Rabbi Shmuley prefers authenticity to perfection in a presidential candidate.
Topic: The Ideal Candidate
Shmuley Boteach: You know I closely follow the presidential race. I’m someone who is impressed and inspired by authenticity. So I’m looking for the candidates who are just real. They may be flawed as all hell, but I would prefer a flawed, real person than a fake, perfect person. So I’m . . . You know I’m not saying who that is. Everyone will make their own determination. Who am I as an accurate weathervane for authenticity? But we all have some sort of truth detector in us, and I’m trying to apply it as I read about the different candidates because I like . . . Because I think that if presidents are real and genuine, then they will make the right decisions. And they will correct themselves if they’ve made the wrong decisions. They’ll have the humility because they’re not afraid of being real. Real people make mistakes and they say they’re sorry. And they change course. I’m very disappointed that there aren’t candidates who are as of yet focused on serious social issues – not gay marriage and abortion, but divorce, the state of the youth, the incredible . . . things like teen sexuality, teen suicide, depression. One out of three doctors ________ American woman _________ an anti-depressant. One out of three. Forty percent of American men have reported depression. The New York Times reported – I kid you not – that one out of 10 university students has made a plan for suicide. One out of 10. Well when you have 10% of the student population wanting to kill themselves, and you’re the richest, most prosperous country in the history of the world, there’s something wrong. The presidential candidates never talk about this. I was in Ireland just last week, and Mary McAleese who is the female president of Ireland – second woman president, quite amazing – she gave this incredible speech you just have to respect. She gave a speech against binge drinking, and saying how much it’s destroying the youth and leading to depression and suicide. Now one would normally say, “Hey, you’re the president. What the hell are you talking about? Talk to us about taxes. Talk to us about NATO. What are you talking about binge drinking?” But that’s what leadership should also be. I’m disappointed that our candidates don’t talk more about that.
Recorded on: 09/05/2007