Pictured we have a collage of most of the potential candidates back in 2020. The cast of characters has changed since then, but the stakes are still high and the problem of definitively choosing the “best” candidate is just as complicated if not to say impossible. Given the high degree of partisan bickering and backstabbing “impossible” is probably the better choice of words. The current partisan political milieu guarantees that the “best” choices do not stand a chance.

I look at all the smiling faces above, and think about the potential candidates not pictured, and I am reminded of all the divisive and competing agendas they represent, and that’s the problem. We need to invest in unifying agendas, but that is not what will be offered to us.

The candidate the country needs will not emerge from the primaries. Sorry to be a pessimist.

We are all facing the same dilemma, but my first piece of advice to you is this: ignore almost everything the candidates say. Even if they believe their own words when they say them, once elected, he or she will occupy the biggest desk in Swamp Central.

The ideal candidate would do what no viable candidate can afford to do, propose some realistic policies for limiting the power of government to benefit some societal sectors at the expense of others. Government needs to be more neutral, more objective, and less influenced by powerful lobbyists. Government should serve and protect, not spend our money to inordinately benefit big business.

Back in 2008 we had a financial crisis. Government threw massive amounts of our wealth at the problem because bankers told government that some businesses were “too big to fail”. That was wrong! In a Democracy, if you dig yourself into a hole, government should throw you a rope, but it should not build you a six-lane highway and cover you with teflon.

I cannot tell you what the ideal 2024 candidate will look like, but I can tell you how he or she should sound. He or she should sound like former President Ronald Reagan.

Here are just three of the wise things Ronnie had to say on the subject of government:

“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.”

“We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down.”

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”

Unfortunately, even if we could resurrect the former President, we couldn’t get him elected.