So, imagine for a moment, that you are the leader of the free world. You have made some mistakes, but you also have fervent supporters. As you enter your re-election year, an alien spaceship materializes out of nowhere and begins to attack the entire world, your country included.
This is clearly unexpected. One might even say unprecedented. You would have to carefully consider what to do next.
Now, as the leader of the free world, you have some advantages on your side. For example, if you wanted to, you could assemble the smartest collection of individuals on the planet to be your closest advisors. On a daily basis, you could be interfacing with intellectuals from around the world, who collectively are focusing on the most advanced technologies known to man. On top of that group, you could also assemble a “tiger team” of people whose single role is to disagree with your first-team’s initial analyses, creating a dialogue of debate based on facts and science. And then, after all of the math and logic has been debated, you might have a cadre of close advisors – long-time allies and confidants who you have shared success with. A group of people you trust to help you understand the words the intellectuals have thrown at you.
So knowing that you have this all-star team of brainpower and creative ideas at your full disposal, and staring in the eyes of a global catastrophe, one might think to themselves, “Hmm. Well, this is going to take a while to solve. I probably should have my people pull together an 18-36 month plan. In fact, I should probably call all the leaders of other large nations, and coordinate how we want to work together. And then, I should probably assemble all the governors, and implement a national organization that will address the issues over the next 1-3 years.
At this point, your campaign manager may come up to you and say, “Well do you realize that if you implement an 18-36 month plan to address a global crisis during an election year, you’ll basically be forcing voters to abandon a war-time plan if they vote for your opponent? The other candidate will literally have no chance of beating you. That doesn’t seem fair at all.”
You might look at your adviser and say, “Politics be damned. I care about the American people. Let’s show our world leadership, and then unite the country so we all fight this battle together. If history says I didn’t fight a fair campaign because I united a nation during a campaign year to fight a common enemy, then well, I’ll just have to deal with those ramifications down the road.”
In some parallel universe, this logic occurred. Unfortunately, in ours, these paragraphs are a work of collective fiction.