This was suggested by my friend Brian Dykstra a few years back. Brian does a lot of political spoken word stuff and in one show he called for something very simple from political candidates:
Buzzwords, codewords, blather and bullshit are fine, it's a long road and you're saying the same thing to a different crowd every four hours. I'm not saying you've got to channel Lincoln and Douglas every afternoon.
But behind all that and right out front where anyone can see, mandatory opinions.
On everything and anything anyone asks.
Imagine a job interview where you ask the candidate what he's going to do.
You're hiring this guy for a pretty important job. And you say,
"So, financially we're in a rough patch here. We almost went out of business four years ago and things are better, compared to that nightmare, but we need to be thinking about getting stronger, you know, more stable. So, what would you do?"
And the guy nods and smiles and says,
"We need to create more jobs."
So you say,
"Exactly. Right. We're on the same page. What would you do to do that?"
And he looks at you real sincere and says,
"This is the greatest company in the world. And I want to restore its greatness."
So you nod. And you say,
"Well, that's a nice thing to say. I like this company a lot, too. Been with it all my life, actually. But I'm asking you, directly, what are your plans to improve it if we give you the job?"
And he smiles broadly and says,
"The guy you have now tried. And he seems like a nice guy. He tried, you tried. But he's not doing the job. He's got to go."
And at this point you're getting a little frustrated, right? So you stare hard at the guy and say,
"Well, that's the way we've set it up here, even though he has the job, he has to reapply after four years. And we've seen a lot of candidates, did a pretty thorough search, actually, all across the country and it's down to him or you. So, if I can ask you plainly, what the hell are you going to do, sir?"
Mandatory opinions. On both sides.
Otherwise it's just a reality TV/popularity contest/smearfest/dirty money jamboree. And maybe it's that anyway, but at least more of us will know who we're hiring and fewer of us can pretend to be outraged down the line.