It’s not even a week into the new year and politicians are already making noise about the 2020 presidential election.
If President Donald Trump decides to run again, he might be surprised if the voters don’t warm to him. Some of his support is drifting away because of his tweets, antics and inability to hold a Cabinet together, let alone a country.
Meanwhile, Democrats (and some Republicans) seem more interested in getting nasty about him than they do in leading a nation.
Here’s a question: If the 2020 campaign started today, who would be your candidate of choice? It doesn’t have to be someone who has expressed an interest.
Both parties have political gene pools in serious need of a large amount of some chlorine. Next year, I suggest we use what I call “The Nervous Secret Service Test” to determine who is worthy of our votes.
Instead of basing your support on a bunch of political noise, ask yourself this: Would you take a bullet for your candidate?
Note: I’m not saying that Secret Service agents — whose job it is to protect the president — are required to do that. But there’s certainly evidence to suggest they put themselves in harm’s way to do their jobs protecting someone.
Why not make this a serious determining factor for yourself. Forget having to vote for the lesser of two or three evils. Instead, find someone for whom you would be willing to sacrifice yourself for the greatness she or he would bring to the country.
This is hardly an unheard of notion. Our men and women in the military risk just such a thing every day. So do cops, firefighters and other emergency personnel.
Do you believe in (insert politician’s name here) enough to jump in front of someone shooting at that person? If not, does that candidate really deserve your support?
I can tell you right now that we’ve never had a president for whom I would take a bullet. In the 2016 presidential election, I wouldn’t have jumped between any of the candidates and a kid armed with a Nerf gun.
I’m not entirely selfish. I would at least consider throwing myself between impending death and, oh, say a nursing mother, a young child, Carrie Underwood, and about half a dozen of the people with whom I attend church.
I’ve even done it. As a cop, I once stepped between a drunk armed with a handgun and his battered wife at a domestic violence call. I played the odds.
The pistol was a .22 and I was wearing body armor. If he fired — and didn’t hit me in the head — the wall behind him was going to be a whole different color when I left.
Turns out, I didn’t have to worry because I noticed almost immediately that the cylinders of the gun were empty. He got a dent in his head, his wife got a restraining order, and I got to go home. Everything worked out.
I only told you that to show that I understand the commitment required to protect people. The questions remains whether your candidate would be worth your life. If not, maybe you should keep looking. I know I am.
It’s been easy. Right now, the only people for whom I’d absolutely, without question, take a bullet for are my wife, kids and grandkids. And none of them wants to be president.
Robert Kirby is The Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.