Please, give me two more years of peace and quiet about the 2016 Presidential race!
For one thing, talk and speculation now doesn't matter. It amounts to as much as the talk about the governor of Minnesota or whoever was the darling four years ago. (Was that Pawlenty?)
Second, I don't care, and won't care even in 2016. In 2012, I didn't even watch the returns on Election Night. Which might seem odd, considering my interest and career in public affairs. But, frankly, I think even those with decent intentions - and I think all of them do have good intentions in their own minds - won't do, or can't do, what they've promised.
Third, I don't respect the office. To explain, I'll reprint the last paragraphs of my Max Schmeling, James Harrison and Me essay from the Partial Observer, March 22, 2011:
If I was a championship athlete, or I saved 100 orphans from a burning building, I would probably be invited to the White House to be congratulated and have a photo-op with the President. And that would be exceedingly awkward. I'd decline the invitation, regardless of who is the President.
That's because it's not the President's job to congratulate me. He has no authority over me. He's not my "leader" and, because I'm not in the military, he's not my "commander-in-chief." He's not my boss. He's not a cultural icon. He's not a spiritual leader. All he is is a guy with a job that happens to make him the top law enforcement officer in the U.S. and commander in chief of the armed forces.
This makes him a dangerous man, not someone I'd want to meet.
As long as Presidents like Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, and Obama attack countries that never threatened us, I see no reason in giving them any sign that the office of the Presidency is worthy of respect and honor.
I'll comply with the government's dictates. I'll obey under coercion and compulsion. But I might as well be governed by a foreign people. The values and mindset in Washington are so far removed from mine, that as a matter of conscience it would seem best to avoid the President and politicians whenever I can.