When a presidential candidate runs for office, death in office is really not on the agenda. Setting aside the premonition that some individuals may have concerning their potential demise, most people just don't list "death in office" in their long-range goals. Why should they?
But politicians do get sick and die -- even President's of the United States. As recent events have made clear, they can also be made targets of stalkers and malcontents -- even today. And the Secret Service members can fail at their jobs.
It would behoove us all if each individual candidate would embrace the possibility of death in office due to illness or the hand of others. Those who do that for us would probably make wiser choices of running mates. (Mr. President, I am not speaking of Mr. Biden. I believe he was a good choice).
Through the election campaigns since I have been old enough to vote, candidates have spent too much time evaluating which running mate would bring the most votes and enhance their campaigns.
We need you all to "get real". These people you choose could potentially be the President of the United States some day. We need you to examine if they are smart enough for the job. Are they mature enough? Are they educated enough? Do they have the physical stamina? Will they carry out your political goals? Are their goals at least similar to yours? If we elected you and approve your platform, will we want their ideas as well? Is there depth and wisdom to their thinking? Are they honest? Will they interact well with foreign leaders? Are they hawks who will constantly want boots on the ground, nation after nation, or do they exercise good judgment in picking our battles?
And while you are evaluating your potential running mates, turn the spotlight on your own goals, abilities and aspirations. Are you up to all aspects of the most taxing position of the world today, or is this just some whim you've always nurtured in yourself?
Being President and Vice President of the United States are real jobs, difficult ones. It is not just an award like becoming an Eagle Scout or Miss Congeniality. The steps for achieving success as President are not all written out in a guidebook. They require a lot of knowledge, skill, thought and flexibility. And they certainly require a lot of prayer.
Then, we the people, need to focus on qualifications more important than political party when we cast our votes. Are we smart enough for that job?