Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Find Our Next American President -- Idol Style

American Idol continues to reign supreme on television. Millions of people call each week to select their favorite talented singing adolescent. The show is all the rage on the Internet, in classrooms and around the office water cooler.

Why do we not have that same level of interest in American politics?

Over 35 million votes are cast in just two hours for American Idol contestants – each week. Meanwhile, in the 2004 presidential election (which was open all day), 122 million Americans cast a vote. Why is there so much difference between the participation rates in these two elections?

I have an idea that might help change this trend.

Why not host a national television show (starting this summer) called "American President?" Have people apply or tryout to run as the "citizens candidate" for President. Get a group of about 100 solid candidates (from varied backgrounds, experiences and with varied ideas) that could do the job but don't have the money backing them to campaign nationwide.

Then, each week, have the candidate’s present ideas or solutions to various problems facing our nation. Then each week selected groups of candidate’s debate issues and Americans then vote on who stays and who goes home.

Each week the group gets smaller and each week interest in the show, and the solutions proposed by candidates, increases.

When the show is down to the top 10 the show could start airing “candidate” profiles. Each week, candidates would be given five or 10 minutes to address the American public and present their ideas on how to tackle certain issues.

By the time the final person is selected in "American President" we would have a viable and well-known third-party candidate who would have national support and recognition.

Perhaps part of the show's prize would be money to begin a national campaign. If the show finished up in time this person could be showing up in national primaries.

Since this is my idea, I'm even going to volunteer to be a judge or consultant to the program. I work pretty cheap.

Something like "American President" might get citizens more engaged in the election process. If we could just get young Americans as interested in the Presidential race as they are American Idol, that would be a great success story.
Great idea! You should submit this to CBS. Any chance some local media outlet would get behind this type of effort locally? Maybe a similar program to find a candidate for Mayor in Springfield?
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