The Daily Gamecock

Future candidates won't fix problems now

Current policies take precedent over next president

Following last week’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, many politically minded Americans have started focusing their attention on the 2016 presidential election. More specifically, people have started discussing which potential candidates have the best shot at taking the White House in three years. This speculation is not only premature, it is counterproductive.

Presidential elections aren’t about seeing who can garner the most votes, but rather about determining which candidate has the best plan to run the government. By engaging in a never-ending dialogue about who will be next, voters lose focus on the current president and pending legislation.

According to the website, there are more than 6,000 bills and resolutions currently pending in Congress. Some of them may seem insignificant, but many of them are not. Because of this, each news segment dedicated to following the horse race that is presidential elections is a wasted opportunity to discuss important issues that can be immediately addressed. Presidential campaigns offer many proposals, yet, until one of the candidates wins and is sworn into office, they remain just proposals. The sitting president deserves the lion’s share of attention in American politics as they are making the decisions that ultimately affect people.

Scrutiny of presidential candidates is important, but only to the point that it does not infringe on examining the current president’s actions and initiatives. At this point in the 2016 race, nobody has officially announced that they are running, and rumored candidates are reluctant to discuss what issues they would emphasize should they run. With this in mind, voters should think about where they stand on current bills such as the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act,” for example, as it is likely to be voted on long before the next president.