It was back in early 1776 that Thomas Paine argued in his pamphlet “Common Sense” for independence by America from the British Crown because it made good sense to do so. The little booklet was a big hit selling 100,000 copies and providing a huge emotional uplift in the run up to the American Revolution.
There is more than enough room for common sense in this time as well. In view of the total and complete lack of experience of President Obama in making decisions and providing the leadership required to properly run the country, it makes good sense to impose an important new qualification for anyone seeking the presidential office, i.e., he/she must have had substantial experience in governance in order to be considered as a candidate. Only by showing that the candidate has leadership abilities, governed people for some quantifiable period of time, made important decisions, and demonstrated the ability to solve problems including fiscal and budgetary problems and, importantly, including the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, should the candidate be considered as qualified to run for President.
This approach is eminently sensible. In a country of some 300 million people, it makes no sense to put someone in charge of running the country unless that person has clearly demonstrated the ability to do so. That qualification would exclude a candidate who has merely served in Congress or a state legislature without more, i.e., a demonstrated capacity for leadership. No successful private corporation would allow anyone to become Chairman of the Board unless that person has previously exhibited the ability to make the important decisions to run the company profitably. That individual will inevitably have experience in effectively overseeing a large number of people, have demonstrated the ability to solve problems, possess the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, make difficult budgetary decisions, and make decisions about what direction the company should be headed to insure profitability. On the job training is out of the question. The same qualities should be present in anyone seeking to run the country.
As things now stand, American presidential politics is a joke, and the joke is on us. The presidency is no place for amateurs. Nor should it be a popularity contest. The country cannot afford a repeat of the current fiasco, to wit, the election of an unqualified and inexperienced but smooth talking politician with no clearly demonstrated leadership skills. To proceed otherwise makes no sense. Today’s world is vastly more complicated than the world of 1788 when the Constitution was signed. To maintain its position as the world leader, the United States must have a president who can lead, not an inexperienced politician. A constitutional amendment to this effect reflecting the foregoing qualifications as a prerequisite for running for office is clearly justified.
There is no doubt when the Constitution was adopted that the Founding Fathers contemplated presidential candidates of special ability, candidates other than inexperienced politicians. Such qualifications are expressly provided for in The Federalist, a series of eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in 1787-1788, to further the public’s understanding and support of the forthcoming Constitution of the United States. The following words from Federalist No. 68, penned by Alexander Hamilton, clearly envisioned well qualified presidential candidates:
“This process of election [use of electors] affords a moral certainty, that the office of president will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents of low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honours [sic] of a single state; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole union, or of so considerable a portion of it, as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue…”
With apologies to Thomas Paine, if these are indeed “times that try men’s souls,” then it behooves the country to take all necessary and proper steps to see that these times are not revisited. The country has an obligation not only to itself but to the world at large to make sure that only qualified candidates with well defined leadership skills become President. Otherwise, we are in for more of the same political and fiscal quagmire that pervades Washington today. This situation has attendant dangerous ramifications for all of us in terms of our monetary stability and our national security, i.e., our survival as a nation.
Copyright 2013 Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.