right look. At the end of the day, I look more like the average American and for some reason, most average Americans don’t want a normal, everyday person, representing them! I don’t understand it, but it’s been proven time and time again.
To be clear, I’m not speaking just for myself when I say “I should run” I’m speaking for every American who would be great in office but would never be given the opportunity.
It’s funny, because I did look at what it would take to run for president and apparently anyone who raises in excess of $5000 can submit their application to run for President. Maybe I should start a GoFundMe and see how much I can raise! Or you can just submit money to PayPal to HaliPawz@aol.com and be sure to label it “Presidential Campaign” As soon as I have $5001 I will enter the race! Halifax for President 2016!
Seriously though, as Americans, we have to start demanding more from our politicians. Challenge them to do better. Don’t vote for the one who speaks the most eloquently, or makes the most promises, find the ones who fit what you believe, who are consistent with your thoughts and ideologies, and will make the best candidate, not because of the party they are affiliated with but because they will truly do the best job!