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Starcrash's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Starcrash

Comment 26 by Richard Dawkins :

When a man is to be entrusted with military or state secrets or "For your eyes only" documents, he is vetted and "background-checked" with scrupulous care. But to become president, with your finger on the nuclear button and in possession of all state secrets, all you need do is get millions of people to vote for you.

Why is this the case? It frustrates me that we have this double-standard when it comes to producing a new leader. Sure, election is better than the old systems of "rule by bloodline", but there should still be some stipulations in place.

Since the job of US President also includes the job of Commander-in-Chief, the candidates for the position should have experience in the US Military and preferably a position of leadership in it. The job also entails scrutinizing laws and passing them, so it would be a good idea for a presidential candidate to have legal experience. We often elect governors and senators because of their similar job experience, but why isn't this a requirement?

I like the idea of personally having some responsibility in electing a new president, but I don't think it's a good idea. Like junior high student council elections, most of us are uninformed (or misinformed) and so it becomes a popularity contest, which is probably why tall candidates for president tend to beat short candidates and why there's still a glass ceiling for women.

The Founding Fathers were smart, but not infallible. How would our country look today if the application process for the country's highest position was stricter? I guess we'll never know now.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 17:24:50 UTC | #922847