Every four years Americans vote (or a few of us do) for the presidency. What has become increasingly apparent over the last term is that we are voting for more than just the President. Appointments can have headline grabbing or even disastourous influence over our lives. What this highlights is our need to pick a candidate who not only personifies our policy ideals, but who also will place the right people in these positions of power.
Mark Alexander is the policy director for Obama’s campaign, and I had the privilege to hear him speak at Seton Hall Law School this past Friday. Speaking to a group of prospective SHU students Mr. Alexander began a discussion about “What the law should be.” Mr. Alexander had gone to work in D.C. as an architect, and as time progressed he came to discover the power of the law and decided to pursue a J.D. His experience resonated with me, as an incoming law student, but the overall meaning of his speech went far beyond law students.
Do you ask yourself every day “What the law should be?” or to a greater extend, “What the United States should be?” As you read the newspaper or hear the news do you ask yourself why America is this way? As we’re inundated with stories about politics possibly overrunning law enforcement, and cronyism seemingly taking favor in many political appointments, it was refreshing to hear someone who would have such great power presenting the crowd with these questions.
It was inspiring to hear a political trendsetter comment on the power of individuals, rather than argue about who the deicider is. Rather than simply leading us, Obama’s policy director is trying to get the public to show Obama where we want to be lead. If we follow with blind faith we cannot complain about the decisions that are made, and the resulting consequences that follow suit.
In closing, Alexander reminded us that “Law reflects our vision of what society is, or should be.” If we choose our candidates wisely we will not only get a leader. By choosing wisely we can also pick someone who will place the most qualified people in appointed positions of power. Alexander hammered home that we should be asking ourselves every day, as future law students, “What should the law be?” and it seems the voting public should be doing almost the exact same thing. Reading the news, watching TV, whenever it is we talk about what is going on around us we ought to be asking ourselves, “What should America be?” If our answers to that question don’t align with what we see and hear, then we must take steps to make the needed changes.
As the Presidental election comes near we have a chance to directly pick someone who decides what the law is. Not only that, we can see, by proxy, the type of people that will fill other powerful roles in our government. If Mark Alexander is the kind of person Barack Obama intends to place in such powerful roles, then it is clear to me which candidate is ready to lead this country.