A Critical Look Of The Vice Presidency
Essay, Research Paper
The People’s Choice?
When people are asked what the Vice President does, very few can name any specific tasks or duties. This is because the Vice President actually has very few jobs. However, many people actually tend to overlook the most important job of the Vice Presidency, to replace the President if he/she can no longer fulfill his/her duties. Looking back upon many of the recent Vice Presidents, it is highly unlikely that any of these candidates would have placed even a distant 3rd if they were running for President. Are these the people who we want to run our country? Instead, Americans should return to the older system of allowing the candidate with the second most votes hold the office of Vice President. This would: Force candidates to stand on their issues alone, decrease partisanship, and increase American involvement in politics.
Often times, when a Presidential candidate is considered “weak” in an area (foreign policy, education, the environment, etc.) He nominates a running mate who is strong n the same issue. While most people believe that this will help make for a stronger Presidency, it really accomplishes very little. The presidential candidate’s views haven’t changed. All that is changed is how the people perceive the candidate’s views. However, if a candidate must run alone, there will be a much clearer idea of where exactly each candidate stands on various issues.
Secondly, by choosing the Vice President through this method, there will be a dissemination through party lines. The position of President is the single most important that a member of any party can hold, but with a Vice president of a possible separate party there is a large chance that Americans will focus less on party lines and more on specific candidates. Eventually, this will trickle down to other election held along party lines (of which almost all are). By Changing presidential elections in the manor, citizens will have to examine the candidates that they vote for, no more “pulling the party lever”.
If the candidates are examined more closely and on their own merit, Americans will make more informed choices over who they elect. Chances are, no one would have wanted Al Gore or Dan Quale as their President. However, they may have ended up with them, simply because of a party ticket. This methodology is ridiculous, especially with the poor quality of recent running mates. It is necessary to have informed voters who can choose their president, not just their likely one.
Extremely left and right wing candidates stand to lose a lot from these types of elections, not only in the Presidential race, but in House and Senate elections as well. Many candidates are elected on party lines, not on their own merits or issues. By blurring or eliminating many party lines and ties, candidates for any office will have to deal with informed voters who care about issues, not party lines.
The American people will benefit greatly from this revolution in American politics, and this would be a revolution. Early in American history, the Vice President was elected by these methods. American’s deserve to have the person they elect as President, not someone chosen to boost points in their predecessor’s race.
Some would say that an election of this method would actually decrease viable candidates, especially if the political parties are hurt by it. However, who runs today? It is not the poor or the downtrodden, it is the rich. The rich will continue to start their own campaigns, lobbyists will continue to lobby, and the world will continue to spin, even without Democrats and Republicans.
American politics are in need of a change. Voter turnouts are dropping every year. This indicates a serious lack of interest by the American people. It is time for the government to step up. Most people believe they have no effect on the vote. They don’t research the issues; the don’t know their candidates; they don’t even show up to vote. A simple change that shows that the government wants the people involved, could make America concerned about itself again. It could even spark a revolution.