How we all SHOULD have decided how to vote for POTUS

I understand that this post is too late, but I’m writing it because I’m going to need it over the next 4 years.

So without further delay I give you…

The Steps to Selecting your candidate for POTUS

  1. Turn off the news, social media, and candidate-based conversations until you complete step #8
  2. Write down what you believe are the most important issues of our time. Is it a balanced budget, Russia, the Supreme Court, respect for diversity, income distortion, education, terrorism, drug abuse, congressional incentives, healthcare, or something else? You absolutely must prioritize these from most to least important. Think about the consequences of choosing one over the other. Think about the objective of each. There is never a way to escape from prioritizing problems to solve. DO NOT MOVE ON UNTIL YOU HAVE DECIDED YOUR PRIORITIES.
  3. Write down next to each problem, where the core executive capability actually rests for solving this problem with the least amount of collateral consequences. You may find that the role of POTUS is not actually the role optimized for this capability. An important note : capable of and optimized for are not the same thing. Some problems cannot be solved by a position, or if solved there, the amount of overhead is drastically increased vs another method.
  4. Immediately stop asking for a POTUS to solve the problems you know he is not optimized for or capable of solving. The POTUS is not a Savior. The POTUS was deliberately designed not to have that kind of power. Yes, some things would be solved faster if the POTUS took action, but at what systemic cost? You (yes, you) must apply the right pressure at the right level of society, from POTUS all the way down to you individually. This means you’ll need to vote in more than just the Presidential election.
  5. For problems within the remit of POTUS, consider what principles you believe ought to be applied to solve the problems you have prioritized. Ask yourself what data you believe would need to be true for those principles to be applied successfully.
  6. Seek out the underlying data if it exists from a number of sources. To avoid fear of conspiracy or selection bias, read and seek from many different sources. Laugh at the knowledge that you will never have more than 10% of the information you need to gain a conclusion, but are being asked to do so anyways. Reflect, meditate, pray, etc on this information. Dig deeper if need be to ensure you have a strong foundation. Stay on this step for as long as you need to. Bad information is the most disastrous of possessions.
  7. Now that you have your underlying data, write down what you believe is the best approach to solving the problems you prioritized.
  8. Write down the criteria, experience, credentials you would hope to see from a candidate planning to apply that approach. For best results here, also have 3 friends of diverse background write down what they would consider to be the best credentials for each specific solution. Now step back and consider how inadequate your ability is to decide what the best credentials are for this position. In business, we say that being a CEO is an unnatural skill set. The only way to know what the credentials are for a successful CEO is to wait and see if a CEO is successful.
  9. Chop off every important issue below priority #5. Realize that you now have blood on your hands too. Welcome to a world where you have to make decisions. Weep for a moment on the consequence of not being able to accomplish those other important issues. Then move on because this is a world of scarcity and we’ve got a lot of work to do.
  10. Find 3 candidates who best represent the solutions, data and principles you’ve established through your research and reflection. Seek them out, don’t let marketing budgets dictate your consideration pool.
  11. Review their history to determine whether their record to-date reflects proof that they can and intend to accomplish what you’ve prioritized.
  12. Ask more questions. Do you see any signs that these candidates would do significant damage, working against the other issues you had on your list below priority #5? If yes, are you willing to accept that consequence in exchange for this individual’s strength in solving the higher priority problems?
  13. Once you have come to a semi conclusion, share your prioritized issue list with others, your conclusions of a solution you can get behind, and the top 3 candidates you believe can accomplish those things. Let your social discussion be first on the priorities, then the data, then the solutions, then the candidates. Proceeding in reverse order is a doomed conversation with no hopes of mutual enlightenment.
  14. Now comes reality. Vote as close to your conscience as you can. Every diverse opinion bringing forward a different candidate profile. Critical mass is required. You’ll have to battle that part out on your own, but know that whatever you do, the responsibility falls to you.
  15. Acknowledge and never let go of the excruciating gap between what your conscience is telling you and the person you’re going to end up voting for. Know that people will die because of your choice, others will be temporally damned to a lack of help and opportunity. You’ll have to figure out how to move on with that guilt. You’re the hiring manager. Don’t want that job anymore? Neither does the rest of America it seems.

Important things to keep in mind specifically about the role of POTUS:

  • This is one of many, many roles in the US government, it’s remit is not all-inclusive. Do not assign hope or expectations to this office that are outside that job description.
  • That said, the only job description that a presidential candidate actually cares about is this: Get Votes. That means promising to do exactly what the people say they want a President to do, even if that would be a dangerous use of the presidency.
  • Any individual of power either in business or politics will after sufficient time and climb have blood on their hands. Power is accomplished by establishing dominion over others. Individuals who seek power objectify the rest of humanity as pawns, tools, or at best as one of several million people to prioritize. The greater the power to gain, the greater the objectification of others. Priorities will be decided. People over people. It will result in pain, suffering, loss, and death.
  • As our nation’s expectation of POTUS power rises (and it’s job description continues to be expanded), it will continue to draw some of the most skilled objectifiers of our society.

Exhausted yet? Me too.

No wonder Americans either don’t vote or just vote against the greater of two evils (AKA the one whose face was the ugliest, scariest, angriest in all the social memes).

As we choose to avoid the pain and time of thinking critically all the way from the beginning, we outsource that job to the party system.

I’m sure some altruistic group will be happy to take it off our hands.