Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Two hot topics for the price of one

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 149 times
Been thanked: 98 times
Contact:

Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #1

Post by AgnosticBoy »

People keep saying that the elections in the United States are fair. Is it fair enough so that anyone can run, or at least someone from the middle class? Why does it seem that only the rich and/or well-connected (tied to the Democrat or Republican party) make it to the presidency?

I read up on some of what Kanye West had to go through for his 2020 presidential campaign. He hired legal consultants, had to pay fees and it just seemed like so many different regulations, and each state is different. Seems like he was doomed to fail.

Again, is it coincidence that only the rich and/or well connected make it to the presidency, including getting a chance to have their name on the ballot of all 50 states?
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

bjs1
Sage
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:18 pm
Has thanked: 28 times
Been thanked: 146 times

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #2

Post by bjs1 »

[Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #1]

A person must have a certain level of wealth when s/he runs for president.

Kanye West’s presidential run was doomed from the start, mainly because he approached as a publicity stunt instead of as an actual bid for the presidency.

That said, our current president elect, Joe Biden, was raised in a middle class family.

Our 40th president, Ronald Regan, was raised in a low-income family.

A person must attain wealth and/or fame to run for president, but it seems that anyone can become president regardless of his/her background. However, if you have hit 40 and are not well on your way to unusual success then you will probably never be president.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-Charles Darwin

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 149 times
Been thanked: 98 times
Contact:

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #3

Post by AgnosticBoy »

[Replying to bjs1 in post #2]

I do agree that ordinary people can win in local elections. But so far the examples you gave in Biden and Reagan both involved people who had some connections with the mainstream political parties before they ran for president. Reagan was a two-term governor and Biden had been in government office for 40 years. I'm sure both accumulated plenty of money and power, or at least connections with those in power during their time in office before running for president.

People may call these elections fair when there's easy access to voting but I don't consider it fair when the choices are limited to two sides. You have to be connected to one of those sides and/or rich to win.

bjs1
Sage
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:18 pm
Has thanked: 28 times
Been thanked: 146 times

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #4

Post by bjs1 »

[Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #3]

As I said, a person must have a certain amount of wealth to become president. However, neither Biden nor Regan started there. They were born into families that had neither political connections nor great wealth. Over a lifetime of hard work, talent, and luck they achieved the connection and wealth required to become president.

To become president in the USA you have to become connected to one of the two sides. You don’t have to be born with those connections (though it does help).
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-Charles Darwin

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 149 times
Been thanked: 98 times
Contact:

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #5

Post by AgnosticBoy »

[Replying to bjs1 in post #4]
I know you're describing how it works but the question is is it fair?

The point I'm trying to get across is that it is unfair for a person to have to be wealthy or well connected in order to have a real chance of being president.

Such a system obviously restricts freedom of thought and amounts to classism. To be a truly FREE and fair election, I would think anyone would at least have equal opportunity not just to vote but to also run. Then let the American people decide who's best qualified and not the rich or those who are already in power.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

bjs1
Sage
Posts: 531
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:18 pm
Has thanked: 28 times
Been thanked: 146 times

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #6

Post by bjs1 »

[Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #5]

It is generally fair, at least in the aspect that we are discussing at this point.

“Leader of the free world” is a lifetime aspiration, not something a person just jumps into.

If I, working my current middle-class job, were to suddenly insist that I should be president then that would be unfair. I have not done the work. I have not spent decades in public service the way that Biden has. I do not have the experience of governing the fifth largest economy in the world the way that Regan did.

These men started from modest means and spent their lives building to the point where they could become president. That is the way it should be. That is fair.

Classism would mean that a person from Biden’s family could never become president. That is not the case in America. 5 of the last 8 men elected president came from modest backgrounds and became president through hard work, perseverance and some luck. I cannot go from a regular life to immediately running for president. However, if a person devotes his/her life to becoming president then the evidence suggests that goal is achievable, though certainly very difficult.

It is not simply the rich or those already in power who can become president. For many of our presidents there was a time when they and their families were not in power. They had to achieve a degree of power to prove that they could handle it before they were entrusted to become the most powerful person in the world.

I can think of no human system which would be fairer.
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
-Charles Darwin

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1339
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 149 times
Been thanked: 98 times
Contact:

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #7

Post by AgnosticBoy »

bjs1 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:52 pm [Replying to AgnosticBoy in post #5]

It is generally fair, at least in the aspect that we are discussing at this point.

“Leader of the free world” is a lifetime aspiration, not something a person just jumps into.

If I, working my current middle-class job, were to suddenly insist that I should be president then that would be unfair. I have not done the work. I have not spent decades in public service the way that Biden has. I do not have the experience of governing the fifth largest economy in the world the way that Regan did.
Per the Constitution there is no work or educational requirement to become a U.S. president. In fact, even if the standard was that all candidates had to be educated and experienced in all areas that the president has to deal with then every candidate would likely fail. All lacked expertise in one area or another, whether it be in the economy or national security or foreign policy, etc. No one comes to office having all these things under their belt.

Now if you wanted the standard to be an actual educational requirement then that would be fair if everyone was given equal opportunity to that education and experience. What I would suggest is 2 years of education covering civics, national security, economics, etc. Then I'd require a one to two year internship in the government (state and federal - President Obama made it off of two years of Senate experience, right?). This is fair because it doesn't require wealth or political power/affiliations, but all it requires is your brain. And of course people in the middle class can use their brains just as good as anyone else.
bjs1 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:52 pm These men started from modest means and spent their lives building to the point where they could become president. That is the way it should be. That is fair.
While starting from rags to riches is applaudible but that's not the only way that it should be. You shouldn't have to buy the presidency nor get a chance just because you belong to one of two of the major political parties.

I agree with you though that some bare minimum standard EDUCATION should be required, and that does not take wealth or political affiliations.
bjs1 wrote: Wed Nov 11, 2020 4:52 pm Classism would mean that a person from Biden’s family could never become president. That is not the case in America. 5 of the last 8 men elected president came from modest backgrounds and became president through hard work, perseverance and some luck.
You're forgetting that it still largely took money and political connections. Again, Biden and Reagan didn't just go from modesty to presidency. They used the same two things that I'm arguing is unfair, their money and political affiliation which they gathered BEFORE they became president.

A person in the middle class can also "work", "persevere", and get "lucky" (and get educated) without having to kiss up to those in power or have lots of money. A Free and fair election would be somebody like what I just described being able to become president.
Last edited by AgnosticBoy on Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2117
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 671 times
Been thanked: 407 times

Re: Are presidential elections fair? Did Kanye West have a chance? Do you or I?

Post #8

Post by Purple Knight »

I think it's fair to assume that if some party can cheat with impunity, they will. It's about winning, after all.

I'm not saying Biden cheated. I'm saying that if the only oversight they have is to have both campaigns' people oversee the counting process, it's reasonable to assume they just take the third party votes and divvy them up, then have a good laugh at the idiots who voted for the people with no power.

Post Reply